Described on its App Store page as “Asteroids meets a lava lamp,” Osmos uses the intimacy of the touchscreen to create a singularly immersive experience. You start as a blue mote floating in a cosmos of vaguely biomorphic orbs.
Gameplay is simple: Big orbs absorb smaller ones and grow bigger in the process. Tap behind your avatar to scoot it around, increasing in size while avoiding death, until you’ve absorbed a target or become the biggest blob on the screen. There are 72 levels: In some you’re drifting in orbit around a pulsar, requiring precise timing to hit your targets. Others have you packed in tightly among larger motes and dollops of antimatter; drift a hair too far in any direction and you’re a goner. If it sounds a bit strange, it is — that’s the beauty of it.
WIRED Breathtaking graphics and superb ambient soundtrack. Hides the menu behind a three-finger tap.
TIRED Heavy Zen vibe will bore twitchy fans of fast-paced shooters.