Cheap Shot: Noby Noby Boy

There are few things as disappointing to us as a lame tie-in app for a console game that might have worked great on the iPhone. While a port of the PS3 game Noby Noby Boy would have had us excited, this cash-in failed to entertain us for more than five minutes.

Noby Noby Boy on the iPhone acts somewhat like a virtual pet. You can stretch and collapse him, rip him apart, and have him grasp onto objects. This is all done through buttons and pinching controls. How this tiny pink fellow can stretch longer than Longcat is beyond us.

Noby Noby Boy has a decent number of objects to interact with, but they’re cycled randomly, and it doesn’t work well. We would have rather seen a list of objects, so we could pick what to wrap the boy around. Besides this, there is little difference in how he interacts with each object, and several made the graphics bug out.

The stretchiest, squiggliest noby around.

By playing with your Noby Noby Boy you gain hearts, which can be fed to his sister, Noby Noby Girl. After feasting on love, she stretches a little. She’s also connected online to everyone else playing the game, and the goal is to stretch her across all the planets. Currently she is reaching for Saturn.

After this, the app becomes a bucket of features. You can choose a background photo, put a clock on the screen, play music on a clunky robot, snap pictures and email them to others, and surf the web in a lousy browser. One feature that showed potential but turned out to be pointless is the GPS implementation: an image of a stretched boy will cover any area you travel across. Ultimately, none of these add any value and all feel tacked on.

If Namco had expanded this elastic concept into a full-fledged game, it could have been a lot of fun, but at the moment this app isn’t worth a purchase.

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