Katamari creator returns with a game starring a character stuck in a T-pose

It's been a bumper year for fans of Keita Takahashi, with the remastered release of the best Katamari game on Steam, a Google tribute to the King of All Cosmos' glory, and now the announcement of the offbeat creator's next game, to a T. Developed by the Takahashi-led uvula studio and to be published by Annapurna Interactive, it's a 3D "narrative adventure game" where you play as a teenager called Teen "with a unique posture." Teen is stuck in a T-pose, the 'default' state for in-game character models, and one which sometimes crops up when games glitch out (T-posed NPCs was one of the most prominent early bugs in Cyberpunk 2077).  

The game has "a strong focus on character, interaction, story and exploration" and is all about Teen's desire to live a normal life in their small town. You explore the world with the help of Teen's very cute dog, and are advised by his mother. I can't really paraphrase the next line so take it away Mr. Takahashi: "While going to school and contending with bullies, Teen discovers a new ability granted to them by their extraordinary posture, and they start to uncover more about their mysterious lineage."

So to a T sounds… well, pretty unfathomable at this stage, even though the trailer does a good job of encapsulating such an odd pitch. The visual absurdity obviously fits well over themes of fitting in and alienation, while the surreal slice-of-life vibes will be familiar to anyone who's ever thought too much about how weirdly deep Katamari gets about love and innocence and consumerist societies. 

The game takes place over multiple days and, as Teen encounters various scenarios, you'll play minigames to do things like, for example, eat some food, have a drink or pet the dog. All of which have to be done in a T-pose. You're also able to customise Teen's look thanks to the various clothes shops around town and, as well as the story mode, play in free mode to just explore, find collectibles, talk to NPCs, and generally chill out. The game's final selling point is listed as "a very cute dog" but honestly, I'm kind of sold already. 

The final word goes to this most singular of creators who, following the game's announcement, retweeted his own simple maxim. "Please let me know if you have any questions, I will answer nothing. Sincerely, Keita Takahashi."

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."