With new game Tenya Wanya Teens from the people that brought us the Katamari series announced, I thought now would be a good time to look back at a classic game developed by the same people, one that seemed to get widely ignored – even by the sort of people that would usually enjoy it.
Released for the PlayStation Network in 2009, Noby Noby Boy is one of those games that’s incredibly difficult to explain to someone without them playing it themselves. Playing as a sort-of centipede like creature called ‘Noby Noby Boy’ (roughly translated as ‘stretch stretch boy) your aim is to… well, aim is a very loose term for games like this. An explorative game, Noby Noby Boy can almost endlessly stretch, with (admittedly awkward) controls allowing you to control either side of your body in order to move, stretch yourself, eat, shrink and even fly. Because you know, centipedes fly.
Eating up the inhabitants of the island, you’ll eventually and gradually enlarge to be able to eat other, larger objects and inhabitants. You can only consume as much as your stretched body can fit in though, so if you run out of room Noby Noby Boy will literally poop out the objects and inhabitants. It comes with a fart noise and everything. I’m not kidding.
With virtually no aim other than to stretch and report the accumulated length you’ve stretched in total to the God-like Noby Noby Girl above the planet you currently reside on, this game’s a strange one but an incredibly charming one. I found myself drawn to purchase it when I found it on the PlayStation Network and never have I regretted doing so; playing the game even now, with all of its charm and more-than beautiful background music (seriously, this soundtrack is calming and tasty guys) is still fully enjoyable.
I also like that the game has a subtle online social aspect, much like Journey‘s praised subtle approach. All of the players in the world can submit their stretch totals on a frequent basis, with the world’s accumulated amount unlocking new playable planets when specific goals are unlocked. I loved this concept and it never got enough praise as it deserved. A worldwide joint effort in unlocking the next stage of a game is something magical to me and it needs to be explored more thoroughly by other developers.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this game is bursting with charm. It’s colourful, vibrant and entertaining just like you’d expect from the people that brought us Katamari and it’s absolutely one of those kind of games that you’d show off to your friends to have a laugh about. In fact, the game allows up to four players to play and features a video recording ability for you to show off wacky moments online, making this already insane game ever-so slightly more kooky.
There’s no other game that has the Prince from the Katamari series jumping on the back of a multi-coloured flying, stretching centipede from space. That sentence alone should be reason enough for you to buy the game if you haven’t already.