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KATAMARI Amore Review

By , on September 29, 2011


KATAMARI Amore
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Improved control scheme; intuitive one-touch controls as well as classic twin-stick and tilt versions.
  • Fun, casual whacky style common to KATAMARI; roll up EVERYTHING.

CONS

  • Limited content; six levels with a relatively small amount of explorable space.

VERDICT

KATAMARI's second release on the App Store could have taken the series so much further, but instead it's simply content in polishing what came years before while metering out its content in dribs and drabs.


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Games within the KATAMARI series by Namco Bandai very rarely need an introduction as the setup is quite usually always the same: The King of All Cosmos has his eyes set upon collecting various interesting and wonderful objects from planet Earth and the poor 5cm tall Prince must roll it up in his 'Katamari' to satisfy the King's desire. What makes Amore so exciting is that it's not the first Katamari game to hit the App Store, so expectations are high when you consider how much more raw power is at the developer's tips for this release.

Alas what we get is more or less a rehash of what has come before.

Initially players are given only one mode in one of the levels to whet their appetite, but the rest of the content (six levels with four modes each and a bonus PAC-MAN stage) will require an In App Purchase. Two other packs are teased in this manner.

After waiting almost three years for the sequel, players are treated to a variety of gameplay 'advances' such as the addition of single and twin-stick controls in addition to the already available tilt controls. While the accelerometer sounds handy for a game involving rolling a ball, in practice it can be much harder as you struggle to calibrate the controls to a comfortable position. The twin-stick controls feel much like those used in the console version, while the single-stick remains the only intuitive control scheme for newer players or those who'd prefer not to use up the limited screen space with two thumbs.

Your task as the Prince is to simply roll up as many objects as possible to increase the size and mass of the magic Katamari ball you're pushing, eventually rolling up the object required to satisfy the King. Alternate modes provide Time Attack, 'Exact Size' and Eternal challenges, allowing you to revisit each stage with different goals, adding some chance for replay value.

Where KATAMARI Amore really hits things out of the park is in its presentation, providing a slick and charmingly cute rendered-down version of the already abstract KATAMARI Damacy universe along with all the odd appeal that comes from its bleeping and blooping soundtrack and sound effects. Fans of the series will get a kick out of this pint-sized mobile version of the game they love, but it's hard not to feel a little short-changed given the circumstances.

Screenshots

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