Winter may be here to stay for a bit but there’s some stray sunshine to be found in Wattam, the bright little puzzle game that will feel immediately familiar to anyone who played Katamari Damacy years ago on the PS2. Or, heck, last year’s re-release on the PC. Wattam has a similar fascination with things that would normally be inanimate objects like toilets, trees, and emoji-like piles of poo. You’ll use each one and their unique abilities to solve puzzles for your colorful friends.
You begin as a mustachioed green block called the Mayor attempting to bring all the other objects back to Earth after it’s been attacked by some unknown malevolent force. The Mayor’s ability is to explode when removing their hat which is apparently desirable to the other characters.
As you collect more, each have their own abilities that can be combined to solve more puzzles. The fan can blow other objects about. The toilet flushes poo. From the gameplay trailer you can spot a tree, fork and spoon, a flower, and a thing that might be a nose.
Wattam lets you swap between all of the objects to play as and utilize their abilities, or invite a friend to play along and control one as well.
In what’s turned out to be somewhat of a theme this year (what with Death Stranding and all), Wattam is about connecting people. Keita Takahashi, director of the original Katamari games and the obvious imagination behind the similarly styled Wattam, told The Verge that it was inspired by his move to San Francisco to work with the developers at Funomena. Surprised by the pervasive homelessness in the city, “I feel so bad when I see them, but I have a job and money through making a video game, which is an unnecessary thing,” he says.
Takahashi wanted to create a game that was more meaningful and about bringing different kinds of people together. A cute game about friendly shapes can’t directly help the homeless in San Francisco, but it’s a nice theme.
You can grab Wattam from the Epic Games Store for £16/$20. Presumably, you’ll eventually be able to try it on Steam, where its release date is listed as “TBD”. Epic’s exclusivity period seems to most commonly last a year.