Developer: Namco Networks America Inc. Games
Price: $4.99 Download on the App Store
I Love Katamari is the newest iteration of a game that went through a major overhaul from the original version. The new app has good responsiveness and some solid features, but a few hiccups and some odd gameplay still keep it from being a must-have for iPhone/iPod touch gamers.
The premise is that you are on a mission to please the King of All Cosmos (who looks like a hybrid of Peter Pan's Captain Hook and Maleficant from Sleeping Beauty) by accumulating large amounts of junk. This is done by rolling a giant, super-sticky ball for collecting pencils, pieces of caramel, thumbtacks and pretty much anything else that will stick to it.
Controls involve tipping your iPhone/iPod touch in the direction you wish to go, along with pressing on the left or right side of the screen for moving in either of those directions. The controls work fairly well — and are a heavy improvement over the original version. However, I did get stuck from time to time when trying to roll around a large object or when the Katamari was large. The other downside is the larger your Katamari, the slower the game moves as you must roll at an excrutiatingly slow pace.
There are several other options for gameplay. Along with trying to gain stuff for the Weird King and move into more challenging levels there is an option to freely roll around and accumulate stuff. Also, Time Attack Mode puts you on a timed mission while Exact Size Challenge Mode pushes you to create a Katamari of specific dimensions. Such diversity in handheld gameplay is a nice option which does not always appear.
I Love Katamari is a fairly well polished game and delivers on some rather unusual interaction. However, you have to be up for some ready quirky gameplay and characters in order to enjoy it.