Namco has recently released I Love Katamari [App Store] for the iPhone and iPod touch through the iTunes App Store.

I Love Katamari for the iPhone is the fourth installment in the Katamari Damacy series of puzzle games.  The series, which is spread across various platforms (PS2, PSP, Xbox 360, and iPhone), involves rolling a magical, highly adhesive ball called a katamari around various locations, collecting increasingly larger objects.  It sounds bizarre--and it is--but the series has received high praise from reviewers and collected a cult following of gamers.

As the story goes in this iPhone release,

The King of All Cosmos has accidentally knocked all the stars out of the sky during a crazy night out. It is up to the pint-sized Prince to put the twinkle back in the heavens in i Love Katamari. i Love Katamari delivers an experience only possible on the iPhone.

Have a look at a gameplay video of the PS2's Katamari Damacy which is similar to the iPhone version:

The game features several play modes: Story Mode (find and roll-up the King's requested object), Time Attack Mode (roll up as much as possible in a limited time), Exact Size Challenge Mode (match exactly a requested katamari size), and Eternal Mode (roll at your own pace without any time or size limit).

I Love Katamari has been rather well received by our readers, but some accurately note that as the katamari increases in size, the framerate of the game dips to a rather low level, making for sluggish gameplay.  And, frankly, this iPhone installment is somewhat graphically bland as compared to the earlier console versions.  But unique gamplay it does offer--in droves.

Hopefully the performance issues will be addressed in future updates.

App Store Link: I Love Katamari, $7.99

  • Mike

    WOW, how had no idea this was in the works. I may have to check it out.

  • Jesper

    HOLY FUCKING SHIT I FUCKING LOVE THE PS2 VeRSION :DDDDDDDDDDDDDD

    THIS IS GONNE BE AWESOME ;DDDDDD

  • Mike

    WOW, how had no idea this was in the works. I may have to check it out.

  • Jesper

    HOLY FUCKING SHIT I FUCKING LOVE THE PS2 VeRSION :DDDDDDDDDDDDDD

    THIS IS GONNE BE AWESOME ;DDDDDD

  • http://www.petercooper.co.uk/ Peter Cooper

    Was very excited to get this.. but after playing the first level, to say that it's slow and hard to control would be a kind understatement. There's a complete lack of immediacy in control (a DropShip type control system with thumbs on the screen would probably work better) and it's so laggy. I'd rather the graphics were significant worse if it meant more responsiveness.

    • Sonicfan7

      you know its alot faster on the iphone 4 and ipod touch 4g but your already know that i guess.

  • http://www.petercooper.co.uk/ Peter Cooper

    Was very excited to get this.. but after playing the first level, to say that it's slow and hard to control would be a kind understatement. There's a complete lack of immediacy in control (a DropShip type control system with thumbs on the screen would probably work better) and it's so laggy. I'd rather the graphics were significant worse if it meant more responsiveness.

  • vectr

    "Hopefully... addressed in future updates."

    An all too familiar refrain.

  • vectr

    "Hopefully... addressed in future updates."

    An all too familiar refrain.

  • http://appstoreblog.com.br Nick Ellis

    Why does the iPhone version looks much worse than the PS2 one?

  • http://www.GalleyTech.com/ Galley

    Uh, I think Jesper is just a tad excited.

  • http://appstoreblog.com.br Nick Ellis

    Why does the iPhone version looks much worse than the PS2 one?

  • http://www.GalleyTech.com/ Galley

    Uh, I think Jesper is just a tad excited.

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  • Ahiru

    awful.

    it does not suffer from bad framerate. the thing is, it runs in SLOW MOTION. yeah, the game runs smooth, sooo smooth it takes over 10 minutes in real time to run 6 in-game minutes...

    the only framerate issue i've encountered was during the "level up" interlude (when your, uhm, ball gets bigger).

    and the controls are... killing me - frustrating to say the least - no responsiveness at all.

    wait until they update it. not worth as it is, unplayable. (tested on an iphone 3G)

  • Ahiru

    awful.

    it does not suffer from bad framerate. the thing is, it runs in SLOW MOTION. yeah, the game runs smooth, sooo smooth it takes over 10 minutes in real time to run 6 in-game minutes...

    the only framerate issue i've encountered was during the "level up" interlude (when your, uhm, ball gets bigger).

    and the controls are... killing me - frustrating to say the least - no responsiveness at all.

    wait until they update it. not worth as it is, unplayable. (tested on an iphone 3G)

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    @Ahiru - I agree that it is somehow more "slow motion" than "low fps," bizarre as it may sound.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    @Ahiru - I agree that it is somehow more "slow motion" than "low fps," bizarre as it may sound.

  • http://www.twiddlegeek.com Tony

    I really enjoyed Katamari Damacy, but never had a chance to play any of the sequels. Shame it sounds the performance isn't quite up to par, as this would be a good opportunity otherwise.

  • http://www.twiddlegeek.com Tony

    I really enjoyed Katamari Damacy, but never had a chance to play any of the sequels. Shame it sounds the performance isn't quite up to par, as this would be a good opportunity otherwise.

  • wintermoot
  • wintermoot
  • Ahiru

    @wintermoot

    it's more like a battery drainer than CPU usage. process in background, generally (not entirely excluding the % usage), tend not to over-use the CPU. something like an inert app, waiting for a chance to run (unless of course it's like an antivirus or "read-each-file-and-process-every-second" type of app). nonetheless, turning 3G/EDGE, wi-fi and bluetooth off can help saving battery.

    but we all know the main issue is that the 1st gen iPod touch has less hardware-power than all iphone/touch models - plus it has no airplane/3G mode to "help" a bit more on CPU usage (well, less features than an iPhone and still has less performance...

    anyways, i do have a 1st gen ipod touch and an iphone 3g - never "really" noticed "any" performance differences so far. and this game in particular does not suffer a performance issue - they just made it sluggish and slow, the framerate is stable (the only "laggish" part this game showed was the moment you katamari gets bigger with a flashy motion blur and stuff).

    i do believe that jailbroken devices with 3rd party apps and stuff might have MORE background process than a regular device, which of course, may drain CPU usage.

  • Ahiru

    @wintermoot

    it's more like a battery drainer than CPU usage. process in background, generally (not entirely excluding the % usage), tend not to over-use the CPU. something like an inert app, waiting for a chance to run (unless of course it's like an antivirus or "read-each-file-and-process-every-second" type of app). nonetheless, turning 3G/EDGE, wi-fi and bluetooth off can help saving battery.

    but we all know the main issue is that the 1st gen iPod touch has less hardware-power than all iphone/touch models - plus it has no airplane/3G mode to "help" a bit more on CPU usage (well, less features than an iPhone and still has less performance...

    anyways, i do have a 1st gen ipod touch and an iphone 3g - never "really" noticed "any" performance differences so far. and this game in particular does not suffer a performance issue - they just made it sluggish and slow, the framerate is stable (the only "laggish" part this game showed was the moment you katamari gets bigger with a flashy motion blur and stuff).

    i do believe that jailbroken devices with 3rd party apps and stuff might have MORE background process than a regular device, which of course, may drain CPU usage.

  • Jesper

    damn, I'm almost as disspointed by this port as I am with the GTA4 port :(

  • Jesper

    damn, I'm almost as disspointed by this port as I am with the GTA4 port :(

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  • Surely

    I have this game for the PSP and it's not as good as the console version of Katmari Damacy that I have for Playstation. I'll get this one when the price drops or if the reported performance improves.

  • Surely

    I have this game for the PSP and it's not as good as the console version of Katmari Damacy that I have for Playstation. I'll get this one when the price drops or if the reported performance improves.

  • Mackinstyle

    GAH. I honestly thought, "wow the iPhone can do those graphics?" But no, you just posted a PS2 video as if nobody has seen Katamari before. 99% of the videos you post are the actual iPhone gameplay, so this upset me =(.

    I say good day to you, sir. <3

  • Mackinstyle

    GAH. I honestly thought, "wow the iPhone can do those graphics?" But no, you just posted a PS2 video as if nobody has seen Katamari before. 99% of the videos you post are the actual iPhone gameplay, so this upset me =(.

    I say good day to you, sir. <3

  • wk

    The controls are ridiculous. I had the katamari at 1m big, and to roll it down the street i had to put the iphone 180 degrees facing down to move, almost impossible to see the screen.

  • wk

    The controls are ridiculous. I had the katamari at 1m big, and to roll it down the street i had to put the iphone 180 degrees facing down to move, almost impossible to see the screen.

  • http://www.ferddinandcc.org/ Lester

    Start your own iPhone gaming site, Mackinstyle.

  • http://www.ferddinandcc.org/ Lester

    Start your own iPhone gaming site, Mackinstyle.

  • stemilan0

    isn't strange that after all of these hours isn't there any gameplay video on youtube?

  • stemilan0

    isn't strange that after all of these hours isn't there any gameplay video on youtube?

  • Newjorg

    Gameplay video? For that we'd need actual gameplay first. This title is unplayable. I asked both Apple and Namco for my money back. Godawful port. Shame on you Namco!

  • Newjorg

    Gameplay video? For that we'd need actual gameplay first. This title is unplayable. I asked both Apple and Namco for my money back. Godawful port. Shame on you Namco!

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson
  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson
  • iPhone-User

    The game is nearly unplayable. When your Katamari grows in size, the framerate goes down to about 3 frames per second, which is acceptable, as it is only for a short while. But as you grow bigger, the game gets slower and slower ending up in a kind of slow-motion at a size of about 25-35cm. The controls are strange. It seems like the tilt-meter recalibrates during the game, so you have to tilt the iPhone more and more in order to keep rolling forward.

  • iPhone-User

    The game is nearly unplayable. When your Katamari grows in size, the framerate goes down to about 3 frames per second, which is acceptable, as it is only for a short while. But as you grow bigger, the game gets slower and slower ending up in a kind of slow-motion at a size of about 25-35cm. The controls are strange. It seems like the tilt-meter recalibrates during the game, so you have to tilt the iPhone more and more in order to keep rolling forward.

  • iPhone-User

    Oh, and I'm using a regular iPhone 3G (16GB), no jailbreak or anything else. I even rebooted the device before playing...

  • iPhone-User

    Oh, and I'm using a regular iPhone 3G (16GB), no jailbreak or anything else. I even rebooted the device before playing...

  • http://www.metroccolis.com your personal robot

    Same here, a clean 3G 16GB iPhone, reboot before and after installation, but the framerate is shit. Pitty, I really like the dadaistic style (never played any version before).

  • http://www.metroccolis.com your personal robot

    Same here, a clean 3G 16GB iPhone, reboot before and after installation, but the framerate is shit. Pitty, I really like the dadaistic style (never played any version before).

  • Dave_b

    The lack of a calibration option meant that I got a sore neck after a few minutes of playing. All the other accelerometer games have the option to calibrate zero can be vertical. Bad form.

  • Dave_b

    The lack of a calibration option meant that I got a sore neck after a few minutes of playing. All the other accelerometer games have the option to calibrate zero can be vertical. Bad form.

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  • Yuusharo

    Hate to say it, but I'm disappointed in this port. An update is necessary just to make it playable. The "6 minutes" in story mode on the first level goes well beyond 10 minutes, and the game crawls at a bad slowdown. Its almost painful to play that first level, rolling over things that are supposed to be picked up yet do not.

    Poor controls as well. Touching the center for a couple seconds do help recalibrate it on the fly, but that should never be necessary. Taping the katamari to run isn't consistent and unresponsive at times.

    Playing on an iPhone 3G (jailbroken, even ran in Safe Mode and Airplane Mode), and this port is just not playable, or if it is, not enjoyable.

    Namco coming to the App Store is fantastic, and Katamari definitely belongs on the platform, but if this is all we have to expect, its simply bad bad bad.

    Perhaps it was developed on an iPod Touch 2G, which has the faster processor and GPU, and the developers thought the same code would run on the older devices. I'm just trying to wonder why they would release the game in this state, as bad as it is.

  • Yuusharo

    Hate to say it, but I'm disappointed in this port. An update is necessary just to make it playable. The "6 minutes" in story mode on the first level goes well beyond 10 minutes, and the game crawls at a bad slowdown. Its almost painful to play that first level, rolling over things that are supposed to be picked up yet do not.

    Poor controls as well. Touching the center for a couple seconds do help recalibrate it on the fly, but that should never be necessary. Taping the katamari to run isn't consistent and unresponsive at times.

    Playing on an iPhone 3G (jailbroken, even ran in Safe Mode and Airplane Mode), and this port is just not playable, or if it is, not enjoyable.

    Namco coming to the App Store is fantastic, and Katamari definitely belongs on the platform, but if this is all we have to expect, its simply bad bad bad.

    Perhaps it was developed on an iPod Touch 2G, which has the faster processor and GPU, and the developers thought the same code would run on the older devices. I'm just trying to wonder why they would release the game in this state, as bad as it is.

  • David S

    yeah, disappointed Katamari fan here too. i did the "airplane mode" trick and it did improve the framerate a little. still...very disappointed in the performance of this game. i hope Namco will approach Apple and get some assistance in optimizing this game better.

  • David S

    yeah, disappointed Katamari fan here too. i did the "airplane mode" trick and it did improve the framerate a little. still...very disappointed in the performance of this game. i hope Namco will approach Apple and get some assistance in optimizing this game better.

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  • SurgicalGavin

    Hey everyone, I've played the ps2 and xbox installments of katamari and fell in love so when I saw it was on the touch I immediately bought it. Running a 32gb itouch and running the FreeMemory application before I play a game, I was met with little to no problems with the framerate lagging (except for a .5 second period when the angle changes when you get to certain predetermined sizes) and better yet the update today made the game even more responsive. This game is cute, fun and worth every penny. :)

  • SurgicalGavin

    Hey everyone, I've played the ps2 and xbox installments of katamari and fell in love so when I saw it was on the touch I immediately bought it. Running a 32gb itouch and running the FreeMemory application before I play a game, I was met with little to no problems with the framerate lagging (except for a .5 second period when the angle changes when you get to certain predetermined sizes) and better yet the update today made the game even more responsive. This game is cute, fun and worth every penny. :)

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