Noby Noby Boy

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a game by Bandai Namco Games
Platform: Playstation 3
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 9.3/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Action Adventure Games, Ragdoll Physics Games
Noby Noby Boy
Noby Noby Boy
Noby Noby Boy
Noby Noby Boy

There are very few games that act as both a fun pastime and a social experiment, but Noby Noby Boy might be among the first that could have just as easily failed as it did succeed. Released in 2009, the game was ahead of its time with regards to communal multiplayer found in later titles such as 2012’s Journey or a decade later with 2019’s Death Stranding. However, before the social experiment and what it might have inspired, Noby Noby Boy is just a weird, zany, colorful game from the creator of Katamari Damacy that sees BOY try to reunite with GIRL.

No Direction, Just Stretch

In the same simple style as Katamari Damacy, Noby Noby Boy has the player play as a snake-like creature named BOY. With some difficult, odd control choices that see multiple inputs for one button, BOY is released on each level to ‘stretch.’ To eat, release, and get tangled in the colorful world of varied planets.

As BOY continues to progress, he grows longer until the level is complete. The gameplay is simple, but as casual games go, it’s a great one. It will never get more difficult, only more varied. That can make for a relaxing, and sometimes giggly gaming experience.

Reach for the Stars

The real draw of Noby Noby Boy comes from the idea of it, summarized by GIRL in a farewell letter from the developers: “I wonder if stretching, could bring the world closer together.” With every level the player completes as BOY, the length he has accumulated will be sent to GIRL who, in 2009, was deep in outer space. Each person who played the game stretched BOY through beating levels and unlocked new playable planets as a community because GIRL stretched closer to BOY. And, after six years, or 2,489 days the community of dedicated gamers reunited the two.

Growing, Together

In years since Noby Noby Boy, other games have been released with a similar angle where a community of people work together. Most notably, 2019’s Death Stranding by Hideo Kojima. In that game, instead of a colorful world trying to connect, you have a disparate world trying to do the same. The game batters the player with difficult controls as you navigate a treacherous map—but eventually, past a certain point, the community of other players can do things together. With shared resources they can build highways, ziplines, roads—big things that no one player could do alone, but a society can do together. That idea, in some ways, could have been influenced by the same group of people that tried to make sure GIRL reached BOY.

Noby Noby Boy was an important stepping stone in gaming, but it also came with an expiration date. After the six years it took to ‘complete’ the game, the game was mostly over. In fact, other than pulling a PS3 out of the closet and owning the game previously, there’s no way to access it.

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However, that doesn’t diminish the quiet landmark it is for communal gaming. The idea where cooperative play, across our world, can make a collective difference in the game world. And so, if you have access to the game, it’s a relic worth revisiting—if only to see the colorful characters, connect the BOY to the GIRL, and relax.

Pros

  • Beautiful, original, artistic design
  • Amazing social experiment
  • Thoughtful, long term gameplay and adamant community

Cons

  • The game has already been ‘beaten’
  • The game is very hard to get a hold of anymore
  • Overuse of single buttons for multiple inputs

Download Noby Noby Boy

Playstation 3

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

Playstation 3 Screenshots

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