People are (rightfully) losing their minds over the fact that Google has a built-in Katamari minigame that lets you roll everything on the page into a tidy ball that’d impress the King of the Cosmos.
After searching “Katamari” in Google, a widget will appear, allowing you to drag a ball over the webpage. Images, words, search bars, and the like then stick to the device, allowing it to grow larger as HTML bits and bobs collect, while the page itself becomes more sparse.
The Katamari series, developed by Bandai Namco, are puzzle-action games where you play as the young Prince of All Cosmos as he rolls up a ball of random items from fruit to cats, cars, and more, until he creates a ball large enough to replace the stars in the sky that his tough-love father, The King of All Cosmos, accidentally destroyed. Luckily, Google’s Katamari mini-game is more low-stakes than what the Prince is tasked with.
Unlike the Katamari games, there’s no time limit in Google’s minigame and all you have to do is roll a Katamari ball around your screen making it a fun method of procrastination during a long day of work.
Google’s Katamari minigame launched just a few days ago, according to Lucas Bullen, the lead software engineer on the Katamari minigame project.
“Katamari is a nostalgic game for many of us and has a large fan following,” Bullen told Kotaku via email. “The recognizable 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 revealed that Google also has video game easter egg widgets for Star Fox, The Last of Us, and “many others for fans to stumble upon while using Google Search.”
Here’s how you can get your roll on.
- Google “Katamari”
- Click the Katamari ball icon on the right-hand side of your screen
- Use your keyboard arrows (or swipe on your phone screen) and roll to your heart’s content
- (Optional: Play Lonely Rolling Star in the background for maximum immersion)
After testing out Google’s Katamari minigame (I won’t disclose for how long), I can say that it works way better on a computer than on a smartphone because it’s a pain to scroll to the bottom of the webpage with one finger while trying to roll more items into your growing Katamari ball with the other finger (on a computer, you just need a keyboard to roll around). Also, the Katamari ball’s response time on a smartphone is way slower than on a computer—and if you know anything about Katamari, timing is everything.
If all this Google search Katamari-ing has you hankering for the real deal, you can grab We Love Katamari REROLL + Royal Reverie, the second Katamari game, which was re-released on the Nintendo Switch on June 2.
Update 06/13/2023 2:15 p.m. ET: Added new details about Google’s Katamari minigame.