Katamari Damacy mini-game
Andy of Rendermouse was the first to send word of this official Katamari Damacy mini-game [originally*] hosted on Namco's Japanese website. If you're unfamiliar with the original PS2 console game, then so far you're missing out on a tremendously gratifying gameplay experience: Crazy, quirky, innocent fun.
As far as the mini-game is concerned, it appears to have been designed to illustrate the main concept of the game, which is to joyfully roll the katamari over smaller objects to collect them and make the katamari bigger so that you can then roll over even larger objects. To this end it works quite well; however, the mini-game does not even come close to the fun of the original.
When the game begins, you choose the number of katamari you wish to play with at once: 1, 2, 3, 6, or 48*. The mouse cursor becomes the King of all cosmos and the katamari follow him around the screen rolling over—or bumping into—various people and objects. *Note: the option to choose 48 is hidden inside the pyramid on the game's main menu.
This is where things begin to get strange, because I am unsure of what the actual object or purpose to the game is—if there is even one at all. You can click the mouse button to 'explode' the katamari, freeing everything picked up thus far, which basically starts you back from the beginning. Otherwise, the ball will continue to roll up everything, including the King, and eventually reveal a large watercolor painting. Oooh.
And yet the game never ends. It just keeps going and going with no clear objective, nor apparent win condition, in sight. Or else I have missed something terribly obvious.
What the mini-game did accomplish, however, was to remind me of how much fun I had playing the original. And now I must get back to my PS2, for I think I've made the King quite angry.
*Update: It appears that the game is no longer available to play at Namco's website, so we are mirroring the game here for posterity.