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We had a chance to sit down with Wattam at PSX 2017 last weekend. For those that love the Katamari Damacy series, you’ll feel right at home here. Coming from the creator of Katamari-Keita Takahashi-Wattam is a bizarre puzzle game that was hard for even its producer to explain to me.
My time with Wattam began with a sad Mayor of an empty square town who just wants people to come to his place. The game played out with me bringing in new people and completing the objectives that they required with very little words to go on at all. Instead, emoji-like symbols appeared in a text bubble above their heads and with that tiny clue, I had to figure out what they wanted.
For instance, the Mayor is a shy character whose only way of breaking the ice with someone is throwing a (harmless) bomb out of his hat and blowing both of them up together. That alone can give you an idea of the weirdness you will find in Wattam. Each new named citizen to the town is playable, all of them hosting their own unique way of control.
Wattam won’t appeal to most adults who plan on playing by themselves. It is created from the ground up with drop-in, drop-out local cooperative play in mind. At anytime, someone else can pick up a controller and jump in and play as any of the town’s people. As the producer told me, it’s designed for even very small children to be able to enjoy its charming gameplay alongside an adult.
Because of its appeal to all-ages, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of variation to Wattam. You complete objectives like collecting a flower for the plant person so they can be complete and then bring them to the nose guy so he can enjoy a sniff. Its gameplay is as simple as can be, but it oozes charm along the way.
I found myself continuously laughing out loud at the wordless interactions between the characters, and I can’t even pinpoint why. Everything about Wattam is just so adorable and hilarious from the emotive characters to the bright and cheery atmosphere. It’s just worth noting that the content does seem shallow from what I can tell.
While I enjoyed my 30 minutes or so with it, I felt like I got all I wanted out of Wattam in that brief period of time. The lack of any real direction is a hindrance for it in the long-term, but that won’t be a problem for families that want to enjoy a friendly game with kids on PS4. Come on, there’s poop emoji characters after all.