Generally favorable reviews - based on 60 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 60
  2. Negative: 0 out of 60
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  1. Rolito's designs really stand out and are a huge part of what makes the game so damn lovable.
  2. Patapon's only drawback is that there aren't enough hours in a day to play as much as you'll want to, and we certainly can't blame Sony for that… or can we?
  3. Patapon is a wonderful experience. It’s a rare novel idea that only comes along so often and shows the potential of the PSP.
  4. 94
    While the squishy and squashy invention of the PSP's award-winning LocoRoco perhaps comes closest to Patapon in terms of creativity and originality, the genre-straddling ingenuity and intrinsic simplicity of Pyramid/Japan Studios' horrendously addictive rhythm-based, all-action, resource management God game successfully lifts Patapon head and shoulders above most of today's videogames - PSP or otherwise.
  5. Yes, it is a rhythm-based game, but it is also one of the more engaging and wonderfully unique titles to grace the PSP. It is addictive, it is delightful and it is a lot of fun to play.
  6. 92
    Rhythm Game, strategy game, mini-game collection, action game, light RPG – Patapon is all of these and much, much more. It's a genre onto itself, a title that not only exalts in creativity and unique style, it delivers a fun, addictive, engaging experience that keeps you playing over and over again.
  7. Patapon is very revolutionary and inventive; it's a one-of-a-kind game no one should miss. Even people who don't usually play RPGs and RTSs will find this game to be a gem.
  8. It’s fun, vibrant, challenging, charming and rewarding. And the best part, it only costs $20.
  9. Patapon is true blending of genres creating a unique and special game exclusively on the PSP.
  10. Patapon is far more than just a unique new mix of genres – it’s just so damn charming it could tell you kill a puppy and you would.
  11. At only twenty dollars, this is likely the greatest gaming value of the year and one of the best PSP games to date.
  12. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    If the songs, utterly charming design and frenzied drumming don't win you over, if the strategy leaves you cold and the battles don't crack a smile, you might want to check that your heart is still beating out its rhythm. [Mar 2008, p.114]
  13. With loads of challenge, stylistic visuals and a catchy if not minimalist soundtrack, Patapon succeeds in creating something wonderful.
  14. 90
    With the endearing characters complete with hilarious personality, unforgettable gameplay, depth, style and the all important "X" factor, Patapon only delights.
  15. It's one of the strongest titles I've seen yet for the handheld and, frankly, one of the better games to be released on any platform in quite some time.
  16. Patapon's ingenious combination of light real-time strategy and rhythm makes it a one-of-a-kind game that's easy to recommend.
  17. Charm and originality waft through the air like the rhythmic beats of its fantastic gameplay - Patapon is as close as you can get to portable pleasure without an 'adults only' rating.
  18. 90
    Just try and get the catchy "pata-pata-pata-PON!" chant out of your head once you've given this game a try. You won't be able to do it.
  19. It is one of the most refreshing titles available for the little unit, and I highly urge everyone to give it a shot. At a mere $20, it won't break anybody's bank, and it'll certainly open your mind up to a world of gaming that you may have never considered before.
  20. 90
    Played through quickly, Patapon is an eight hour game which - when played correctly - can be as long as 15 to 20.
  21. 90
    It atones for its faults with understated strategic depth, an astounding sense of reward (both literal and whimsical), and an inspired difficulty curve that sticks with you to the end. Along with a beat you'll take to your grave.
  22. Patapon is one of the best games on PSP, managing to merge various genres and end up somewhat intricate, far beyond its witty and compelling design.
  23. It's strange, quirky, and basically unlike any other game on the market. It's also incredibly fun. The unusual mix of rhythm and strategy gameplay blends together surprisingly well, and it isn't strange to look up from a session of Patapon only to realize that you've lost a few hours when you only intended to play for five minutes.
  24. 90
    Patapon reminds us that there is still room for originality in gaming. Easily one of the must-have titles on the PSP.
  25. Patapon steals your heart. Even if you don't like rhythm, tactics or role playing in general. The combination of different factors makes this game a totally new genre, which gives an unique experience. Although the game looks childish with their one-eye-warriors, it's actually quite a challenge to play.
  26. 90
    Overall the game manages to cram all these different game play elements into a single title and makes it work.
  27. While far from faultless, this is one game PSP owners cannot afford to miss, and hopefully one that will capture the hearts and minds of developers for years to come.
  28. Patapon is just one of those games that you don't see very often. What originally seems like a basic concept is almost constantly being fleshed out with nuance and depth as new songs, items, units and enemies are added with each successive level.
  29. Singing the rhythm yourself and tapping it out with your foot when your minions let you down demonstrates how hard it is to be a god and how into this game you can become.
  30. While Patapon is not without its frustrations, it’s very difficult to put down. Overall, it’s a charming wee title that is well worth buying.
  31. 90
    A wonderful game, full of happy happy joy joy from start to finish. If you don't smile at it then you're an idiot, frankly.
  32. Pelit (Finland)
    The best PSP game in a while. Drumming and chaining your attack, defence, advance and retreat commands is fun and intense. Wonderfully animated and stylish graphics with cheery songs create a great atmosphere and building and improving your troops adds depth to the game. Some of the missions could have used more variety when it comes to the needed tactics. [Apr 2008]
  33. As a whole, however, Patapon is an experience not to be missed, and at $20 there's little excuse to let it pass you by. [Mar 2008, p.105]
  34. 88
    A charming and compelling hands-off strategy-music-RPG. It's one of the few games on the PSP that really stands out on shelves, mainly because it isn't a port and it's just so darned unique on the platform.
  35. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    All serious gamers should check this one out. [Mar 2008, p.85]
  36. Games Master UK
    An innovative idea that mixes genres but still remains accessible, if head pounding... [Mar 2008, p.69]
  37. Play UK
    Not quite as enjoyable as "LocoRoco," but containing significantly more depth, Patapon will be immediately accessible to some, but may take a little work with others. Once you're into it though, it's a real blast. [Issue#163, p.76]
  38. Maxi Consolas (Portugal)
    Behind its simplistic but charming appearance, together with its original rhythm sequences and gameplay, hides a strategy game that can grab you for hours. It shows that there’s always room for creativity in videogames. Just for that, it deserves your full attention. [Feb 2008]
  39. It's an odd fusion of the rhythm and strategy genres, but it all comes together so well that players can't help but to be drawn in and strike the drums over and over...and over.
  40. A treat that is as deliciously unique as Rez or Okami comes around once every few years. That one has appeared for the handheld and lasts well over thirty hours is a feat in itself, especially for a $20 budget title.
  41. Patapon is a bargain for the price. It’s a fun game that combines many genres into one package and is a great reason to dust off the PSP and start playing again – just make sure you have headphones.
  42. Yes, it's monotonous at times but you've never experienced anything like this. Completely unique. [Mar 2008, p.70]
  43. When it comes down to it, Patapon is a great game that is quirky, charming, and addictive at the same time.
  44. While Patapon has got the same quirky sense of style and visual charm as its predecessor ("LocoRoco"), it doesn't offer the same easy breezy gameplay. Instead, it offers an imposing amount of depth and a considerable amount of micromanagement. Which isn't necessarily a criticism - it's just that forewarned is forearmed.
  45. Edge Magazine
    The level of personality in the Patapons and their world makes up for any disappointments - and your involvement in their story becomes huge. [Mar 2008, p.99]
  46. 80
    Patapon is like a cleverly designed trojan horse, built to sucker you in with cute graphics and then beat you down with its primal, rhythmic challenge. It's great fun, but you may find it tough to actually play the game on the go considering the amount of attention it requires.
  47. Frustrating, but fascinating. Music with a twist.
  48. The game as a whole doesn't stand up quite as well as "LocoRoco's" brilliant simplicity but it's still a wonderfully original experience.
  49. The cheery music and shiny graphics may be enough to hypnotize you into having a good time and that isn’t really a bad thing.
  50. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    Patapon may indeed be a game so unusual that it's marching to its own beat, but Japan Studio did such a phenomenal job tying together the control, music and art direction that we recommend grooving right along with that wonderous, delightful beat. [Apr 2008, p.78]
  51. AceGamez
    I would go so far to say that it's one of the best games on the system. The only reason it didn't score higher is because of its ultimately repetitive nature and its lack of a multiplayer mode.
  52. 80
    Patapon is manna from heaven for PSP owners.
  53. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    Gets repetitive after a while, but overall a charming, crazy treat. [Apr 2008, p.107]
  54. 80
    Given the sometimes frustratingly difficult missions, when you do down that boss by the slimmest of margins or push those Zigotons out of another area, it feels like a real accomplishment. It’s these moments when Patapon truly excels.
  55. 80
    If you are into both RPGs and rhythm games, you'll definitely enjoy Patapon longer than just enough to get your money's worth out of it.
  56. games(TM)
    Patapon really feels like a new experience. The seductive façade is a clever mask for an enormously challenging game that requires a substantial amount of grinding and micromanagement to master. [Mar 2008, p.116]
  57. The game is solid and even if you struggle at many rhythm games, you will find yourself easily overcoming the learning curve as you drum your Patapon army to victory.
  58. 70
    Patapon is a clever spin on the rhythm genre, and the tiny characters are simply adorable. Leveling up your warriors can be quite trying, but the game's charm and refreshing adaptation of established mechanics make such transgressions forgivable.
  59. 70
    Patapon is one of the PSP's more original and interesting titles of late.
  60. The game is just as prone to causing misery as it is happiness, as I discovered early on when my axe-wielders had been killed off and I was left with only ranged attackers who fell, one by one, to close quarters enemies that they just couldn't hit.

Awards & Rankings

#3 Most Discussed PSP Game of 2008
#7 Most Shared PSP Game of 2008
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 156 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 156
  1. ColbyA.
    Jul 30, 2008
    Simply amazing game. The problem with gamers today is that, on the majority, they don't respect or value creativity. They want the same Simply amazing game. The problem with gamers today is that, on the majority, they don't respect or value creativity. They want the same old stuff over and over again - Halo series is an example of what I mean. Patapon, however, is 100% original. It's a great music/beat/rhythm based game where you guide a little tribe of these eyeball-people based on how you play the drums. The graphics are colorful and the scenery is creative, and I've particularly enjoyed the boss fights. I'd strongly recommend this game to anyone who wants a good PSP game with some creativity in it. Full Review »
  2. Feb 9, 2021
    The worst of the trilogy, but still, it's absolutely stellar!
    The gameplay is easy and fun and the story is great!
  3. Aug 21, 2021
    Nice, cute rhythm game with a unique system of upgrades between levels and easter eggs