My friend Alex showed me Osmos over a year ago, but I never got around to playing it until a couple months ago. It’s available for Steam, iOS, and Android; I played it on Steam. Osmos is heavily physics-based and deals with orbits and mass. The idea is pretty simple. You want to get larger. Running into something smaller than you allows you to absorb it. If you run into something bigger, you get absorbed. You move by expelling mass in one direction, causing you to move in the opposite direction.

Osmos starts out very tranquil and relaxing. A lot of games begin with tutorials, but Osmos is almost lying to you by trying to be seen in this light. The later levels are incredibly difficult and can take a long time to complete (after many, many retries). Sometimes you have to act quickly to beat other “characters,” but sometimes you can take all the time you need. You unlock levels in groups, giving you choices that work well to act as breaks from other, more frustrating levels.

The graphics and audio are both absolutely fantastic. The game looks beautiful and detailed whether you’re viewing your surrounding closely or from afar. Depending on what you’re trying to do, sometimes you’ll want to zoom close for detailed control and other times you’ll want to zoom out to see the entire area. In addition, you can change the speed that the game runs. I found myself making very slight tweaks to my orbit and then speeding up time to see the results. The music remains tranquil throughout the game, even when the levels get stressful. It sometimes even seems to reflect the orbiting, repetitive nature of the game. Usually when you hear a game’s music described as repetitive, it’s a bad thing; It’s not bad in Osmos.

Different people might get stuck on different levels, but level F3C-3 was my final level and took me a long time to finish. The video above is the recording of my eventual completion of the level.

Thanks, Alex, for the great recommendation!


Wii U

With the final sale details of the Wii being released today (yesterday by the time this is posted), I knew it was time to pre-order. I put money down on the Wii U Deluxe (full price of $349.99), New Super Mario Bros. U, LEGO City: Undercover, and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. Because I’m getting the Wii U Deluxe, Nintendo Land will be bundled with the consoles. I’m excited!

Let the eighth generation begin!


Mercenary Kings Kickstarted

When I saw that Jonathan Kim of Mechafetus (NSFW) fame was an animator on a new game, I was intrigued. He was an animator on Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game and senior animator on Skullgirls. Then I saw that Mercenary Kings also features Paul Robertson, art director of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game, as animator. A handful of people from the Scott Pilgraim vs. The World: The Game’s development team came together to create Mercenary Kings, a run and gun game featuring upgrades and customization.

Mercenary Kings looks a lot like Metal Slug but with a Mechafetus twist. That would be enough right there to get me interested, but they’ve mixed in crafting. Enemies drop materials when they die, and you can upgrade and customize your weapons. Individual parts of the weapons can be changed, allowing you to design weapons that work the way you want. It looks like a lot of fun, but the art style is what really drew me to it.

I pledged $60 which gets me two digital copies of the game, a digital copy of their previous game (Wizorb), an exclusive wallpaper pack, a digital soundtrack, my name in the credits on their site, a Kickstarter exclusive in-game knife, an in-game “Kickstarter Contributor” achievement, and my name in the credits under “Kickstarter Contributors.”

You got that right; I get an exclusive wallpaper pack!

Energy Drinks

I thought I’d share these cool, game-themed energy drinks. You can see Mario, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Resident Evil, and Mega Man above.

And then there’s Street Fighter, Gears of War (Imulsion Energy Drink? Sweet!), and Sonic the Hedgehog. I purchased the Sonic the Hedgehog energy drink and the Gears of War Imulsion energy drink!

Well, these aren’t actually game-themed, but I thought they were cool too. The Ghostbusters energy drink is supposedly ectoplasm, and there’s a zombie energy drink too!