Game Review: We Love Katamari REROLL + Royal Reverie is a rollin’ good time

We Love Katamari REROLL + Royal Reverie

The cult hit franchise Katamari is back with a remastered take of the much-loved We Love Katamari game from the Playstation 2 era. Titled ‘We Love Katamari REROLL + Royal Reverie”, this powered-up version of the original has improved graphics, new features and various additional quality-of-life upgrades.

For those uninitiated into the world of Katamari, the word katamari (塊) in Japanese means ‘clump’. Aptly named, since the entire premise of the game revolves around you pushing an ultra-adhesive sticky ball that is gradually able to pick up everything in sight.

They See Me Rollin’

Story-wise you play the role of the Prince of All Cosmos, doing the bidding of your unhinged father, the King of All Cosmos. The game picks up right after the events of Katamari Damacy, where your aforementioned father has destroyed the universe in a drunken stupor, forcing you to rebuild it all through your katamari rolls. By now, katamari is exceedingly popular, with fans all over the world, for reasons not really specified. But as the compliant son that you are, you continue to roll the ball and do the dirty work on behalf of the King who responds to the wishes of the people.

We Love Katamari REROLL + Royal Reverie

You’ll start off in a side-scrolling meadow where random people call out at you, asking for katamari-related help. Some requests are simple enough, such as ‘cleaning a room’ and the level design will mirror it by placing you inside a bedroom with far more than just a few messy socks. The goals are dictated by the King and vary from achieving a certain diametric size within a set time frame or collecting enough of a specific type of item, such as flowers. Compared to the original game, expect sharper graphics and more vibrant colours, fitting the game’s zany aesthetic. The menu is a little more user-friendly when it comes to level selection and you can now even curate your own music playlist to jam along to as you roll your katamari around.

As you clear more levels, more plot points are revealed, revolving around your father’s troubled childhood. This story arc is also from the original We Love Katamari and is presumably to build empathy in the player as you’ll soon understand why he is the way he is; purple tights and all. Unique to the remaster though, is the Royale Reverie component, which features a game mod allowing you to roll as a young version of the King and introduces stages that correspond to the childhood cutscenes.

Gameplay-wise, you’ll just be maneuvering your katamari around, rolling up small bits and bobs until you’re big enough to roll up animals, vehicles and in some stages, buildings. For my PC playthrough, I stuck to my trusty PlayStation controller with all of the muscle memory coming back to me instantly from sweaty high school years, doing my best to not disappoint good ol’ Daddy Cosmos. For the most part, you’ll utilise the two analog sticks to move forwards and backwards, while pushing them in the opposite directions can help build up speed. There are a few other controls that need to be picked up but it’s not long before everything feels intuitive.

Keep Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’ (uh)

The game is honestly pretty low stakes, I’m not sure if this is just the genius role (ba-dum-tss) I was born to play but I was able to clear every floor on the first go. The key lies in guesstimating your katamari size so you know if you’re able to roll something up. Overestimating your katamari will cause you to bump into the object instead which halts your roll and in some cases, can even knock existing items off your katamari. Huge kudos must be given to the sound design of the game because picking up items is so satisfying, in an almost ASMR tingles kind of way. As the size of your katamari increases, your perspective of the world changes too and it’s not long before that annoying dog that keeps knocking into you soon becomes fodder for your insatiable ball.

We Love Katamari REROLL + Royal Reverie

One particular level I thoroughly enjoyed was a race track-themed level that felt like a deranged Mario Kart race since the goal isn’t to be first but to basically swallow everybody else up. You start off slow because you’re small compared to the race vehicles but with each lap completed you get larger and larger, finally demolishing everything and everyone in your path.

Final Thoughts

We Love Katamari REROLL + Royal Reverie is the epitome of a fever dream turned video game. From its silly storyline to bonkers gameplay, it’s the kind of game you could pick up on a bad day to cheer yourself up because it is scientifically impossible to be angry while playing such a cosy game. While it might not be Game of The Year worthy, it’s a reminder that not every great game needs to be. And when it’s all said and done, what’s life without rolling with the punches? I’ll see myself out.


Highlights: Fun mechanics, great improvements on the original game
Lowlights: Pretty much the same game, not much new content
Developer: MONKEYCRAFT Co. Ltd.
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Available: Now

Review conducted on PC with a pre-release code provided by the publisher.