Something that eats you without trying to kill or arouse you.
There’s a great irony about the idea behind the sandbox genre. The whole term “sandbox game” originates from the idea that games are a synonym for a sandbox filled with sand and toys and things that a child can fiddle with to suit their imagination. The term “sandbox game” is incredibly ironic because most every sandbox game involves playing with things a little kid shouldn’t be playing with; in particular the lives of others. The “toys” in most sandbox game includes guns to murder people with, cars to murder people with, helicopters to murder people with and maybe sexual objects to murder people with. Last year’s Prototype was built on the concept of creating as many blunt or phallic-shaped instruments as possible, that can murder as many people as possible, as quickly and as gratuitously as possible.
So it’s at least nice to see a sandbox game that little kids who enjoy real sandboxes can actually play and not have their innocent minds corrupted. In Noby Noby Boy, you are a worm-dog-creature thing capable of running, stretching, eating, jumping to the heavens and being adorable. The extent of the game’s violence is that the protagonist, BOY, can eat anyone and anything. Though these people will no sooner be crapped out of his rectum, either unharmed or fused with other eaten objects, in what might be the most heartwarming digestive system in the history of man. The two analog sticks each control BOY’s front and rear ends, and BOY begins to stretch into a serpentine figure of colour and charm if pulled apart. Each area comprises of a square flat of land with randomly-generated objects for you to eat and flub-up with your stretchy mass of affection.
This is some kind of bizarro-international goal. Every Noby Noby Boy player is reporting their lengths to the same GIRL with the hopes of exploring new worlds. Like most internet community goals, it’s a large number of people contributing to something really useless. You can visit the worlds that GIRL has reached so far (the moon, Mars and Jupiter as of this writing) and consume slight variations of the people and objects you were eating.
If you felt inclined, you can eat the in-game instruction manual, or the speakers producing the background music. That should give you a sense of the game’s lighthearted attitude of itself.
Noby Noby Boy is more of a toy than a game, and it makes no pretenses of pretending otherwise. It’s not something you play for hours on end. Like any toy, odds are your kids will get bored of it before moving back to their action figures (or Modern Warfare 2.) But, five dollars is a reasonable asking price. And you’ll probably get your money’s worth in simply being able to say you played Noby Noby Boy. It’s one of those…experiences.