Touch My Katamari (Import)
| Touch My Katamari

You'd have thought that having galactic proportions would get you some respect. Even more so if you could create stars and planets just by chomping on balls of trash.

Imagine how deflating it would be to discover that people only consider you to be as awesome as a school headmaster. (No offence to any headmasters reading.)

This is the predicament faced by Touch My Katamari's King of All Cosmos. To impress the crowds and make himself feel better, he needs your help.

Specifically, he needs you to play with a Katamari, a super-sticky ball that gathers up all that it comes into contact with. The aim of the game is to roll your Katamari and grow it to a certain size within the time limit.

Following the King's wacky instructions, you set off in a room collecting tiny objects such as drawing pins, lipsticks, and erasers. It's a riot to return and blunder through these humble beginnings later on, picking up the chairs, tables, and everything else you previously had to clamber over.

Everything you see - toilet paper, strawberries, cats, and even the odd Vita - can eventually be picked up as long as your Katamari is big enough. As you grow and gain the ability to pick up increasingly large items, you're allowed to venture out of the house, into the garden, and ultimately out into the big wide world.

Keep on rolling

Katamari's previous forays onto mobile platforms have been hampered by awkward controls. Fans of the series will be delighted to know that the dual analogue sticks of the Vita bring back the home console controls.

You push the sticks in tandem to roll the Katamari, just as you would use levers in a tank. It takes some work to get used to turning by pushing the sticks in different directions, but it works wonderfully with the basic rolling movement of the game.

For the newcomer, the new default controls will probably feel more comfortable. Using the left stick for movement and the right stick to turn the camera feels like second nature.

Whichever method you choose, there are a myriad buttons, touches or swipes for reversing, stopping, jumping and other manoeuvres. These are introduced rather briefly in a tutorial, but they are as simple as they are numerous.

While you could conceivably control everything using just touch controls, you're much more likely to rely on the sticks and buttons and use the touch for the new abilities.

Using either the front of rear touch, you can pinch and stretch your Katamari into a long sausage to pick up swathes of items, which is great for grabbing a whole bunch of tiny bits and bobs at one time.

You can also squash it into a rolling disk, giving a bit of a speed boost, which helps when time is of the essence. The different shapes allow you to squeeze into tight spaces that were previously inaccessible, too.

Eat my goal

The King will often come up with additional missions to add some flavour to your ever-engorging clump. Whether it's tidying a room or collecting gold bars, diamond rings, and other luxuries, it'll make your ball-rolling antics that bit more challenging.

You can also compete against friends or other players met through Near, beating challenges and highscores for even more Sweets, the game's currency. Sweets are traded for in-game unlocks, the cheapest of which are music tracks or costumes for the King. At the top end are new game modes, like Infinite, which does away with time-limits.

Touch My Katamari retains the blocky, cartoony style of previous instalments. It's not the super realism that the Vita is undoubtedly capable of, but it's a great fit for a whimsical game. Although simple in design, the sheer number and variety of items strewn about each playing area is astounding.

The short levels, the longest of which is about eight minutes, make Touch My Katamari perfect for picking up, having a quick roll around, and putting away again. Like another popular kind of ball, it's fairly basic but it'll keep bouncing back into your hands all the same.

Touch My Katamari (Import)

Touch My Katamari is a great little timewaster. All of the fun and craziness of the series, coupled with the best controls the game has seen. If you've never played a Katamari game, there isn't a better place to start than right here