What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- problem solving
Engagement, Approach, Support
With enough patience and practice, kids could easily get hooked. Moving the orb to complete tasks is both mesmerizing and challenging.
Kids are challenged to apply principles of motion to control the orb's movement. Challenges increase in difficulty, but some more integrated physics content could boost the learning experience.
Instructions for each challenge are clear and concise, but some are simple to a fault. Players can't re-read the instructions once they begin a challenge.
What's it about?
Choose from three modes: Odyssey, Arcade, and Multiplayer. Levels have simple instructions, such as "Become the biggest." Controls are simple: Tap behind your orb to propel it forward, swipe right to speed up, swipe left to slow down. Avoid the red predators; if your little orb organism bumps into one of them, it eats you. Each level is completed when you're the biggest object on the screen. There are 72 levels in eight uniquely designed worlds.
Is it any good?
OSMOS is a gorgeous, Zen-like puzzle game in which players control an orb floating through space, absorbing smaller orbs to become bigger while avoiding being absorbed by larger orbs. Although the premise sounds trite, the execution is excellent thanks to realistic physics, different orb behaviors (some repel and some attract, for example), and 72 increasingly tricky levels in various environments. The game's languid pace and surprising degree of difficulty may frustrate some, but Osmos is a unique and beautiful experience for those patient enough to appreciate it.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Newton's laws of motion: Objects stay at rest or in motion unless acted upon by an outside force; the mass of an object and the force used to move it determine how it accelerates; and for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. How are these laws at work in the game?
Ask kids to think about real-life examples of Newton's laws, and talk about how the examples are similar to the movement of their orbs. A simple example of Newton's first law might be kicking a ball that's at rest. The kick represents an unbalanced force acting on the ball.