A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game teaches players to be persistent, even in the face of criticism. (The King is often a discouraging or condescending voice, but that doesn't stop the Prince from trying.) That patience is also required in later levels, when meeting the game's requirements is more challenging.
Positive Role Models
The King is hardly a positive influence. He's overly critical, self-obsessed, and worried only about adulation by people. (He cringes when compared to a principal.) That self-absorbed attitude, though, is the key to the game's humor. Another character, Goro, puts off studying so he can play video games and surf the Internet. But the prince is an obedient son.
Ease of Play
The game has a decent tutorial and shows movement combinations onscreen to familiarize players with the controls. Learning how to maneuver a Katamari takes a little bit of time, but once it's mastered, the game is suitably challenging without becoming frustrating.
Violence & Scariness
The Katamari, a big sticky ball, runs over objects and people, adding them to its size. People may yelp, but no suffering is depicted. Gunshots can be heard when you're near police officers, but are never shown.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One of the characters you meet is obsessed with "babes" and in one scene struggles to decide whether to buy a magazine that is hinted to be adult-themed. The king also wears a tight-fitting body suit with a sizable bulge in front.
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Products & Purchases
The game's introductory screen on the Vita offers a link to the Katamari store -- and there's another way to visit it in-game. Here players can buy items for the King, new music tracks, and game modes.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Touch My Katamari is a portable version of the popular puzzle/arcade game. As with other titles in the series, players will try to build the biggest ball of objects they can, under the sarcastic and discouraging eye of the King of All Cosmos. The King is a pompous buffoon, but his attitude is played humorously. His body-suit is skin-tight, though, and might be a bit too revealing for younger players. The game asks players to run over objects to collect them, and people caught in the stickiness may yelp, but no one is shown as hurt.
Is It Any Good?
Like previous Katamari games, this entry in the series is mainly about pushing a ball around and gathering objects to make it bigger. There are often time limits in which to accomplish this and minimum sizes you must achieve, but it's basically the same goal on each level. It's fun, addictive gameplay, but there's very little that hasn't been a part of previous installments.
The series trademark humor is intact -- and it even winks at the string of disappointing past sequels. Unfortunately, Touch My Katamari does not move things forward enough to stand out from the pack. While it's a very good portable version of the game, the series has been around long enough that there doesn't seem a need to take it on the go. True fans will have fun -- but can probably wait until the price drops.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.