| |

Noby Noby Boy Review

Developer: Namco Bandai Publisher: Namco Bandai
Release Date: February 19, 2009 Available On: PS3

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

Noby Noby Boy is a very difficult game to review. As a technical showcase, it is quite amazing, but there is really very little to this game. I’m having trouble figuring out why this game has good reviews for no other reason than it being created by Keita Takahashi, director of the loveable and highly innovative, Katamari series.

So… what is Noby Noby Boy? You are basically a worm that eats things on the map, progressively eating larger things similar to rolling up a bigger ball in Katamari, and on occasion you give a ride to some of the maps’ patrons. The point of the game, if you can call it that, is to stretch Boy (as the worm is called), and then send that info to the game’s servers. That information is pooled with the collaborative effort of every single person playing Noby Noby Boy. This is where Girl comes in, who is a universe spanning worm that expands as every other PS3 owner expands their own worm (Boy). Once Girl gets to a certain length she reaches a new planet and opens that planet up for all players (Girl is currently on her way to Jupiter).

That’s it, besides the occasional new planet that gets unlocked every few months. There is absolutely nothing to do in Noby Noby Boy in terms of goals. I know it sounds like I am being picky here, but by definition games tend to be goal-oriented. Without a goal in mind, what would be the point of playing a game? Once you have stretched Boy once, that’s it, you have played through the game. Each subsequent time does nothing particularly interesting or new.

Controlling Boy in his world is surprisingly easy. The left analog stick controls his head, while the right controls his butt. Pull the sticks apart and watch Boy stretch. Pressing in the corresponding stick shrinks that end of boy, L2 eats, R2 poops, and L1 and R1 control the camera in various ways. Keep tapping L2 and R2 and Boy starts to flap his limbs and flies up into the air.

As far as visuals go, this game is very simplistic, even by PSN standards, though highly stylized. While there are a few quirky things that will make you laugh, in all the blandness we’re given on-screen, it will eventually become tiresome and you are going to get bored very quickly. For such a bland looking game there seems to be an inordinate amount of loading as well. The random variety of the different planets’ levels will probably only be interesting the first few times you stretch your way through them.

In all, this was a very interesting technical demo, but at $4.99 it is also a pretty expensive one. Considering that most tech demos are free and the only other paid tech demo on the PSN is Linger in the Shadows, which was already expensive at $2.99. It was fun to see the interesting physics accomplished on the PS3, and for what it is, it’s very polished, but it’s still a tech demo in the end, and five bucks is a bit too much to ask for a glorified showcase of a unique game mechanic.

Graphics: 5
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 10
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 5
Written by Jason Macor Write a User Review