I Love Katamari review

Back in 2004, a low-budget game produced by Namco called Katamari Damacy took the PlayStation 2 world by storm. Its bizarre premise and addictive gameplay proved infectious enough to merit a series of sequels - and now an iPhone version.

The game involves a trippy young Prince, and the aim is to run around cosmic 3D environments rolling every object in your wake into a ball - the ball is your ‘katamari’. You push a katamari through several levels and increasingly large objects that stick to the ball. Once enough objects have been picked up (including cats, dogs, humans, buildings, giant octopi, land masses and so on), you move on to the next level.

You use the accelerometer to control the game. Simply tilt the handset to control the character’s movements. For sharp U-turns, press the sides of the touchscreen or hit a button at the bottom of the screen.

The iPhone experience of I Love Katamari isn’t quite the same as playing on a console, but the heart of the game is still there. Namco has done a great job with the graphics and music and kept the humour of the original game intact.

While it’s great to see this game come to the iPhone, there are some drawbacks. I Love Katamari is processor-intensive - even short sessions will quickly drain your battery. The frame rate is inconsistent too, which hurts the game’s performance. The controls can also be a problem, as you may find yourself tilting the iPhone so far forward that the game is almost out of your view.

OUR VERDICT

While I Love Katamari is a fun way to kill some time and the learning curve isn’t steep, the final product feels more like a technical demo than a finished game. For fans of the series, though, it’s _4.99 well spent, and could be a software update away from being a classic.

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