Platform Reviewed: PC
Platforms Available: Android, PC
Developer: Four Quarters
Release Date: March 26, 2015
MSRP: $4.99 (Php 165.95)
Your colleague leaves you to keep watch over his workstation for a while and — OOH! What does this giant red button do?
Please, Don’t Touch Anything is an indie puzzle game developed by Russian dev team Four Quarters. Initially a product intended for Ludum Dare, it just recently went available for players to play via Steam. Please, Don’t Touch Anything plays on the human curiosity and inquisitiveness and to play the game, you have to do exactly the opposite of what the game title suggests: touch everything.
Please, Don’t Touch Anything has a gameplay that revolves around interacting with what seems to be a harmless console. The game starts off with one of your colleagues asking you a favor to man the console as he takes a short break. You are then left alone in front of this console with just a red button in the middle of it and a lever that says “restart”, and a screen that displays an unknown city. The fun begins once you push the red button. The button activates a switch and if you flip the switch– well, I’ll leave the rest for you to find out. Doing the right combinations of button clicks, switch flips, lever pulls, etc. will lead you to a not-so-great “ending”, at least for the city, as shown on the screen before you. Your goal is to uncover these different and disturbing endings and to do that, you have to solve the mystery of the enigmatic console.
Every interaction you make leads you to another puzzle which you have to solve to get another puzzle, and another, until you get to a specific ending. The selling point of this game is that you are left alone to discover the secrets hidden within this console and find out what this contraption does and why it was made. But you are not left without anything to work on. There are several clues scattered across the screen (your viewing screen) which you have to decipher and make sense out of to help you progress in your game. Some are obvious and easy enough to understand while others require you to have a little knowledge on what it is about.
In Please, Don’t Touch Anything, you have to think in and out of the box and go in and out of it a few times. A lot of times, you will get stuck on a puzzle. On these certain situations, you have to think differently. All the clues that will help you unlock all the endings are already presented to you, you just have to look at them and look at them closely. But overthinking would also tend to lead you on a dead end so it is best to keep yourself tethered to your common sense. There are a lot of guides that are already out and accessible and the temptation to look at them grows every moment after you find yourself stumped. Honestly, I was just a few endings away from completing the game but I gave in to the temptation when I got stuck and when I finally learned the solutions, I swear, I felt so stupid upon realizing how easy and obvious the answers were. You have been warned.
Please, Don’t Touch Anything is rendered as a pixel game, giving it a retro feel. It’s not too shabby plus it gives this some sort of an old-school cryptic effect that adds to the mysterious vibe of this game. The lack of a full narration also serves this game well as it gives its players the chance to make their own speculations on the story behind the console’s purpose and existence. Because of that, questions arise such as “is this really happening or is it just a simulation or a game?” and “what’s taking my colleague so long? Has something happened to him? Am I getting paid for this?”
Please, Don’t Touch Anything is one of those puzzle games that you would really have the urge to complete because if you don’t, it would bother and bug you until you do. This game would give your curiosity an itch that you would keep scratching until it goes away. Being on Steam, there are added achievements tied to the game that your completionist self would want to achieve. Overall, despite being a short game probably for some people, Please, Don’t Touch Anything is remarkable enough that it can etch itself into one’s memory. If you are looking for a puzzle game that will stimulate your mind, try out Please, Don’t Touch Anything.
This review is based on a review copy provided by the developers/publisher.
Have you touched anything yet? Well, if you did, let us know what happened in the comments section below!