AMAZING KATAMARI DAMACY is an endless runner released in 2016 by Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe.
Katamari Damacy is a concept that blends well with the infinite runner genre. The console game was about moving your ball over small objects to make your ball larger, and this game does exactly that. You can't control your speed and obstacles are abound. You can slide left to right(not on a track) and jump.
Obstacles include objects that are larger than you, walls, and "black holes". Touching a black hole is an instant game over. If you hit enough objects or walls that are bigger than you consecutively, The King of All Cosmos gets angry and will smite you and cause a game over. This condition is fairly easy to avoid because as you progress through an area, more and more of the obstacles become roll-uppable objects.
Other pickups are cousins that give you powers such as a shield or a magnetic ball, tokens to build up a "rocket"(loot box that opens on a timer and gives Coins/Rubies), and Coins.
This gameplay would be very enjoyable and quaint if it weren't for the lag. Unfortunately for AMAZING KATAMARI DAMACY, lag is present in every area to some degree. Sometimes, the swipe controls will glitch out and cause a game over. Also, after a continue, the controls will sometimes lag as well, causing almost an instantaneous second game over.
Were this gameplay working it would have a decently high score. The Katamari series blends well with the runner-style of gameplay but just doesn't work when it needs to, and is too punishing.
AMAZING KATAMARI DAMACY has two currencies: Coins and Rubies. Coins are used to upgrade your cousins to make their effects last longer. Rubies are used as the "continue" currency, and allow you to subvert a game over. Ruby cost doubles each time you die, and Ruby generation is extremely low. Coins are gained through certain highlighted rolled-up items, a few cousin power-ups, and as a reward at the end of each run through. You also receive Coins and Rubies when you open a rocket, but those are on a long timer, and you can get maybe one or two rubies if you're lucky.
Without paying anything there are only two "areas" to explore. After you pay $4.99 USD you unlock an extra four areas to extend the gameplay. The game is really short without paying, and with paying, you will still lose quickly. Also, the game has advertisements available in place of continues sometimes- other times, you'll get an ad randomly on the main menu.
Overall, it's a real shame that you can't remove the adds via IAP. Also, continues are still prohibitively expensive and if you want to get to the end, you have to be really good and lucky with the lag. Spending the 5 dollars to extend the gameplay does little to let you enjoy those areas.
Katamari Damacy as a series has a unique aesthetic. It's present in this game in spades and since the style originated on the Playstation 2, detail level is faithfully low. The Prince, The King of All Cosmos, and The Queen of All Cosmos are all in the opening cutscene, and The King likes to yell emojis during the loading screens.
There is only one music track, and that's the introduction song from the first game, The iconic "Katamari on the Rocks". It becomes quite annoying after multiple back to back runs and I wish they added any other songs from the game series as there are some golden gems in there.
There are daily missions available and loot boxes are openable only on a cooldown. That's about it.
Bandai Namco makes a ton of free-to-play mobile titles with good support over multiple years. Over a year after the inital Canada-only release, the game was updated to version 1.1.0, and then to 1.2.1 and released globally. It may be that AMAZING KATAMARI DAMACY will receive some support in the future.
On about a weekly basis, I wish for a new Katamari game. This game might be the closest we'll get to that.
On the surface, it's satisfying for a playthrough or two, and dedicated fans will enjoy rolling, hearing the music, and enjoying the Katamari atmosphere. However, it would be nice if the game ran at a decent framerate. Or if it had any unlocks besides six cousins.
If Bandai Namco chose to invest a little more into this mobile title it could be a smash. But right now there isn't enough.