Long before I got my first Mac I asked for the CD-ROM game Cosmic Osmo and an AppleCD drive. I ended up borrowing a friend of the family’s Mac Plus to play the game and I was hooked. You could say my love affair with apple products started with this game.
Cosmic Osmo is a game set on exploring a surrealistic world. You start off in a strange spacecraft that can visit pre-planets ranging from a giant fish to a planet with a house on one side and a boat on the other. This game was created by Cyan, the creators of Myst and was an evolutionary step in Cyan creating Myst.
This game has no start or end and is pure exploration. Almost anything you see in this game is click able and will start a animation and music sequence.
Recently I downloaded a program called Mini VMac which lets you run old MacOS 6 programs. After booting up an old system hard drive and I opened up my Cosmic Osmo CD and booted it up. It worked, although some of the sounds were out of sync, some of the audio was scrambled and some animation was too fast.
Many people have fond memories of Cosmic Osmo. It was the first CD I ever played on my Sony Diskman (the game had a music track with jazz songs from the game). I also know that my nephews in Portland played the game quite often. So what games can be compared to Cosmic Osmo? Unfortunately there arn’t any.
Myst focuses on solving puzzles, which isn’t the main focus of Cosmic Osmo. There is Leo’s Great Day, a Flash 3 game by Pepworks, but once again this is a story with a beginning and end and a few puzzles, although the animation style and game design approach seems to be similar to Cosmic Osmo. There are really no other games out there like Cosmic Osmo where you can just explore and interact with the world.
So if Cosmic Osmo is so great, why isn’t anyone selling it now? Well for one it was released as a B&W game just for the Macintosh using Mac only technology. There were hints at a masterpiece update to this eleven years ago from a story writeup on the creators of the game, but unfortunately there hasn’t been much progress or cash to throw at a project like this – until recently.
I happened to buy a piece of software last year that is similar to HyperCard, called Runtime Revolution. Every month or so the company that creates the software sends me a developer newsletter. Normally this goes into my special circular file called a trash can, but the last one caught my eye because it was an interview with a developer who is updating and converting Cosmic Osmo. Here are the facts I picked out of the article:
- This game will no longer be released as a HyperCard based game
- At least 90% of the original game can be ported, the other 10% will be re-created for modern operating systems
- All of the original sounds and music will be included in the game
- There is a hint at a technology advance that is available and that was not available in the original HyperCard version (I imagine this is hinting at color graphics)
There is one more point from the article. This will be released as a Windows only application – even though it is being developed and can be ported to an updated Mac version with the flip of a switch. This started out as a Mac game, and is being released on Windows even though a Mac version could be created by a flip of the switch, or as the developer puts it:
There are currently no plans to re-release a Macintosh version, though if that should change it would be trivial to recompile the main stack for OS X, which is all that would be required.
I understand the need to release this for Windows, but what about all the loyal fans who have been waiting for a re-release. This is really heartbreaking.
How do you feel about this? Please leave your comments here for requesting a Mac version of Cosmic Osmo.