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

Princess Maker Refine

Princess Maker Refine

Princess Maker Refine is not as complex or feature packed as its sequel, but this also makes it a little easier to get into for newcomers. In addition, the game is priced at half the cost of Princess Maker 2, which makes it a more lucrative impulse buy for players who are curious about the genre. Guiding your adopted daughter on a path to one of many endings is surprisingly addictive and while the game can become a little repetitive, it offers plenty of replay value. There are still some rough edges that will need to be smoothed out with future updates, but overall the game has lost none of its charm. Gameplay: It looks a little complicated initially, but is easy to get into. Graphics: Sadly no animations, but the overall visuals still look nice. Sound: Features some nice tunes and full Japanese voice overs.

Tennis in the Face

Tennis in the Face

Tennis In The Face has a lot in common with Angry Birds, but smacking clowns, cops, hipsters and other foes with tennis balls stays entertaining. The game is easy enough for casual players to have fun, but chasing a high score and completing levels with the least amount of shots makes for a nice challenge too. There is nothing groundbreaking about the game, but when it is this much fun and cheap to boot it doesn’t really matter. Gameplay: Nothing radically new, but still a lot of fun especially in short bursts. Graphics: Nice character designs and bold colors, but the background are a little bland. Sound: The music is ok, but the sound effects are very good.

Senran Kagura: Estival Versus

Senran Kagura: Estival Versus

Senran Kagura Estival Versus offers an impressive amount of fanservice mixed up with some solid hack and slash combat. The game does have its fair share of questionable elements, but it certainly doesn’t skimp on content. There is a meaty story mode to complete, along with plenty of side missions, while the money you earn can be spent on clothing and accessories for the girls. Like most hack and slash games it can get a little repetitive, but despite the large cast none of the girls feel alike in personality or fighting style. If you are a fan of the series or enjoy fighting games, this comes highly recommended, as long as you realize you are going to get bombarded by fanservice around every turn. Gameplay: Features plenty of content and a learning curve that eases you into the various combos and attacks you can pull off. Graphics: Looks great on PC and the detail as well as animations are impressive. Sound: Full Japanese voice acting for all the girls and a funky soundtrack that complements the action nicely.

Shmups Skill Test

Shmups Skill Test

Shmups Skill Test is a collection of mini-games that are designed to test how good you are at playing arcade and bullet hell shooters. While this means it doesn’t have as much depth as other titles in the genre, it still provides a nice diversion and a way to hone your skills. Since it is based on a rather old arcade game the visuals are far from cutting edge, but the gameplay and low price tag make up for this. If you think you have mastered the genre, then try out this game to see for sure. Gameplay: Lots of fun in short bursts, but obviously doesn’t have as much depth as full-fledged shooters. Graphics: The visuals are definitely showing their age. Sound: Not your typical shooter soundtrack.

Super Comboman

Super Comboman

Super Comboman contains some great ideas, but is let down by less than stellar gameplay. Games such as Guacamelee! and Aces Wild have already demonstrated how great titles in the platform brawling genre can be, but Super Comboman doesn't quite live up to expectations. The controls are the biggest source of frustration and the steep difficulty curve also feels more like a punishment than a challenge. Gameplay: Lots of potential, but let down by frustrating controls and a steep difficulty curve. Graphics: The sticker style visuals is an interesting and unique choice. Sound: Not bad, but a little repetitive.

Penumbra Overture

Penumbra Overture

Penumbra: Overture is an admirable attempt at something new and makes for a nice break from all the running and gunning in first person perspective games. There's plenty of logical puzzles to work your way through and a hair raising story that will have you hooked right to the end. The graphics are not exactly cutting edge and it's not as scary as it tries to be but overall it's a good game. Gameplay: Best experienced late at night with the sound up and the lights off. Graphics: Brown, lots and lots of brown. Sound: Pretty standard as far as creepiness is concerned.

Leave a comment

four × three =