We Love Katamari REROLL+ Royal Reverie (Switch) Review: Let the Good Times Roll

Our review of the incredibly-titled We Love Katamari REROLL+Royal Reverie, developed by Now Production. Available now for Switch (reviewed), PS5, PS4, Xbox X/S, Xbox One, and Windows.

We Love Katamari REROLL+ Royal Reverie (Switch) Review: Let the Good Times Roll


Na, na na na na …


…na na na na …


[sing it with me now!] … KATAMARI DAMACY!

We Love Katamari REROLL+ Royal Reverie (Switch) Review: Let the Good Times Roll


Katamari Damacy is brilliant.

Its sequel, We Love Katamari, released in 2005, is even more brilliant.

Now, We Love Katamari is back, blessed with an appropriately absurd rebranding as We Love Katamari REROLL+Royal Reverie, the remaster we didn’t know we needed.

On its face, Katamari is silly: you control a little prince dude (or princess dudette), rolling around a little sticky ball which picks up everything it touches. At first, you’re picking up paper clips and bottle caps, but as your ball picks up more objects and grows in size, you’re soon rolling up chairs, tables, rocking horses, kittens, people, cars, trees, that guy’s house…

So please, let me assure you: Katamari is just as silly in action. Gosh, what a gloriously silly game. The aesthetic – chunky, blocky, colourful graphics with a hint of psychedelia about them – the presentation – a nonsense-talking King of All Cosmos who asks you to build stars by rolling up everything in sight – and definitely the music. Na, na na na na na na na na na na… Sorry, what was I saying again?

We Love Katamari REROLL+ Royal Reverie (Switch) Review: Let the Good Times Roll


Katamari is a prime example of what happens when you give a true visionary the license to do whatever the heck they want.

In this case, gaming auteur Keita Takahashi – who avowedly hates the idea of sequels, and only agreed to make this one when publisher Namco threatened to do it without him – is the man behind the madness.

Inspired, presumably, by snowmen (or maybe by lint rollers?), Takahashi concocted the idea of Katamari  back in the early days of the 21st century, working as a young would-be game designer in Namco’s art department. It would take a couple years before anyone took the idea seriously, but when the original Katamari Damacy (which loosely translates as “spirit clump”) debuted in 2004, it proved a sleeper hit on the PlayStation 2.

At its core, Katamari is incredibly simple, though the controls do take a few minutes to get used to: start with a small ball, roll it forward, watch it grow. With few exceptions, pretty much everything you can see in the world of Katamari can be picked up – even the stuff which, when you first start playing, appears to be far too large for you to ever absorb into your teeny-tiny katamari ball.

We Love Katamari REROLL+ Royal Reverie (Switch) Review: Let the Good Times Roll


We Love Katamari is exactly what you would expect from a sequel to such an oddity. The core gameplay is exactly the same, if slightly easier to control. There are more worlds to explore and more objects to roll up. There are also some funny and altogether delightful spins on the theme, like a level where you roll up fireflies, or another where you control a sumo wrestler trying to get bigger than his opponent.

Happily, We Love Katamari also introduced multiplayer to the series. One of those modes involves competitive snowman building (of course), but, in keeping with the anarchic spirit of Katamari, its main mode is co-operative: both players have to steer the same ball. I mean, this is just ridiculous, but of course it works. While Takahashi-san could easily have made a game where two players race to grow larger katamari balls, he thought it would be way funnier if they were instead forced to work together. Go ahead, just try to navigate a magic lint roller around cartoon Tokyo with someone who’s trying to pull you in the opposite direction. We’ll get back to you when you stop laughing.

The remaster of this now-twenty-year-old game really doesn’t add much, but that’s fine. The new HD visuals are widescreen, but otherwise maintain the low-fi charm of the original. There are a handful of new bonus levels, but they’re basically remixes of existing stages. Mostly, it’s an excuse to go back to the glory days (it’s debatable which of the Katamaris is the better game, though I’m tempted to give the edge to the first because it was such a singular, original creation) on a modern system.


Final score: 9/10 wads of chewing gum rolling down a hill.

Visit the official website for We Love Katamari REROLL+Royal Reverie here.