Katamari Damacy – Retro Review

Reviewed on November 17, 2016

There are games for everyone these days. From sports games for the sport fanatic to real time strategy titles for the introverted armchair general. But what about those that just want some mindless (albeit slightly masochistic) fun?  Katamari Damacy has you covered for that.

Released back in the ever distant time of 2004, Katamari Damacy is an action puzzle game where your main goal is to, in short, ruin someones day. The main game mode is the “Make A Star” mode, where you must reconstruct the stars and eventually the moon itself by rolling up everyday objects with your katamari  (A magical ball that will make anything of its size stick to it and grow bigger).

The concept alone is one of the strangest ideas in gaming to date, yet also one of the most original. The quirky aesthetics, unique game mechanics and top notch soundtrack make this game almost impossible to rip off.

Why are the stars missing exactly? Well I’m glad you asked, reader.

The primary story in Katamari Damacy deals with the aftermath of your father, the King of All Cosmos’ catastrophical binge-drinking spree which results in the destruction of all the stars and other celestial bodies. However, the story is mostly confined to the opening cut-scene to make way for the kick-ass gameplay.


“The controls are clunky at first, but end up flowing like a river of butter as you roll up everything…”

As previously mentioned, the core mechanic of  Katamari Damacy is rolling up everyday objects to rebuild stars. The controls are clunky at first, but end up flowing like a river of butter as you roll up everything from snails and Japanese snacks, to people and eventually entire islands.

The cathartic fun of the game is constantly being one-upped; as you complete a stage you unlock a few more, with your katamari growing accordingly.

There are a lot of obstacles for you to overcome, and making a quick getaway doesn’t always work out. You’ll often find yourself trying to avoid something, only to have it slam you away, which causes the size of you katamari to decrease. Thankfully, the game gives you a quick flip around which allows you to make a quick getaway without having to fumble around with the dodgy turning mechanics

What makes Katamari Damacy the charming experience is the soundtrack. It ranges from traditional chip-tune tracks, to heavy jazz and samba influenced groove

Most of the songs feature vocals vocal deliveries from popular J-pop artists, and you really find yourself humming along as you cause mass destruction of property.

The soundtrack really goes hand in hand with the visual style of Katamari Damacy.  The game looks like it was carefully assembled from super colourful paper sheets, and gives off the vibe that is was made by a child, rather than for one.


  • Unique gameplay
  • Charming art style
  • One of the best soundtracks to grace gaming


  • Super clunky controls
  • Slightly repetitive

Katamari Damacy is quite possibly one of the best games from the PS2 era and is one of my favourites. It is the one game I come back to and play when I’m feeling down and need a pick me up. The senseless destruction of everything around you just makes you feel better.