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Game Review: Tap My Katamari (Mobile)

Game Review: Tap My Katamari (Mobile)
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Game Name: Tap My Katamari
Platforms: iOS, Android
Publisher(s): Bandai Namco
Developer(s): Bandai Namco
Genre(s): Puzzle Platformer

“Na Na…Na na na na..na.. KATAMARI DAMACY!!”….

I can still hear the King of all the Cosmos humming and singing the title song as he daydreams of red pandas.

With many versions of games from the early consoles being brought to mobile in the last few years, I thought I had Tap My Katamari 03fallen upon another mobile gaming gem.

The Katamari series of games has been a classic cult hit since its 2004 premiere title game for the PS2, Katamari Damacy. With the rapid interest in the game, the game was quickly followed up by many sequels spanning various consoles including Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, PS Vita and mobile. Though these sequels introduced a little bit of something new in the way of game control and story line, they soon became a rapid sleeper game that had a difficult time competing against other games in the market.

Tap My Katamari is the latest game in the series since the 2012 release of the PS Vita game Touch My Katamari. The game caries the same colourful and energetic music style classic to the series. The game is described as a endless clicker type of game, wherein the goal is to move the Prince along the cosmic game screen collecting all objects in the path of the Katamari (in general a sticky type ball object), ultimately growing it in size as it collects objects. As the Katamari grows, you have to change from clicking the screen with one finger to two or more to add speed and intensity on how the Prince pushes the Katamari.

Along the way you can collect coins which can be used to add cousins to help the Prince push the Katamari, and collect sweets to purchase upgrades to increase the abilities of the Prince. Like most mobile games, if you want to, extra sweets can be purchased in app using real world money.

Tap My Katamari 02Beyond that, there is not much more to this game. I, like many beloved Katamari gamer fans, was super excited to see another Katamari game on the market. Unfortunately it doesn’t take long for the enthusiasm to wear off. Unlike the original Katamari games which gave you timed goals to achieve, learning to control and maneuver the Katamari to maximize rolling and avoid obstacles, striving for hidden cousins and presents and definition of unique levels, Tap My Katamari is lacking any sort of depth. There is no definitive skill needed to play, no obstacles to avoid, no save points and nothing to indicate the start and end of one level from another.

Though I love getting to enjoy the catchy soundtrack that comes along with the game, Tap My Katamari misses out in catching my long-tern interest. I was hoping that the beginning “tap, tap, tap” was just to get the player used to the game, but after several minutes of just continuous tapping, I found that there was nothing more to the game, which was severely disappointing. Fan or not, an app that tries to get a player to spend time just constantly tapping the screen for no true gain, is an absolute failure.

While this game was worth trying, it is definitely a sleeper one and would be best kept for passing endless time when you are in a location without Wi-Fi or during a time that you want to play a game but don’t want to have to put a lot of thought or effort in.

Sometimes a game series just needs to be put to rest, and I think when it comes to the Katamari series, its time has come.

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