Author Topic: T-Reich's Reviews: Cosmic Osmo & The Worlds Beyond The Mackerel  (Read 3486 times)

Offline Tyrannosaurus Reich

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Intro: I'm sure most of you who are active in the gaming community are at least familiar with the Myst series. You know, those old point and click adventures with the surreal settings and the puzzle solving? Well, did you know that the guys who made those games (Cyan Worlds) also made a few children's games BEFORE the Myst franchise? Well, today I'm going to review one of them. I have to say, this is a very....interesting game.



Graphics: This is an old ass game, all the way back from the late 80s, and on the Mac no less! Still, as old as it is, the game looks quite good. The whole thing is in black and white, but in a way it actually adds to the artwork rather then detracting from it.

Not unlike the later Myst series, the overall setting and atmosphere is quite surreal. Unlike Myst however, the game aims for a more cartoony, kid friendly setting with stuff like rockets, talking mice, and all kinds of shit that frankly makes most of the stuff you would see on shows like Adventure Time or Regular Show look normal.
4 out of 5

Sound: Holy shit. For a game from the 80s, this game has some really good sound. All the sound effects and voice clips are crystal clear and sound pretty damn great. It's quite amazing what they could pull off with old Macs back in the day.

As for music, it's equally impressive. The soundtrack covers a wide range of genres such as jazz, techno, ambient, classical, it's great. A lot of the songs are catchy and add to the atmosphere quite well.
5 out of 5

Story: None. Really. You just go around exploring planets and meet weird creatures and other shit.
1 out of 5

Gameplay: Okay, I'm gonna be honest, this barely qualifies as a game. All you really do is explore and....that's it. There's mini-games and what have you, sure, but at the end of the day this game is really more like an animated, interactive art gallery. Basically, it's Myst minus the puzzles and well.....a goal.

As for the mini-games I mentioned, they're actually kind of fun. One of them is called "Blitz Lifter", which is a game where you need to ring a bell on the top of a toy pole using tiny robots with boxing gloves. Yes, really. But probably the best example is "Ship Chip Lander", or as pronounced in-game, SHIP CHIP LANDAAAAAAA. It's a game located in an arcade machine (with artwork modeled after 80s anime) where the goal is to safely land a ship on a launch pad. Simple, but fun.

Other than that, there isn't a lot to this "game", sure there are a bunch of activities here and there, but not much that actually has a goal. Also, one thing I want to point out on a technical level is that there seems to be some input lag of sorts. Whenever I click on stuff, it usually takes half a second to respond, which naturally gets kind of annoying.
2 out of 5

Overall: So, with that being said, you may wonder "Gee Reich, if there isn't much to the gameplay, why bother with it?" I'll tell you exactly why; it may be "an animated, interactive art gallery", but it's one hell of an animated, interactive art gallery. I have played very few games that can match the weirdness, the over-the-top nature, and charm of this title. Everything from chili peppers with Mexican accents, jack-o-lanterns that eat your cursor, kiddie pools that teleport you to the ocean, all the way to THE CORE OF THE FUCKING PLANET PUT ON DISPLAY IN A TOWN HALL.

Honestly, there are so many cool tidbits, both interactive and just there for show, that really add to this game's charm. Music made from baby ants, usable computers within a computer game, a lot of effort has been put into even the most minor things in Cosmic Osmo, and it shows. This is one of those few games (a term I use loosely) that's really worth trying out just for all the little stuff to see and do.

So yeah, go try it out, at least once. It's awesome, in it's own little ways.
Final Score: 4 out of 5

Notes:
  • This game is available on Steam, but right now it can only be purchased by getting the Cyan Complete Pack, which is about 20 bucks. If that doesn't suit your fancy, it's also on GameTap.
  • There's a sequel to this game which appears to be a generic 3D platformer. I know jack shit about it, especially since there exists no gameplay videos of it. Additionally, there is currently no way to buy it, and I don't feel like finding a torrent of it. Honestly I doubt it's worth playing anyway.

Offline Jesuszilla

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Re: T-Reich's Reviews: Cosmic Osmo & The Worlds Beyond The Mackerel
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2011, 01:29:17 PM »
You sure the music doesn't just sound good because you played it on a PC? I'd imagine most PC games back in the day used MIDI, which sounds different according to hardware.

Just try to keep things peaceful.