Tap My Katamari (iOS) Review

By André Eriksson 15.07.2016

Review for Tap My Katamari on iOS

The King of All Cosmos is back again to put his little prince and his cousins to work to fix the troubles he has caused. This time in mobile format, and in the form of a clicker! Will the Katamari franchise do itself justice in a clicker format, or will the star not shine as bright as Namco Bandai intended?

For anyone who is into free to play games, the trend of clickers can't have passed unnoticed. The genre is the Skinner box in its purest form, where players do little more than just click a button to earn currency they can use to upgrade their clicking powers for more rewards that can be used to buy more clicking power. That's all there is to Tap My Katamari, like in many clickers on the market, but why would anyone ever play that? Because of the love of high numbers and increasing rewards, of course!

The power of the Skinner box named Tap My Katamari is strong indeed, thanks to a wonderful design both visually and mechanically that makes the rewards feel real and important. The most impactful decision that has formed this feeling is the mix of permanent and temporal rewards. The latter are bought for coins, which are easy to earn in trillions and above as the game progresses, and are used to level the prince and buy him cousins, who both help him push the Katamari and increase the money earned while AFK and from bonus events.

The permanent rewards are bought with two currencies: candy and stars. The first one is earned by doing dailies, randomly delivered by the king when actively playing, and of course, in true F2P fashion, through in-game purchases. These give the prince access to special cousins that give permanent power-ups. The second currency, stars, is gained through "prestiging" the Katamari, which obliterates all the prince's levels and non-candy-bought cousins and exchanges the progress for the stars that are used to buy really powerful power-ups to be able to create bigger stars faster.

Screenshot for Tap My Katamari on iOS

This duality in creating a star and seeing those big numbers, only to destroy it to once more see smaller numbers while getting a permanent reward creates an addicting feeling that is very difficult to resist. It creates an attachment to not only the current Katamari, but also to the overall permanent progression for the prince. This, mixed with visuals that show that progress and almost ridiculously high numbers (so high, actually, that the developers made up numbers on their own to describe them) will keep people glued to their phones, tapping to make their Katamari bigger.

Even though the clicker concept is strong in Tap My Katamari, it does have its problems. The greatest problem is that each and every cousin has their own column, and they are badly organized. It would be great if there was a way to sort them on the list in different ways, or, at the very least, put the ones that are purchasable at the top, preferably (but not necessarily) sorted by cost efficiency. It is an annoyance to scroll through the menus while at the same time trying to click the ever-growing Katamari, which ruins the game's otherwise beautiful flow.

Besides these issues, Tap My Katamari is a good clicker that offers a very addictive experience to players who are fans of big numbers and visual progression. While in many games of this type, the goal is solely to see these growing numbers, in Tap My Katamari there is always that greater purpose of ensuring that the next star can grow bigger faster. Since new power-ups are obtained by destroying the previous star, it creates a never-ending circle of creation and destruction, truly fit for the theme of the franchise, and that makes it feel like a Katmari game.

Screenshot for Tap My Katamari on iOS

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Tap My Katamari is a big star in the clicker genre. It does suffer from some common quality of life issues the franchise brings though, which sometimes make it a pain. The biggest issue comes from buying cousins from the far-too-large list. It would be preferable if the list had a sorting function, or at least a way to filter out those you can't buy. While normally these kinds of issues aren't a big thing, they end up being that in a genre where the gameplay is highly limited to two actions: clicking and buying new stuff that makes the clicking more effective.

Developer

Namco Bandai

Publisher

Namco Bandai

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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