It’s very difficult to put into words what Noby Noby Boy is about but I’ll try my best to make it clear. First of all the title is a play on a Japanese term that means to stretch or relax. The basis of the game is exactly that. Noby Noby Boy joins a growing list of games (the likes of which includes Flower) on the PlayStation Network that try to show players that you don’t need to have a singular, ultimate goal or end point in order to enjoy a game (rather that they can just enjoy the experience in all its timeless beauty). While Flower ultimately came to an end, Noby Noby Boy is seemingly endless. It all really depends on how much the PSN community plays the game and stretches Boy. In case I’ve lost you already, I’ll break it down even more.
You play as Boy, a strange creature that has the ability to stretch his body over great lengths. The beginning of the game takes players through a little quiz that quickly familiarizes them with the games controls. The left and right analog sticks control each end of Boy’s body. If you push the sticks in directions opposite of each other, Boy will stretch. Tapping L2 or R2 makes one end of Boy’s body jump and holding those buttons makes Boy stand firm. Also tapping L2 makes Boy eat whatever is in front of him and pressing R2 makes him expel it from his backside. The L1 and R1 buttons move the camera around the grid. The sixaxis controls are used in conjunction with L1 to zoom the camera in or out. Those are the basics of Noby Noby Boy and from there it’s up to the player to do whatever they want.
One thing players can choose to do is make Boy fly by rapidly pressing R2 or L2 and try to coil around a cloud while simultaneously shooting people out Boy’s rear end. There are no enemies, no time limits or no real purpose to what you will do as a single player. The game does have 12 Trophies to unlock, but most of them are hidden and will pop up unexpectedly during gameplay. One of the interesting aspects of Noby Noby Boy is that the stages are randomly generated. Chances are you won’t play the same stage with the same characters very often. Players can also change stages at will by entering Boy’s house and selecting the new stage option.
The philosophy behind Noby Noby Boy is to get everyone in the world to play together. It implements this strategy by recording the distance Boy stretches and uploading it to Girl. Girl is a being that sits above the Earth watching everything Boy does. Girl needs the collective stretching measurements of everyone playing the game online in order to stretch beyond the stars. Currently Girl is still on Earth, but by reporting your length to Girl she will stretch further and further into the universe. When she reaches the Moon new stages will unlock for everyone, creating new environments and situations. If players continue to play, Girl will go to Mars and wherever else the developers are willing to take the game. In a sense we’re all just drops in the bucket but the total efforts of literally everyone who plays the game online contributes to the game’s lifespan.
Noby Noby Boy isn’t a graphically impressive game. If you’re familiar with the art style of Katamari Damacy you’ll know what to expect. The game puts out in 720p HD, but it just makes the game a little shinier. The character models look and move like paper cutouts and jagged edges can be seen on each stage. There were even some moments when the 3D grid of the game popped in and out.
The physics engine is a little better. Boy responds to the force that players put him through by flopping around and spinning when appropriate. During gameplay I made Boy spin rapidly, knocking down everything in his path. That’s just one of the games you can make for yourself. The soundtrack is mellow and acoustic. It’s a nice fit to the friendly for all ages style of play.
Make no mistake, Noby Noby Boy is really not for everyone and anyone. Some people may not get past the idea of not playing with an objective lingering overhead. If you can try to tap into the mindset of just making your own adventure while knowing you are contributing to the overall growth to Noby Noby Boy‘s universe, the $5 investment is well worth it.
- Simple controls create a variety of user created mini games
- Potential for endless levels
- Terribly unique concept
- Graphics are very dated
- No singular objectives could (and probably will) turn many players off
- Music is good, but repetitive