Noby Noby Boy
|Noby Noby Boy|
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 3:
Noby Noby Boy (のびのびBOY Nobi Nobi Boy?) is a video game for the PlayStation 3 and iOS by Keita Takahashi of Namco Bandai, creator of the Katamari Damacy series. The PlayStation 3 game was released worldwide on February 19, 2009 while the iOS version was released the following year on February 18, 2010. Since Noby Noby Boy's initial release, Takahashi himself has admitted that he is "not completely satisfied with the game".
The player takes control of a worm-like quadrupedal character referred to as a BOY. Using the controller, the left analog stick moves the front of Boy while the right stick controls the back. By moving both ends in opposite directions, the player can stretch the Boy's abdomen to colossal lengths. The player can maneuver the Boy around its environment, interacting with stationary objects like houses, or AI-controlled characters such as barnyard animals.
The player accumulates points by how much they stretch during gameplay. These points can be submitted online via a character called Sun to another character called GIRL. Points submitted online by players to Girl will be added cumulatively, causing Girl to stretch and unlock new levels. Beginning on Earth, Girl has stretched to the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn and will proceed to several other planets, each unlocking new playable environments for Boy to stretch in. The Noby Noby Boy team expected players to take between one to two weeks of cumulative play time to reach the Moon. The moon was reached on February 23, 2009, just four days after release. Mars was reached on May 23, 2009, and Jupiter was reached on November 20, 2009. As of January 19, 2011 GIRL has reached Saturn. In the week of December 25 to December 31, 2011, Uranus was reached. GIRL arrived at Neptune sometime around March 6, 2014. 
Every now and then Keita will choose specific weeks for "Lucky Week", which is a week where each day a random number is chosen and every time the player reports his or her length, it will be multiplied by that number. The first was from May 11 to May 22, 2009. There were rumors of another one in June as right after Lucky Week finished Keita wrote, "About Lucky week Thanks to everyones effort, GIRL has managed to stretch out a lot!! Still a long way to go in reaching Mars but we will see you in June for the time being!". A "Lucky Weekend" was held on July 4 and 5, 2009 with all lengths multiplied by 99. During the weekend following New Year's Day 2010, the multiplier was 2010.
The game was first shown at a press conference held during Sony's Playstation Premiere 2007 event in Tokyo. Takahashi showed a silver stretch hose with two pink balls at the ends, explaining that it wasn't a controller, but a visual aid to help explain the game. A 30-second demonstration clip featuring the character "Boy" was shown.
A playable prototype of the game was showcased at the GameCity 2007 International Interactive Entertainment Festival, where Takahashi delivered the festival's Vision Statement for the year. In the demo; as many as three Boys were shown interacting on a flat plane filled with barnyard animals; their elastic bodies were used to snap, whip, entangle, and drag themselves around. The Boys could swallow animals, distending the Boys' bellies, which could then be whipped to the posterior to be expelled.
A second gameplay demo was shown at the Tokyo Game Show 2008 Namco Bandai exhibit. Boy is guided through a two-dimensional maze with walls made up of colorful squares. As Boy is guided through the maze walls, collisions result in the blocks that make up the wall scattering. Once through the maze, the Boy was directed toward a game title screen made of the same blocks, which were then scattered. This confused many at the exhibit, since the demo seemed to contradict the previous gameplay engine. This gameplay has since been revealed to be a minigame accessible while the main game is paused.
Noby Noby Boy was originally developed on the Xbox 360 development kit but was eventually ported to the PS3 and is currently exclusive to the PSN for home consoles. The reason behind this was that Takahashi preferred the symmetrical design of the analog sticks on the PS3 rather than those found in the 360's controller.
Version 1.1 update
On April 29, 2009, Noby Noby Boy was updated to include offline multiplayer for up to 4 players. Also included in the update was a larger selection of in-game music, new "hair styles" for Boy’s house as well as new bird thinking poses. Additionally, a hidden feature was added where if the player holds a certain button right before exiting Boy's house, another Boy will appear, mirroring the player's movements.
|This section requires expansion. (December 2009)|
Noby Noby Boy has received generally positive reviews. CasualGaming.biz admitted that the game is "a little odd" but added that "if nothing else it’s unlike anything you’ve ever played, and it’s pure Takahashi". The game's current Metacritic score is 75 out of 100, based on 27 media outlet reviews.
IGN pointed out that though the game was very unique, "It feels like it could have been played on a PS1."
As of May 2009, Noby Noby Boy has sold "about 100,000" units.
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- o--o.jp - WEB WEB BOY, official site for Noby Noby Boy (Japanese and English)
- Noby Noby Boy at 1UP
- Noby Noby Boy at IGN