In an industry still obsessed with lifelike visuals, gratuitous violence, and tear-jerking stories, Wattam is a welcome remedy. Though short-lived and bizarre is its design, it has a joyous cleansing effect that will have you grinning ear to ear.
While Wattam can be a little awkward, thanks to replacing its camera stick with the simple rotation controls on the shoulder buttons, and easily beaten in three hours, it’s a game that makes a strong statement that sticks in the mind. It’s easy to go from one task to another, quickly repopulating the world, but while this is happening the various restored objects are all running around in the background, playing together, having fun and inviting you to hold up a minute and join in.
Its charming visuals and messages of compassion and cooperation make Wattam a great game to play with younger members of the family.
Wattam is a weird and wild fever dream of a game, but it’s the most enjoyable fever dream I’ve ever had. Its loop of using ridiculous, anthropomorphic characters to complete simple tasks in order to gather more ridiculous, anthropomorphic characters succeeds thanks to the silly and fun situations it puts you in, even if it’s not the most complex or challenging loop to begin with. I can’t help but feel like some of the most interesting ideas Wattam uses to shake things up aren’t fully explored, but being a part of this friendly world, however briefly, is a true joy.
I'm not sure if Takahashi will ever be able to top Katamari Damacy – for my money, it's one of the greatest video games ever made – but Wattam captures that sense of whimsy and magic in its own way. The care-free music and gosh-darn-huggable character designs make this a must-play for fans.
Wattam uses a combination of light gameplay and love-it-or-leave-it humour I associate with Keita Takahashi and like, but it's more of a Noby Noby Boy 2.0, a game so simple and nonsensical it sometimes makes you wonder what the point is. If his previous games weren't for you, this one, perhaps a humorous experiment more than anything, certainty isn't going to change your mind. While this and the technical issues prevent from unreservedly loving it, I still enjoyed Wattam, simply for delivering emotionally, if not on a technical level.
I finished Wattam in a few hours — it’s not a long game — but I could only bring myself to play in chunks due to the many oddities and small indignities it foists on the player. I kept hoping for something to anchor the whole experience to some kind of message or resonant detail that would bring the rest of my pain into focus. But after finishing the game and writing this review, I’m still waiting.
Even Takahashi’s subsequent work has largely failed to reach the same standard set by his iconic debut. It’s a tricky thing to balance, making a game that feels free and open but doesn’t frustrate players with a lack of direction. Wattam not only nails it much like Katamari did, but it also evokes a very similar set of feelings. It’s the rare game full of both laughter and sadness — and probably the only one that also features talking eyeballs and toilets.