The Noks is a very weird game--if it's a game at all.
Partly, it's a system of collectibles. There are several hundred "Noks" in the world at present, and the developers plan to add more over time. You can think of Noks as something like, say, Magic: The Gathering cards, except that they aren't cards. They're animated 3D avatars with backstories. Some of them sing songs or perform music. And most have something to tell you about the game itself, or the backstory of the Noks universe. To understand that universe, you'll need to collect--well maybe not "them all," but lots of them.
Partly, it's s somewhat goofy first-person shooter, a subsection of the game called "The NOKlear War." You select one to five Noks to risk, and trigger a battle. You control a little armed pod that apparently moves around a battlefield like a hovercraft. Your Noks appear on the battlefield in little blue pods--and your opponent is trying to find those pods, shoot them, and grab your Noks. Meanwhile, his Noks appear in little red pods, and you're trying to do the same to them. There are powerups--shields, weapons, and so on, as you'd expect in an FPS--and the game is over either on a time-out, or when one player has collected all Noks of the other.
At least initially, you're playing against AI--there's a series of single-player levels, and ultimately access to a two-player game. You are indeed risking your Noks--what your opponent collects, he keeps, and vice versa.
In addition, you get one free Nok per day, just by starting up the game and connecting to the remote server. Or you can buy ten-packs of Noks for $6 in-game. And there's a trading system so you can trade with other players.
Or you can think of it as a sort of MMO--you don't encounter the many other players face-to-face as you do in a traditional MMO, but you're playing in a universe consisting of all players, and can trade and message with them.
It's all--very smoothly done, with excellent, somewhat cartoony graphics; amusing, sometimes even hilarious dialog from the NOKs themselves, a straightforward and intuitive interface.
Innovative? Certainly... And a generous 21-day free trial, too.
Incidentally, some "Noks" can be downloaded separately as desk-top avatars you can start up and chat with (they're free):