Relaxing yet taxing, Osmos is a sublime puzzle game not to be missed on iPhone and iPod Touch.

When it was released for Mac and PC last year Osmos received massive critical acclaim. The praise kept coming when it was released for iPad earlier this year.

My admiration for the new edition on Apple’s smaller devices is going to be a small drop in an ocean of love for this game but it deserves all the credit it continues to get.

Osmos is a stylish physics-based survival game which plays out like an elegant all-you-can-eat buffet.

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You play the game as a blobby blue mote whose goal in life is to get bigger.

Using your finger to move the mote around, you must absorb smaller blue organisms while avoiding being absorbed yourself by larger red ones.

As you consume other motes yours grows in size. The opposite happens when coming into contact with bigger motes, and when this happens too much your lifeform is terminated which means a level must be retried.

Moving your blob around is very easy to do. Tapping the screen propels the mote in the opposite direction.

Further touch gestures slow down or speed up time. Slowing down time is particularly useful as it allows for more precise movements.

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Each time your mote moves it ejects a little of its mass, causing it to shrink fractionally. This means each move leaves you slightly more vulnerable, so you need to plan carefully.

You can’t get away with tapping the screen furiously to move around because you’ll quickly diminish. However, on most levels you need to stay in motion, so Osmos requires a tricky balancing act of economic but efficient movement.

Osmos is quite a slow-paced game. It takes patience and concentration to get through levels.

Absorbing is the aim of the game, but the game does a good job itself of being absorbing. It’s easy to get lost in Osmos, thanks to its beautiful but minimalistic art style, its zen-like gameplay and its dreamlike trippy electronic soundtrack.

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There is a lot of time to enjoy Osmos’s qualities as the game contains a sizeable amount of content.

There are two modes of play - Odyssey and Arcade.

Odyssey is a 27-level voyage which showcases all of the game’s features.

Things start off very basic. In early levels it really is just a simple case of becoming the biggest mote in the game area.

Soon, though, things get more difficult, with particular motes that must be absorbed, motes which attack or repel you, and other complications such as orbital paths and gravitational pulls.

Working though the Odyssey mode gradually unlocks levels to play in Arcade mode.

The Arcade mode has 72 stages, spread across eight categories of level types and various difficulty settings.

It can take multiple attempts to get through some levels in Osmos, which can become frustrating. However, it’s usually not the want-to-throw-your-iPod-out-of-the-window kind of frustration, more like the I-will-do-better-next-time sort.

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Osmos is an abstract gaming experience. I’ve not seen anything quite like it before.

It’s hard to put its appeal into words but it’s easy to say how captivating it is right from the start.

This is a hypnotic, laid-back game – one which is perfect for sticking your headphones into your device and floating away with.

Osmos is a brain game, a proper thinking person’s puzzler. It’s not about setting massive scores or recording incredible times – it’s a game of personal development, a game of skill.

Absorb Osmos into your game collection, it’s a smart move.

Verdict: 9 out of 10 – Its leisurely pace and delicate gameplay might not be for everyone, but Osmos is one of the most intelligent and satisfying game available for iPhone and iPod Touch.