Keita Takahashi and Funomena announced Wattam last December at Sony’s PlayStation Experience with a short trailer that showed the game’s main character – a green cube with a moustache named the Mayor – trying on different hats. Also, he had a bomb on his head. It exploded off-screen. It was weird.
Now, Wattam’s first official gameplay footage has surfaced, and it’s just as bizarre as that initial trailer. That’s not necessarily surprising – Takahashi is the mad genius behind Katamari Damacy and Noby Noby Boy, while his collaborator (and Funomena co-founder) Robin Hunicke made her name with boundary-pushing titles like Journey – but it is baffling. A trailer’s supposed to give viewers a good idea as to what the game’s about, while this is just going to leave players more confused than ever.
Even people who have played the game can’t seem to describe it. A hands-on report at Polygon calls it a “friend puzzle game,” where players need to gather a group of whimsical characters (including a turntable, a coffee bean, and two different pieces of poop), link them together by holding hands, and then blow them up using the Mayor’s cranial bomb.
But apparently, that’s only part of the experience. According to Hunicke, each of Wattam’s stages are patterned after seasons, and the folks at Polygon only got to try a piece of the Spring section. Also, at some point, the whole thing devolves into a soccer game. While the game’s clock runs a full regulation-length 90 minutes, don’t expect a FIFA-esque simulation: in Wattam, everything is alive, even the soccer goals.
This is all extremely strange, but it also looks like a lot of fun. Hunicke met Takahashi while working for Tiny Speck, the studio responsible for the browser-based MMO Glitch, and the two clearly share a lot of the same sensibilities; at Funomena, Hunicke is dedicated to promoting “diversity of thought and participation in game design and game culture.” She’s succeeding. Wattam doesn’t like any other game out there, and it’s probably just going to get weirder as it goes.
For now, Wattam is a PlayStation 4 exclusive, although that could change. The original Katamari Damacy started as a PlayStation 2-only title, but thanks to its quirky concept and loyal following, the game’s many sequels made their way to practically every platform under the sun.