Wattam review for PS4

Platform: PS4
Also On: PC
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Developer: Funomena
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

I feel like you?re either going to really love Wattam, or hate it. After all, it?s the newest game from the same guy who created Katamari Damacy — and, as much as I absolutely love that series, I can see why Extreme Japanese Quirk might be a little off-putting to some.

In fact, if anything, Wattam one-ups Katamari in the weirdness stakes. With Katamari, it?s possible to at least describe it fairly easily: you have to roll up as many things as you can. Admittedly, when you factor in the King of All Cosmos and his whole deal, things start getting a little out there, but on the whole, it?s easy to explain.

Whereas with Wattam…I barely have any idea. You start off with a single block, named the Mayor, who gradually has to put the entire world back together — except it?s not nearly as straightforward as that sounds. The Mayor befriends a rock, who befriends another rock, which somehow leads to plants running around. Before you know it, various spaceships start docking and moving around from planet/platform to planet/platform, and you?re doing things like using a giant mouth to eat people and turn them into poop, or leading a camera and a fan in a celebratory circle dance around a chestnut tree.

Oh, and also, everything is alive, and you can control all of it.

There?s bits and pieces of plot here and there, but the gist of the game is carrying out tasks to make more spaceships appear, and getting more and more sentient things to control. I?d say it spirals out of control, but that?s more or less the point of the game: you have to create a big, thriving world, where all the beings are happy and content and being blown up and eaten and turned into poop.

As a diehard Katamari fan, I loved it. Wattam has the same kind of the bright colours and joyful gameplay that hooked me on Katamari, and this game features the added bonus of not being governed by clock, which gives a lot more time to run around simply have fun with what you?re doing. As someone who loves games that don?t take themselves too seriously, I had a blast here.

I wouldn?t say that Wattam is flawless, though. The camera is a little cumbersome, requiring that you turn it with your R2/L2 triggers. It never feels natural, and even well into the game I found myself accidentally using the right stick, which serves a different function here entirely (switching between the many, many characters). Further, that switching function is also a bit of a pain, especially when you couple it with the wonky camera, since you sometimes need to use very specific characters, and the game never makes it easy on you.

The worst part of Wattam, though, is probably its performance. Even though I was playing it on a PS4 Pro, it still had trouble showing everything on the screen when the world got a bit busy. Slowdowns happened once in awhile, as did stuttering, and any time a new ship appeared, you could practically see the PS4?s hamster wheel turning.

None of these issues were enough to take away from my overall enjoyment of Wattam, though. It?s quirky enough and happy enough to win over all but the most hardened of hearts, and unless you believe games should be serious business at all times, it?s well worth checking out.

Annapurna Interactive provided us with a Wattam PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: A-