Sunday, July 22, 2012

Game of the Day - Noboranka

You're gonna be pissed at me.  Noboranka is a completely weird & fun game, but it is ridiculously hard.  In fact, I'm inducting into the GOTD Hall of Fame for Rage-Inducing Games.

Mostly, it's weird.  Nobo (as its friends call it) is a vertical shooter that looks like no other you have ever seen.  Rather than driving a car or flying a spaceship, you are climbing a tree, shooting bug-like enemies.  Since it's a tree, there is a main trunk you can climb and limbs to the left and right that you can venture out on.  Along with the joystick there are two buttons: fire and fly.  When you use "fly", your little wings come out and you go quickly in the direction you are heading.  You can also fly from limb to limb in the air, as a way to quickly get up the sides of the screen.  But when you are done flying, you will fall down to the limb below.  Fly doesn't make you invulnerable, so make sure you don't fly into any of the enemies or their fire.
Nobo is the definition of a cute-'em-up...  First, it's very colorful.  Second, the bugs you shoot release fruit for you to catch for bonuses (although they also release skulls that will kill you).  Third, the way the game keeps track of how many more times you can use the "fly" button is by the text "I love you" at the bottom of the screen.  Each filled in letter is one time you get to fly.  As you deplete the love, if fills back up slowly over time (or you can get a power-up).  Seriously, I'm not kidding, "I love you" keeps track of your special ability.  Hilarious.

There are several power-ups in the game.  Shields and hammers (kill all) and other things help your cause.  One power-up refills your whole "I love you" gauge at once.  Generally, it seems to me that the power-ups are few and far-between (but maybe I'm not shooting the right things).

As you climb, the tree trunk splits at times and you have to choose one path or the other (although you could always fly to the other side).  Additionally, there are other obstacles including goo that the bugs crap out that cause you to slip down the tree and holes in the trunk to avoid.  And as is the case with most of these games, there are bosses to contend with at the end of the levels.

All in all it's just a crazy, unique and difficult game.  The difficulty isn't in mastering the controls or figuring out a strategy, but rather simply in the volume and programming of the enemies and their fire.  They are everywhere and very difficult to avoid.  After many continues, I only made it farther by scrambling up the tree at times - ignoring everything I was supposed to shoot and simply trying to survive.

It's good, weird fun, but don't say I didn't warn you when you wind up needing a new monitor and your fist is bleeding.

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