Noby Noby Boy: Mysterious, Bizarre Gaming

Noby Noby Boy: Mysterious, Bizarre Gaming
Dan Gould
  • 17 december 2008

Noby Noby Boy is a fantastically strange new video game for the PS3 by  Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi. Play takes place in a simple cartoon playground world where as the game’s lengthy main character, you simply walk around exploring and stretching your physical structure by eating up objects. It’s part of a new generation of games which are stretching the boundaries of traditional gaming and heading in experimental and artistic directions.

Boing Boing Offworld trys to figure out this strange game:

Just what Noby is is hard to explain, but the fundamentals are simple: you control a Noby “BOY” with both analog sticks: one for the head, one for the tail, flexing, stretching, and eventually tying yourself in knots, in a playground world that’s otherwise devoid of goals. And, as 1UP’s preview points out, a Noby “GIRL”, suspended in the heavens, is similarly stretchy, but only as a progress-bar reflection of the combined total of collective Noby Noby Boy player progress. As everyone plays, in other words, she grows, reaching new interstellar objects, which will in turn unlock new stages for all players (a brilliantly viral mechanic).

Even more interesting is the cryptic keynote address Takahashi made at last year’s GameCity festival which is only now beginning to make sense in light of Noby Noby boy.

BB Offworld explains:

It’s at this point that Takahashi’s seemingly rambling GameCity speech suddenly starts to snap into focus. His divergence into photos on playground design (a long-stated personal goal, and one that, at the time, he had just officially landed a Nottingham contract for) seemed not so much like vacation snaps but a reflection of the game’s “make your own fun” essence. He builds, you play. No time limits, no fetch quests, just experiencing the naive joy of slithering and stretching around a world.

His even wilder photo essay on his Namco team’s recent hobby of collecting stickers from local food products to trade in for cups and bowls featuring Miffy (which he likened to “a multiplayer quest ‘just like Final Fantasy'”) becomes that collective quest where all Noby players are working to unlock new bits of the game together.

And his point following that: another long anecdote about how he hoped to make his noisy downstairs neighbors aware of his presence above not by direct confrontation, but by growing houseplants on his porch so long and ivy-like that they hung into the patio below, again maps to that passively multiplayer aspect. Not playing together (though Noby will likely have local multiplayer aspects), but playing together, as a whole, everyone aware that there are others out there focused on the same goal.

This then, could partially be what the website means when it says, “There is some profound meaning behind this content, but details have to be kept secret,” though by no means would I discount any further surprises and game-changing addenda, even in the coming few days.

BB Offworld: “It’s a stretch: Explaining Katamari creator’s new Noby Noby Boy”


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology Today

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online

Retail Today

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Gaming & Play Today

Nintendo’s New Console Pushes For Portable Gaming

The Switch allows gamers to seamlessly play on the go by themselves or with friends

Entertainment Today

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI Today

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important

Millennials Today

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 17, 2016

Home Depot Green Energy Expert: Americans Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Green tech expert Jennifer Tuohy discusses new home energy tech and developments for renewables in the US

PSFK Labs Today

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Food Today

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising Today

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Work Today

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

Retail Today

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children Today

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants Today

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology Today

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Technology Today

Wearable Device And Lamp Recreate Beautiful Sunsets In Your Home

Sun Memories can record up to six hours of natural light and reproduce it via a connected light at a later date

No search results found.