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Tap My Katamari to bring snowballing fun to the small screen
I’m going to go ahead and undercut your excitement right out of the box. Yes, it’s true that Katamari Damacy is coming to mobile devices, but unfortunately, Tap My Katamari looks quite a bit different than the free-roaming wacky fun of previous Katamari games.
The original game in the series was released back in the dusty ancient days of the PlayStation 2. Quirky Japanese visuals and humor combined with a simple but bewildering game mechanic to create a sleeper hit that wooed audiences worldwide.
The basic idea behind the game is that you are a tiny “prince” who pushes around something that looks like a sticky Everlasting Gobstopper. The goal is to roll over objects smaller than you, gradually increasing the mass of your ball-of-stuff and enabling you to collect larger and larger objects. You advance gradually from coins to cats to hot dog vendors to skyscrapers to continents in a process that is as strange as it is thoroughly satisfying. Some missions throw a twist into this (e.g. you may have to collect hot objects and avoid cold ones), but in general Katamari gameplay hinges on open world exploration.
Which is why Tap My Katamari’s first trailer is a little bit worrying. Granted, we only see about six seconds of simulated gameplay (the first half of the trailer is naturally devoted to the King of All Cosmos taking a shower), but if what we’re seeing is correct, Tap My Katamari looks like it has set aside the open world aspects in favor of side-scrolling action.
Perhaps this is just a stylistic rendition of gameplay, but it’s a little bit disconcerting. After all, our mobile devices seem more than capable of handling the kind of sprawling 3D landscapes that are the franchise’s signature, and the simple two-joystick controls are a natural fit for touch screen adaptation.
It remains to be seen what exactly Tap My Katamari will look like. We look forward to learning more as we get closer toward that ambiguous “coming soon” release date.
What do you think of Katamari’s newest foray into mobile gaming? Does side-scrolling action kill it for you, or would you still tap that? Let us know in the comments!