From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Genre(s)Third-person puzzle-action
Creator(s)Keita Takahashi
Platform(s)PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, iOS, Android, Windows Phone
First releaseKatamari Damacy
Latest releaseWe Love Katamari Reroll+ Royal Reverie

Katamari[a] is a Japanese video game franchise created by Keita Takahashi and developed and published by Namco (and subsequently Bandai Namco Entertainment). The series puts players in control of a young character called The Prince (also referred to as Dashing Prince or the Prince of All Cosmos) as he assists his father, the King of All Cosmos, in the re-creation of stars and planets by using a ball called a katamari to roll up objects. The first title in the series was Katamari Damacy for the PlayStation 2, which became a cult classic and led to several sequels and spin-offs.


Keita Takahashi, the series creator, did not go into coding originally. He created "cheerfully bizzare" sculptures when he was a student at Musashino Art University. This inspired Takahashi to entertain audiences with his creations and decided to join Namco as a visual artist. He wanted to create a game where the players can do something they can only do in a game and create something that is not formulaic.[1]

Gameplay and setting[edit]

Release timeline
2004Katamari Damacy
2005We Love Katamari
Me & My Katamari
2007Katamari Damacy Mobile
Beautiful Katamari
2008Rolling With Katamari
I Love Katamari
2009Korogashi Puzzle Katamari Damacy
Katamari Forever
2011Katamari Amore
Touch My Katamari
2016Tap My Katamari
2017Amazing Katamari Damacy
2018Katamari Damacy Reroll
2023We Love Katamari Reroll+ Royal Reverie

In most Katamari games, players typically control the player character, The Prince, as he is ordered to do various tasks by his father, the King of All Cosmos.

In Katamari Damacy, The Prince is tasked with the job of rebuilding the stars and constellations that the King destroyed. To do this, the player combines as many objects into a singular ball, known as a katamari ball, that could become a star, constellations, or stardust. A katamari ball can roll up certain objects, depending on the Katamari's relative size to them.[2]

Players typically control the katamari ball using two analog sticks; players move forward and backward by pushing the analog sticks in that direction simultaneously. They can turn the katamari by pushing only one stick in the desired direction or pushing the sticks in opposite directions to do so faster (often described as 'tank controls'). Players may also do a 180 degree turn that causes The Prince to jump on the other side of the Katamari typically by pressing the two sticks down into the controller. Players may cause the katamari to roll at high speeds typically by rapidly moving the two sticks in opposite directions back and forth. Players may also cause The Prince to jump and get a better look at the world by pressing L1. Introduced in Katamari Forever, players are given the ability called the "Prince Hop" to make the katamari ball hop.

Before each level, the King will often go on a nonsensical rant to The Prince, and refers to himself using royal we. In Make a Star levels, players are presented with a specific size that the katamari must be before the time limit runs out. As the player rolls up objects using the katamari, it becomes larger, as demonstrated by a size chart on its HUD. In early levels of the game, players are given a katamari similar to the Prince's size, which allows him to only roll up small objects such as tacks and ants. Later levels allow the katamari to grow much larger to the point where it can roll up buildings and clouds. As the katamari becomes larger, the katamari is then able to pick up larger objects. Living and non-living creatures will sometimes attack the katamari if it is smaller than them; once the katamari reaches a certain size, the creature may run away from the large katamari that could pick them up. If the katamari is only barely able to pick a creature up, the player along with the katamari will be knocked away; if the creature is not rolled up in time, the creature will run off and escape. If players are attacked or crash in to walls are large objects, the katamari will lose items. If players roll up a long, slender object such as a pencil, the object will sometimes poke outwards out of the katamari and cause the katamari to roll awkwardly until more objects are rolled up. In more recent games, players can hit a glowing pillar that causes all items close to the katamari that are small enough to be sucked into it.

As players reach certain size milestones, the King will appear in the middle of the screen and speak to players. In some levels, this will precede a cutscene alerting players that a new area has opened up. If players fail to reach this size in the time allotted, they are scolded and punished by the King. If players are able to reach the required size before the time limit runs out, they may continue making it bigger. At the end of the stage, players are judged on their size as well as the time it took to reach the required size; if they only barely exceeded the required size, the king criticizes the player and tells them to do better; if they manage to exceed it by a significant enough margin, the king praises the player. If it is the players' first completion of the level, the King will automatically transform it into a star; if it is not, they are asked if they would like to turn it into a star or into stardust. Additionally, if they reach the size fast enough, a shooting star will be unlocked for the star. As an additional reward found in some of the games, players may be allowed to play a specific level without a time limit which allows them to play indefinitely.

Not all levels follow this format; for example, some do not have a timer, and instead require players to do a certain task, such as rolling a snowball to a certain size and putting it on a snowman. Some levels also require players to pick up a specific item, such as in the cow or bear levels where players are tasked with rolling up the largest of that specific animal. Each level is presented on a stage select screen, and can be replayed multiple times after being completed. Each level also typically has two specific objects in them: one of The Prince's many cousins whom, after obtaining, can be used either in multi-player only or in multi-player and single-player, depending on the game. The other is a "Royal Present", which, after obtaining, may be used as an accessory for The Prince or cousins. The games keep record of every item rolled up, and players may view them in a book, which shows specific categories of items and the percentage showing how complete the catalog for each category. Two players may play cooperatively or competitively together; in the cooperative mode, players are tasked with sharing control of the Katamari together with one player controlling one half of controlling the Katamari while another player controls the other in stages that resemble the single-player mode. The competitive mode puts two players against each other as they compete in an arena-like setting to get the largest sized Katamari; if one grows large enough, it can roll up the other player's katamari. Both modes are played with a timer.

Video games[edit]

Game Platform Release date Metacritic GameRankings
Katamari Damacy PlayStation 2 March 18, 2004 86/100[3] 85.73%[4]
We Love Katamari July 6, 2005 86/100[5] 86.65%[6]
Me & My Katamari PlayStation Portable December 22, 2005 75/100[7] 76.31%[8]
Katamari Damacy Mobile Mobile phones June 1, 2007 N/A N/A
Beautiful Katamari Xbox 360 October 16, 2007 73/100[9] 72.72%[10]
Katamari Damacy-kun Mobile phones November 1, 2007[11] N/A N/A
Rolling with Katamari November 1, 2008 N/A N/A
I Love Katamari iOS, Windows Phone, Android December 14, 2008 80/100[12] 61.25%[13]
Korogashi Puzzle Katamari Damacy DSiWare March 25, 2009 N/A N/A
Katamari Forever PlayStation 3 July 23, 2009 74/100[14] 77.80%[15]
Oi Katamari Damacy-kun Mobile phones October 28, 2009[16] N/A N/A
Katamari Amore iOS September 29, 2011 63/100[17] 61.00% [18]
Katamari Damacy Mobile+ Android November 17, 2011[19] N/A N/A
Touch My Katamari PlayStation Vita December 17, 2011 69/100[20] 70.12%[21]
Katamari Damacy Mobile 2 iOS March 8, 2012 [22] N/A N/A
Tap My Katamari iOS, Android January 4, 2016 N/A 50.00%[23]
Amazing Katamari Damacy December 5, 2017 N/A 60.00%[24]
Katamari Damacy Reroll Nintendo Switch, PC December 7, 2018 87/100[25] (NS) N/A
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia (Google) September 7, 2020 N/A N/A
We Love Katamari Reroll+ Royal Reverie Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series and PC June 2, 2023[26]

The first video game released in the series was Katamari Damacy, which was released for the PlayStation 2 on March 18, 2004, in Japan. Due to the critical and commercial reception that it received, Namco Bandai followed it up with a 2005 sequel also for the PlayStation 2, titled We Love Katamari. It followed closely in the style of its predecessor, but with new environments and slightly improved physics.

A sequel was made in 2006 for the PlayStation Portable titled Me & My Katamari, which used a different scenario and different gameplay which required players to utilize the d-pad or analog nub and the face buttons in absence of the dual analog sticks used in most Katamari games.

In 2007, the first mobile version of Katamari was released, Katamari Damacy Mobile. The phone game utilizes both tilt controls as well as more traditional controls.

Another sequel, Beautiful Katamari, marked the first major Katamari title to be released for a non-PlayStation console, as well as the first to support high-definition television resolutions of 720p, 1080i, and 1080p. While initially planned for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the former version was canceled.

PlayStation 3 gamers had to wait until 2009 for a Katamari game. Katamari Forever was mostly a compilation of levels from previous games, with a new story and a few new levels.

Touch My Katamari was released in 2012 exclusively for the PlayStation Vita. Tap My Katamari, a version for mobile devices with iOS or Android, was released in January 2016.[27]

Katamari Damacy Reroll is a remake of Katamari Damacy for the Nintendo Switch and PC, released on December 7, 2018,[28] and for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 20, 2020.[29]

We Love Katamari Reroll+ Royal Reverie is a remake of We Love Katamari for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series and PC, released on June 2, 2023.


  1. ^ Japanese: 塊魂, Hepburn: Katamari Damashii, "Soul of Clumps"


  1. ^ Edge Staff (July 27, 2015). "How Katamari became one of the most eccentric games ever". GamesRadar+.
  2. ^ Grau, Tomás (2019). "Japanese Exceptionalism and Play Hegemony: The Construction of Ludic Traditions in Video Games Criticism". Mechademia: Second Arc. 12 (1): 77–95. doi:10.5749/mech.12.1.0077. ISSN 1934-2489. JSTOR 10.5749/mech.12.1.0077. S2CID 239060954.
  3. ^ "Katamari Damacy Critic Reviews for PlayStation 2". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
  4. ^ "Katamari Damacy for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
  5. ^ "We Love Katamari Critic Reviews for PlayStation 2". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  6. ^ "We Love Katamari for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  7. ^ "Me & My Katamari Critic Reviews for PSP". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  8. ^ "Me & My Katamari for PSP". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  9. ^ "Beautiful Katamari for Xbox 360". Metacritic. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Beautiful Katamari for Xbox 360". GameRankings. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
  11. ^ ""塊魂"をケータイ向けにアレンジした2Dアクション──「塊魂くん」". ITmedia (in Japanese). October 30, 2007. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  12. ^ "i Love Katamari for iPhone/iPad Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  13. ^ "i Love Katamari for iOS (iPhone/iPad)". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  14. ^ "Katamari Forever Critic Reviews for PlayStation 3". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  15. ^ "Katamari Forever for PlayStation 3". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  16. ^ "EZwebに「オーイ塊魂くん」「直江兼続」「ファミリー麻雀3D」". Game Watch Impress (in Japanese). 28 October 2009. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  17. ^ "Katamari Amore for iOS". Metacritic. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  18. ^ "Katamari Amore for iOS". GameRankings. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  19. ^ "塊魂モバイルプラス". Matrixsoft. November 17, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  20. ^ "Touch My Katamari Critic Reviews for PlayStation Vita". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  21. ^ "Touch My Katamari for PlayStation Vita". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  22. ^ "塊魂モバイル2". 4Gamer.net. March 8, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  23. ^ "Tap My Katamari - Endless Cosmic Clicker". GameRankings. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  24. ^ "Amazing Katamari Damacy". GameRankings. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  25. ^ "Katamari Damacy Reroll for Switch". Metacritic. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  26. ^ "We Love Katamari Reroll+ Royal Reverie coming June 2". 8 February 2023.
  27. ^ Frank, Allegra (December 22, 2015). "Katamari Damacy is coming back to iOS and Android". Polygon. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  28. ^ Tarason, Dominic (December 7, 2018). "Katamari Damacy Reroll comes rolling on home today". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  29. ^ "Katamari Damacy Reroll for PS4, Xbox One launches November 20 in the west". Gematsu. September 17, 2020. Retrieved September 18, 2020.

External links[edit]

Media related to Katamari at Wikimedia Commons