Review – Katamari Damacy Reroll

From the moment that Katamari Damacy Reroll starts and you listen to that bizarre but instantly catchy theme song, you know you’re in for a treat. The original Katamari Damacy was released back in 2004 and enticed players by pretty much being the weirdest game they had ever seen up until that point, all while being extremely addictive at the same time. Being finally able to play one of the most unique Japanese franchises on a Switch, whenever and wherever I want to, is glorious.


That goes without saying, but you’ll constantly shout “what’s going on?” when playing this game.

This is the first time I’m playing a Katamari Damacy game and I was sold just a few minutes after I started the game. The premise is the weirdest thing ever: a very flamboyant King of All Cosmos has crashed into all of the stars in the sky for absolutely no reason, leaving it devoid of light and astral bodies. He tasks his princely son to create new stars and constellations by rolling a sticky ball onto everything it can find on Earth, all while listening to the most bizarre assortment of J-Pop tunes conceived by mankind, as well as learning how to say “hello” in Polish, Arabic, Spanish, Dutch, and so on. There’s also a subplot involving kids and their astronaut father, because why not? I don’t know what substances have been used in order to come up with this premise, but I want some.

The gameplay revolves around rolling your katamari (sticky ball) around, attaching anything possible to it along the way. The main catch is that you can’t capture things that are bigger than you, therefore you have to start collecting small objects before being able to capture animals, people, cars, house, you name it. You need to achieve a certain diameter for your katamari before the timer runs out. In theory, it’s actually very simple, but the controls are what make the game a little bit more complicated than it should.

Controlling the katamari takes some time to get used to. You only need to use both analog sticks if you’re playing on a controller or on portable mode. Easier said than done, though, as you use them both at the same time for anything you want to do. In order to move forward, both sticks facing forward. In order to go to the side, both sticks facing a diagonal angle. In order to do a U-turn, click both sticks at the same. In order to rotate the camera (and this is the part that grinds my gears), you need to hold one stick up and the other down. You can also ditch this control scheme and use the joycon’s motion controls, but I found them to be less than ideal.


What a beautiful star, don’t you think?

I don’t understand why this was the chosen method in order to do something as simple as controlling a ball around (one stick could do the job, jeez), but it’s very confusing at first. You know what’s even weirder? After playing the game for a few minutes, this nonsensical control scheme becomes second nature and starts making sense and mind you, making sense isn’t something that happens often in Katamari Damacy Reroll.

For as simple and yet confusing as its gameplay might be, Katamari Damacy Reroll can actually be challenging at times. Achieving the specified diameter can often be hard when your father asks for a 15 meter wide ball and gives you a 10cm katamari to begin with. Being able to reach the specified goal before the timer runs out, and even surpassing it with your remaining minutes, is extremely satisfying. Think of it as the weird, low-poly, Japanese, slightly kaiju-influeced iteration of the expression “started from the bottom, now we here”. There is also an endless mode, in which there’s no time limit. Just roll on everything and capture the entire world in a near-therapeutic experience.


Are We Still Doing Phrasing?

I’m glad I have finally played Katamari Damacy on the Switch. Being able to play the second weirdest Japanese game ever made on-the-go is a delightful experience. It features an addictive gameplay loop, the strangest and catchiest soundtrack these ears have ever listened to and an overall design can be best described as “unique”. I feel like I have missed one heck of a party back when this game was first released in 2004, but I’ve finally paid my dues with the King of All Cosmos.


Graphics: 7.0

Katamari Damacy is known for its minimalistic graphics. They are equally ugly and cute. Thankfully, framerate drops are nonexistent.

Gameplay: 6.0

You’ll need some time in order to get used to this game’s unique but unnecessarily complicated control scheme, as well as the way it handles the camera.

Sound: 9.0

Katamari Damacy Reroll‘s soundtrack is as weird and adorable as the rest of the game itself. I just can’t stop singing its main menu theme song.

Fun Factor: 9.5

Katamari Damacy Reroll is weird. No, it’s actually VERY weird. That’s what makes its unique gameplay and sense of humor so memorable.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Katamari Damacy Reroll is available now on PC and Nintendo Switch.
Reviewed on Switch.