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Video Game / Cosmic Osmo

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"You are the busiest alien to ever romp around our humble solar system."
— Osmo

Cosmic Osmo is a 1989 Pop Up Video Game created by Rand and Robyn Miller of Cyan, Inc. Like its Spiritual Predecessor The Manhole, where Osmo had a brief cameo, Osmo lets you traipse undirected through a quirky universe packed with Easter Eggs, but this time IN SPACE. There is no ending and no score, and only the mildest of optional puzzles.

The setting is the Osmoian system, home of the quirky, amiable Osmos: aliens with huge feet and round, honkable noses. Your conveyance is a cozy two-room spaceship called the Osmobile, but you can also slip between worlds through a vast network of shortcuts. No matter where you end up, the Osmobile's autopilot will have it waiting for you in orbit.

The Millers' next open-ended HyperCard game, 1991's Spelunx, took a far more educational tone. The 1994 rerelease of Osmo added a Spelunx-like science complex, making both games each other's Spiritual Successor.

Despite Osmo's fanbase on the Apple Macintosh, where it remained an exclusive until 2008, it can now be found on Steam...for Windows users only. Even though the original won't run on today's OS X at all, and despite the developer of the Windows port saying that recompiling her work for OS X would be "trivial".

Cosmic Osmo provides examples of:

  • Simpleton Voice: The Osmos are a rather simple folk, and the majority of them have dopey-sounding voices.
  • Sore Loser: Professor Osmostein will throw his coffee in your face if you beat him at his game.
  • Stylistic Suck
    Osmo: Now this is what I call gooood television!
    (On the screen, another Osmo bangs his head against the camera over and over, forever.)
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: An "Osman" comic with a caped Osmo is seen.
  • Take Me to Your Leader: Osmo offers to take us to his leader: Señor Osmollo.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: Captain Osmo.
  • Techno Babble: Those rings on the Osmobile's nosecone? Aero-ether Quanto-particulate Detecto Rings. The antenna on top? A triple-loop Polar Yagi Recepto-Wod. And so forth.
  • Treehouse of Fun: Subverted. The treehouse is "a place of relaxation" with nothing but a hot beverage dispenser and some teacups on a picnic table.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: Open Osmo's trash can, and the cursor gets sucked into the black hole he just threw away.
  • Updated Re-release: Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel added three new worlds to the original's four, along with enhancements such as a CD audio soundtrack.
  • The Voiceless: Señor Osmollo, the apparent leader of the Osmos, doesn't seem to be much of a talker. If you click on him, he merely salutes without saying a word.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Like with "The Manhole", most of the characters only have one or two phrases they'll repeat whenever you interact with them. Princess Osmorella has slightly more (around four), and Señor Osmollo doesn't say anything at all, he merely salutes you if you click on him.
  • World of Chaos: A pipe-smoking alien keeps a well-appointed living room in the mouth of a spaceborne mackerel which you can shoot at with giant Q-Tips. Need I say more.
  • World Shapes: Everything from a cardboard diorama to a stellated polyhedron.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: The Osmo who guards the Swab in the Stone talks like this, even though nobody else (even Osmorella, his apparent ruler) in the galaxy does.