I’ll admit that when I first experienced Katamari, I didn’t get it. My highschool girlfriend was in love with We Love Katamari, and when she tried to show it to me—back when I was a pretentious, “edgy,” teenage gamer—I thought it was absurd. I couldn’t wrap my head around the game’s control scheme, and I didn’t connect with the central mechanic.
However, in 2018 when I played Katamari Damacy REROLL on the Switch—now as an adult with a greater understanding and appreciation for more artistic, and unconventional video games—I too completely fell in love with it. Playing it again, now on the PS4 and little has changed; much as the katamari grows larger, so too does player access to this wonderful game.
I won’t get too deep into the ins-and-outs of Katamari Damacy REROLL since it’s essentially the exact same game as it was in 2018, and CGM’s Joel Couture already did a pretty extensive review of it. So instead, I’m going to use this opportunity to talk about what I think is the brilliance of Katamari Damacy.
On the surface, Katamari Damacy REROLL can seem like a silly arcade game about rolling up things within a given time limit—when I started playing it, that’s all I thought there was to it. And while that’s certainly all it needs to be, I quickly came to understand how much was going on in a very simple package. Initially, I didn’t realize that Katamari Damacy REROLL was classified as a “puzzle” game, and the more I played, the more I was unknowingly seeing the game’s puzzle influence.
Katamari Damacy REROLL doesn’t simply task you to roll everything up as quickly as possible, but it challenges you to understand both your surroundings, and the objects around you; navigating their size, and strategizing to roll up items as efficiently as possible. As your katamari grows, so too does your understanding of each stage; and with every attempt, your ability to create a bigger and better star gets better.
But it’s not just the intriguing puzzle-based design that made me fall in love with it. There’s a genuine, meditative to the game to Katamari Damacy REROLL; and while it’s a bit more fast-paced than a game like Stardew Valley, or even something like No Man’s Sky, it’s easy to find yourself zoning out and getting into the zen of the roll.
It can be pretty soothing to repeatedly roll around an area, slowly picking up more and more objects with each turn, and this is compounded by the way your katamari slowly gets bigger, not only reflecting the fruits of your labor, but allowing you to grab more and more objects. It may seem silly, what with all the wacky sound effects, music, and frantic movement on the screen, but if you can disconnect yourself from that, it really is a calming kind of game.
Although, special mention should be made to the music in Katamari Damacy REROLL. Much like Joel mentioned in his review, Katamari Damacy REROLL is an extremely quirky game, and one that is absolutely bursting with personality. The music really adds a lot to the game’s identity and is probably the second-most identifiable thing about it. Much like the game it inhabits, it’s an eclectic selection of styles, genres, and tempos that make it feel wholly unique to this truly unique game.
Katamari Damacy REROLL is a delightful game that I highly recommend. It’s quirky, charming, extremely fun, and much deeper than it initially appears. I know it may sound cliché, but there really isn’t anything else like it and with it’s wide availability on modern consoles, it’s a game that you should definitely play if you haven’t experienced it yet.