When Noby Noby Boy first boots up, the likely inevitable reaction is going to be WTF? This small and inoffensive game is the latest creation to come out of the weird and wacky mind of Keita Takahashi. Previously responsible for the Katamari Damacy series, this new title is sure to get a lot of people sitting there scratching their heads.
The player begins with a small dog like creature with two independently controlled heads, the movement of which is fashioned to the alternate sticks on the DualShock pad. Placed in a random environment, with people and objects scattered about the area, the Boy is able to pick up things up, eat items (and subsequently secrete them from the opposite end), jump in the air and even fly.
There really aren't any objectives to Noby Noby Boy, no high-score, no HUD – this is pure and unadulterated sandbox. There is but one simple premise: stretch the Boy has large as is physically possible. This is achieved by moving the two ends in opposite directions. Eventually our elongated entity will need to starting wrapping himself around fixtures on the map, given that the digital arena isn't infinite. Suddenly, things start to make a little more sense; the idea is to use bits and pieces in the environment in cunning and unusual ways; even clouds can make good anchor points for stretching. Should your antics produce belly laughs and fits of giggles, it's possible to upload the shenanigans directly to YouTube for Internet infamy.
Sooner or later, after all this shape-shifting, Boy will report his massive new schlong to Girl, who for whatever reason needed, is floating around in space, trying to reach other planets. It's here that the ingenious of this elastic adventure raises its head above the precipice: everybody who plays Noby Noby Boy contributes to Girl's length. The statistics recorded by your individual escapade, accumulates on a worldwide basis. The players of the world have, at the time of writing, extended girl to such a size, that she's now reached the moon. For every new location Girl gets to, an additional level to play in is revealed. Next stop is the planet Mars.
All this amusement would be without constraints were it not for one little niggle, the camera. As Boy gets longer, it gets more and more difficult to see what's going on. The camera can be rotated and zoom in and out, but getting a good perspective to put a plan into action can be neigh-on impossible at times, and it is a definite source of irritation.
Noby Noby Boy is a difficult piece of software to rate. On the one hand it should be applauded for coming up with such a bizarre concept, on the other there's very little in the way on content here. If you're the sort of person that's able to make an intergalactic space explorer from blue-tac and a few matchsticks, then Noby Noby Boy gives you the playground in which to visit other worlds. If not, this game will get switched off in less time than it takes to count to the number one. Nevertheless, Keita Takahashi should be saluted for releasing something that could have so easily fallen flat on its face. Adventurous and inventive software such as this, definitely deserves a look.
Marty has been gaming since the heady years of the ZX-81 and still owns most of the gaming systems purchased since those days, including the Atari 2600, ZX Spectrum, SNES, Jaguar, Dreamcast and GameCube. Being a collection junkie (or more accurately, hoarder), he buys more games than he can possibly play, far too many of which are still sealed in their packaging. Marty favours RPGs and Driving games when it comes to genres, and is possibly a little bit too addicted to Disgaea. When not gaming he’s out frightening OAPs on his motorcycle, clad in black leather.