His front legs are controlled with the left stick and his back legs with the right. Essentially pulling the sticks apart will stretch BOY until he reaches the constraints of the randomly generated platform he's standing on. Which is where the fun starts; Noby Noby Boy is heavily physics based and naturally the longer BOY gets the more difficult he becomes to control, urging you to use the worlds surroundings and your own analogue stick skill in order to keep him growing.
BOY's growth is recorded all the time and can be sent to GIRL at any point. As a result, GIRL's total length increases. It is the combination of all the players' progress that will eventually unlock new levels, the first being the Moon.
You really haven't ever played anything like Noby Noby Boy. Ever before. It virtually throws all preconceptions, constraints and expectations of video games out of the window and starts fresh. You could say Noby Noby Boy was a "sandbox" game; but that carries the connotations of a GTA or Yakuza, which this isn't. It's more of a "pure sandbox", in that you use the game to create your fun. There's nothing specific you are asked to do, but through the use of imagination and exploration you'll find your own amusement. If you allow yourself to switch off.
Noby Noby Boy may be the best co-operative experience we've ever had. Even though you're not interacting directly with others, everyone has a common goal. To ensure the length of GIRL is increased enough that new levels and planets may be discovered. It's risky to release a game which relies on random map generation with a few assets but the promise of unlocking new worlds with, presumably different physics, is exciting.
Just like Noby Noby Boy plays like nothing else, it also looks like nothing else. Essentially clean shapes and blocks of colour make up most of the games graphics, with BOY himself just a collection of rainbow stripes and a smiley face. The trees are triangular and the objects disproportionate but it genuinely is a treat for your HDTV thanks to it's vivid colour and zany style. The sound is a collection of ambient acoustic guitar loops and blips.
We stopped playing Noby Noby Boy and then we thought about all the progress we could have made to GIRL's length if we hadn't. It sounds ridiculous but, even as we write this we're fretting over GIRL's plight: "When will she reach the moon? Shouldn't we be helping her?"
The use of the PSN to make GIRL's growth a collaborative effort essentially makes the game what it is. Noby Noby Boy also uses the Playstation 3's screengrab and YouTube video functions, allowing you to take pictures, record videos and upload them to YouTube on the fly.
At just £3.19 few will mind if Noby Noby Boy isn't exactly what they expected. We recommend you skip lunch today and give this a go instead. Sure you might not like it, much like you might not like the new sandwich filling you bought, but it's a small price to pay for trying something you might really enjoy.
We had a real hard-time explaining Noby Noby Boy for this review. We still don't know if we got it 100% correct. The game, sadly, does little to point you in the right direction either. It has a cute quiz at the start to teach you the controls, but forces you to figure everything else out for yourself. Which is fine, but many will give up. Thus it's a big shame more didn't go into finding a better means of explaining the rough ideas of Noby Noby Boy.
While we think it's cool Noby Noby Boy is essentially all about nothing, many will question the point of playing. Those questioning the point would never "understand" a game like this anyway but... well, then we're getting a bit pretentious aren't we.
Due to Noby Noby Boy requing control on both analogue sticks, the controls are somewhat hacked onto L1 and R1. Holding L1 and tilting the controller forwards and backwards changes the zoom. Pressing both L1 and R1 together changes the vertical angle. Pressing either L1 or R1 once changes the horizontal angle. Given the number of button commands to remember it can take a while before you realise how to change views on the fly. Thankfully Noby Noby Boy's pace is slow so it's not nearly as crippling as a bad camera is in other games.
Noby Noby Boy is a baffling concept with ideals of teamwork and childhood strung together into a neat package. Few will scratch the surface, which considering the microscopic price tag, will suffice. For everyone else, there are hours of playtime to be had.
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