You Google something every day, but when was the last time you enjoyed it? All those links and images stare back at you, waiting to be clicked: The same as it ever was. But maybe you shouldn’t click them. Maybe instead, you should destroy them. Or, at the very least, roll them up into a katamari ball, just like in that game for the PS2 or Switch.
For those who missed the craze, Katamari is a video game series with a simple goal: You take control of a sticky “katamari” ball that you roll around an environment. Everything your ball touches sticks to it. And the goal is to gather together as many random objects littering the land as possible.
The first game, Katamari Damacy, launched on PS2 in 2004. You play as “The Prince,” tasked by your father, the King of All Cosmos, to rebuild all the stars, constellations, and even the Moon that he destroyed. Conveniently, you can pick up junk with the katamari, growing it in size until it is large enough to become a new celestial body.
Roll up your Google search results
Now, Katamari comes to Google search, joining the ranks of other easter eggs the search engine has added over the years. While there are many games in the Katamari series, Google’s effort doesn’t exactly deserve to be counted among them. It isn’t a full-fledged game: When you search “Katamari,” you’ll see an animated jumping katamari icon on the right side of the screen. Click it, and the katamari comes into full view, accompanied by a pop-up instructing you to use your keyboard arrows to control it. As you roll it around the screen, the katamari picks up all of the elements on the search, including text, links, and images.
That’s about it. You don’t get to make a star from your collections, and you receive no praise from the King of All Cosmos. But it’s a fun minigame in and of itself.
Lucas Bullen, lead software engineer on the project, told Kotaku that Google launched the game a few days ago to give users a nostalgia trip: “Katamari is a nostalgic game for many of us and has a large fan following,” Bullen told Kotaku via email. “The recognisable game mechanic of items getting attached to the rolling Katamari is so fun and unique that we wanted to see it interact with the Search page and give fans an opportunity to play with the Katamari outside of just the games.”
Bullen also noted the existence of easter eggs for other games, like Star Fox and The Last of Us. When you type “Do a barrel roll,” for example, the entire search page flips upside down. When you search for The Last of Us, a mushroom icon appears; when clicked, it spreads the cordyceps fungus throughout the search page. Sounds like a job for katamari to clean up.
If you want to play Katamari for real, a remake of the first in the series, Katamari Damacy REROLL, is available on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4 and Xbox.