Wattam review - The friends we made along the way

Take a trip through a beautifully peculiar world in the latest outing from Funomena. Our review.

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Wattam is the latest game from Funomena and features a whimsical land with tons to explore. Published by Annapurna Interactive, there are over 100 characters to unlock and meet. Wattam takes a light-hearted approach to the adventure genre, putting its own spin on classic tropes.

Gotta friend’em all

There are over 100 characters to potentially unlock and play as in Wattam. Starting off with the mayor, the roster constantly expands throughout your journey. This is the primary appeal of Wattam - it’s characters. From a walking nose to a sentient toilet, there is a great variation among the different characters in Wattam. Instead of just randomly dropping them onto your world, the developers make you solve puzzles or complete objectives to add to your roster. This is a smart choice, as it provides a clear throughline and sense of progression in a game in need of it.

The creatures in Wattam have their own characteristics that set them apart from each other. They possess different abilities that can be used to solve a number of given scenarios. Take the mayor for example. The exploding gift under his hat can be used to dislodge items and move other characters. Wattam encourages experimental gameplay. There were several instances where I stumbled upon new secrets or characters, just by playing around with the abilities I had available.

Finding things to do

This experimental gameplay leads into Wattam’s “goof around” attitude. Wattam doesn’t feature a fleshed out narrative or story, which is totally fine. Instead, the bigger takeaways are the experiences you have with these characters. The game strongly advocates for you to follow your curiosities and see what you discover. I found a good deal of enjoyment in this. Playing around with the physics and seeing how I could manipulate the world around me was pleasant. 

Although goofing off in the expansive world of Wattam is admittedly fun, it also represents one of the games most prominent shortcomings. Wattam hosts a number of diverse characters and areas to interact with. However, I found myself getting bored with it’s gameplay offerings. Wattam could’ve definitely used more systems to add to its simple gameplay loop. Adding mini games or leaning more into the simulation side could have added some much needed depth.

A beautiful neighborhood

From a visual standpoint, there aren’t many games quite like Wattam. Keita Takahashi’s latest outing retains the one-of-a-kind aesthetic that his fans have come to know and love. From flowers with smiley faces to a toilet with arms, Wattam is stuffed with anthropomorphic characters. 

The world of Wattam feels like one from a children’s television program: a colorful and warm land with a sense of welcoming. This silliness is easily one of the game’s largest appeals. I was consistently impressed with the design work done on the seemingly endless number of characters and areas. Even when I didn’t feel like there was much to do, there was always something to go see and marvel at. Wattam’s entire identity rides on the excellent visual design work done by Funomena.

Everything under the sun

Wattam takes the concepts of action and puzzling, and makes them its own. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of the wacky and strange characters that Funomena has conjured up. Starting with the lonely mayor and ending with an entire community of over 100 playable characters is a very satisfying progression. However, Wattam doesn’t provide the extra layer of gameplay that I found myself yearning for. After a while, I got a little bored of the shallow gameplay loop. Regardless, Wattam is still a fun time in a beautiful and bright world that's bursting at the seams with life.


This review is based on a digital PS4 code provided by the publisher. Wattam is available now on PS4 and PC for $19.99

Contributing Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

Review for
Wattam
7
Pros
  • Extensive and diverse roster of playable characters
  • Charming art style
  • Satisfying progression system
  • Wacky and fun puzzles
Cons
  • Gameplay loop grows pretty shallow
  • An overall lacking in "things to do"
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