Please, Don’t Touch Anything
Gameplay 9
Graphics 8
Sound 9

Please, Don’t Touch Anything is a devious game that preys on your natural curiosity. You are given one order, but to discover all the hidden secrets the game has to offer you will have to disobey it. What happens after that depends entirely on how good your problem solving skills and lateral thinking are. It is a great game for anyone that enjoys cracking puzzles, but the easily frustrated might want to pass.

Gameplay: Deceptively simple, but the multitude of endings will keep you coming back for more.

Graphics: All the action takes place on a single pixel art screen.

Sound: Some very foreboding and atmospheric chiptune tracks

Summary 8.7 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Please, Don’t Touch Anything

Developer: Four Quarters | Publisher: BulkyPix, Plug In Digital | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Indie / Strategy | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam / itch.io

Please, Don’t Touch Anything bills itself as a “brain-racking game about bathroom breaks, screwdrivers and nuclear explosions” which, to be honest, sums it up perfectly. In fact, to reveal anything more about the game would probably require spoilers! Typically we try to be as in-depth as possible with our reviews, but in the case of this game it is definitely better to go in knowing as little as possible. This is because the cryptic nature of the game is its biggest draw and figuring out what is going on is immensely satisfying.

After a colleague implores you to watch his work station while he takes a bathroom break you are pretty much left to your own devices. You are given strict instructions not to touch anything, but since the contraption in front of you consists of a single screen and a large, red button it is quite hard not to. If you give in to your natural impulses and press the button interesting things start to happen with the control panel. Your actions after pressing the button will then determine which one of the sixteen different outcomes you get. Just remember that every action has consequences and in this game curiosity can kill more than just the cat!

The gloomy pixel art visuals of Please, Don’t Touch Anything instantly reminded us of Papers, Please as does the fact that the game is played out entirely on one screen. The panel in front of you is the sole focus of the game and the different outcomes you can unlock are displayed on the glowing green monitor. Messing around with the different buttons on the panel will cause “things” to happen to the city and these range from the terrifying to the absurd. Each time you unlock a new ending a poster is added to the wall behind the control panel, which is why we have kept the screenshots for this review generic enough not to ruin anything.

Don’t for a second think that the game is easy just because it initially presents you with a single red button. Once again, I don’t want to spoil any surprises, but this game probably contains more brainteasers and puzzles on its single screen than you would encounter in other puzzle titles with 50 different levels. Solving the puzzles also requires some very out of the box thinking and I can’t recall any other game that ever had me doing Google searches about medieval Italian mathematicians!

Don’t worry if numbers are not your strong point either as the game is very good at making puzzles seem very complicated while the answers are actually deceptively straightforward. I was actually astonished by how many clues and straight up answers the game dangles right in front of your nose without it being too obvious. The sense of accomplishment when you do actually crack a puzzle is very satisfying though and the “endings” you get is also very rewarding.

Of course, if you don’t enjoy solving puzzles or staring at cryptic switches, buttons and levers trying to figure out how it all fits together you will probably find the game to be frustrating. Many of the “puzzles” hinge on solving other “puzzles” first, so if you get stuck early on it might feel like you have wasted your money. I would strongly advise against consulting any guides or walkthroughs however as you would definitely be robbing yourself of the satisfaction gleamed from making a breakthrough. It actually took me a couple of hours to discover all the endings in the game and, ironically enough, it was the most obvious outcome that eluded me the longest.

It is not just the bleak pixel art visuals that gives this game such a great atmosphere, but also the foreboding music. The second I touched the button the first time the music that started playing immediately made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. The ominous music continues to play as you fiddle with the console and you also get different tunes depending on the endings you discover. The soundtrack definitely fits the game to a “T” and I had some of the tunes stuck in my head for days. The OST is actually available from Steam and Bandcamp as a separate release, so if you are a fan of sinister chiptune tracks don’t miss out. The entire game is controlled with a mouse and interacting with the console is as simple as clicking or dragging.

Although Please, Don’t Touch Anything doesn’t have much of a storyline the puzzles and atmosphere kept me hooked until I got all the endings. Depending on how good your puzzle solving skills are it will probably take a few hours to discover everything that the game has to hide. It is definitely not a game for the easily frustrated or players who want everything spelled out for them, but if you enjoy a good challenge and want to stretch your grey matter this game comes highly recommended.

System Requirements

  • OS: Microsoft® Windows® Vista / 7 / 8
  • Processor: Any processor with at least 1.0GHz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: Any card with at least 128MB
  • Hard Drive: 27 MB available space
  • OS: Microsoft® Windows® Vista / 7 / 8
  • Processor: Any processor with at least 1.0GHz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: Any card with at least 128MB
  • Hard Drive: 27 MB available space

Related posts

Fate Tectonics

Fate Tectonics

Fate Tectonics challenges you to assemble a thriving world, one tile at a time, but with a whole pantheon of angry fates breathing down your neck. Fail to appease them all and you might see all your hard work undone, but if you manage the juggling act your world will thrive. With its charming pixel art visuals and epic 16-bit soundtrack, Fate Tectonics is a game not to be missed. It is accessible enough to start playing in minutes, but making progress requires some real strategic thinking. Graphics: The pixel art visuals look great and are friendly towards players with color blindness. Sound: The dynamic 16-bit soundtrack is a great match for the visual style of the game. Gameplay: Easy to pick up and play, but very addictive and tricky to master, Fate Tectonics can keep you hooked for ages.

Drifting Lands

Drifting Lands

From big bosses and swarms of enemies to screens filled with bullets and explosions, Drifting Lands offers everything fans expect from the side scrolling shooter genre. However, it goes one step further by also merging it with some action-RPG elements that will keep you coming back for more in a bid to customize your ship to the max. It starts out a little slow, but thanks to multiple difficulty grades, the intensity of the action quickly ramps up. Anyone with an itchy trigger finger looking for a shooter that has a bit more replay value than usual shouldn’t at the very least try out the free demo. Gameplay: A little overwhelming at times, but at least you are eased into things quite gently. Graphics: Detailed and colorful, especially for a side scrolling shooter, but very few truly jaw-dropping set pieces. Sound: The sound effects lack a little punch, but the soundtrack is as varied as it is rocking.

WAGAMAMA HIGH SPEC

WAGAMAMA HIGH SPEC

Join Narumi Kouki, a hardworking manga author who is still a student as he tries to juggle work and studies. To complicate matters for Kouki, he is pressured into joining the student council where he finds himself with more responsibilities as well as the only guy among a group of beautiful girls. Wagamama High Spec is a typical slice of life visual novel with a school setting, but the charming characters, humor and different routes make it stand it from the competition. There’s nothing really new here for people who are tired of the setting or tropes, but the writing is good and the visuals very polished. Gameplay: Not a lot of choices, but they do lead to four very different story paths. Graphics: Beautiful illustrations, tons of CGs and some nice backgrounds. Sound: Full Japanese voice acting along with plenty of great tunes.

Eversion

Eversion

Eversion is a very niche platform game that is definitely not going to be to everyone's liking but fortunately there is a free version available that should give you an indication if this is a game for you or not. Just be sure to play more than just one level as things get progressively more interesting... Gameplay: Pure platforming with a unique twist. Graphics: Call it retro or call it dated but it has a style and charm of its own. Sound: Plays a big part in the games atmosphere and is nicely done.

Tibetan Quest: Beyond the World’s End

Tibetan Quest: Beyond the World's End

Travel to Shangri-La and find your missing niece in this hidden object game from Brave Giant LTD. It doesn’t have much to offer that is new in terms of gameplay and story, but remains enjoyable throughout. The setting is interesting and the polished visuals as well as atmospheric audio make up for the lack of challenge. Gameplay: Not much of a challenge, but still fun. Graphics: Definitely not a realistic depiction of Tibet, but the visuals are detailed and polished. Sound: Nice music and great sound effects.

Highschool Romance

Highschool Romance

Highschool Romance is a lighthearted slice of life visual novel with a rather small cast and very short story. Despite not taking very long to complete and not really covering any new ground it does manage to be quite entertaining. There is some fanservice, but overall the game is quite tame considering the subject matter. Gameplay: The game is short and the story not exactly original, but it is interesting and well written. Graphics: The unique visual style takes a while to get used to, but does fit the game. Sound: No speech, but a few of the audio tracks are rather good.

Leave a comment

2 × 1 =