All Hail The Space Squirrel
I’ve played Noby Noby Boy for hours, and I’ve earned over half of its twelve trophies. I still feel as though I’m missing something. However, attempting to understand this game – as futile as it is and always will be – is one of its greatest pleasures. It’s impossible to fully describe this game in words alone, so I’ll keep this brief, and preface the rest of this review by saying that if you own a Playstation 3 and you connect it to the internet, this five dollar game belongs on your hard drive.
You play as a cute, colourful, serpentine-like creature named Boy. You control his front legs with the left stick and his hind legs with the right. If you walk the ends away from each other, you begin to stretch out, your body filling with strips of colour. You then either walk or fly around a simple map filled with base-modelled people, animals, and objects, and you eat them. The more you eat, the more you grow.
That’s essentially the idea behind Noby Noby Boy, and it’s a pretty obscure one. However, once you actually sit down and play the game for yourself, it becomes a simply hypnotic experience. You just can’t stop eating things, growing bigger and stretching out further all the while. Once you’ve devoured one map, you can go back to Boy’s house and generate a new one, and keep growing. Of course, you can also shrink or poop out old snacks to make room for new ones. Naturally.
Noby’s style and relaxing gameplay certainly combine to keep you coming back, but perhaps the game’s most interesting idea is its collective co-op. Basically, the game keeps track of how much you’re growing, and when you’re done playing, you can upload your length to Girl, another creature similar to Boy but on a much greater scale. Your length will be transferred to her as she travels through the solar system. Essentially, every single player of Noby Noby Boy is contributing to her length, and she grows by huge increments as everyone uploads their scores. There is an option in the game to switch planets; as of this writing, only Earth is available. Once Girl reaches her first destination, the moon, it will be unlocked for everyone to play, and presumably will keep stretching and unlocking planets. So essentially, everyone who owns this game is working together to unlock content for it.
This is an absolutely genius idea. It doesn’t just make you want to play. It makes you want to spread the word, to get your friends downloading and playing Noby as well. And who wouldn’t recommend this game but the most jaded game player? It’s certainly a conversation piece, with the concept and act of playing the game bizarre in every sense of the word. However, it’s also an extremely fun and well-designed bizarre experience, and with its seamless, quit-anytime sort of gameplay, it’s easy to jump in and out whenever you have time to play.
I imagine I will be jumping back into Noby Noby Boy many times. Like right now.