Tap My Katamari (iOS, Android)

TAP_BOXSo there’s this new genre of mobile games called “Idle Clickers” or “Endless Clickers,” and all you do is tap on the screen repeatedly to make something happen.  Like build a town or whatever.  I’ve been getting countless press releases and announcements about these kinds of games, but so far I’ve refused to review them because I think the idea is stupid.  But when they made an Endless Clicker based on Katamari Damacy, one of my favorite video game series, I just had to try it, especially since I missed out on the other mobile Katamari offerings.  So here you go, a review of a game in a genre I probably won’t write about ever again.  Hopefully.  Tap My Katamari is available for free on iOS and Android, but reviewed on iPad here.

Just like in the other Katamari games, you play as the Prince of All Cosmos.  Your father, the King (who barfs rainbows), has tasked you to roll up objects with a sticky ball called a Katamari, so he can make stars out of them.  So it’s kind of like rolling a snowball.  You roll the ball forward in this game from left to right in 2-D fashion.  Each tap on the screen makes the ball roll.  And that’s all there is to it.

When you roll up an object, you get coins.  Coins can buy you all sorts of stuff. You can use them to level up the Prince so he rolls farther with each tap.  You can also buy power-ups for the Prince to use by tapping a button on the screen, and then you must wait a while to use it again.  You can also level up power-ups as well.  Coins can also call the Prince’s cousins.  Cousins are handy because they’ll get coins for you while you aren’t playing.  They can be levelled up as well.  Candy and Stars are two other types of currency, but they are harder to get.  They can buy things like temporary power-ups that’ll multiply your coins or level for a short while.  Sometimes you can also simply view an in-game ad to activate these powers as well.  Every now and then the King’s head will float by.  Tap it to get a treasure, like coins, candy, or a power-up that can be activated by viewing an ad.

After every ten distance markers, you’ll have to do a time attack mode where you must tap fast enough to reach the next distance before the timer runs out.  At first this is easy to do, but later on it gets harder.  Make sure you buy the charge power-up as soon as you can, as it’s the only way to make those distances in time.  And sometimes you just have to level up the Prince enough, too.  This is what really slows the game down later on.  Also, Katamari games are known for their music.  Here you have a selection of about half a dozen songs that are remixes of tunes from past Katamari games (Katamari on the Swing, Lonely Rolling Star, etc.).  But the remixes are very repetitive.  I would’ve liked to have the original, longer songs, and more of them to choose from. 

As expected, Tap My Katamari is a disappointment.  It’s sad that this is what some games have become.  I think the only people who would really like these Endless Clicker games are the ones who always feel they need to rap and drum their fingers on a table, which annoys everyone else.  This is one gaming trend I hope dies out quickly.


Kid Factor:

Nothing violent or objectionable here, although much, much later on in the game you can roll up living things like animals and people.  I would say this would be the perfect game for little kids, since all you do is tap on the screen.  But parental supervision is still recommended because of the ads and in-game purchases.

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