As a poor 90’s kid I didn’t really have the luxuries of speedy internet until late into my teens. When you have to wait hours for 1 minute flash animations to load, single room point and click games become king of the computer screen. Games like The Crimson Room became an obsession of my childhood and were the first PC games I was exposed to outside of The Sims. Simply the word puzzle often guarantees my fingers feverishly twitching in glee, but there was something about the simple nature of Please, Don’t Touch Anything which also brought me back to those early point and click days.
You are playing someone who is strolling nonchalantly through a highly restricted area, and instead of being shot at repeatedly, you are instead put in charge of “the button” while the usual guy goes for a wee. What you do from here on is up to you, though much like other indie games such as The Path, if you don’t decide to disobey the game’s one and only instruction, you are pretty limited in where it will take you.
There are 16 possible endings to uncover based on your actions. The first few are fairly obvious and will take you a matter of minutes to unlock, while others will have you wracking you brain at the complexity. This of course is all the more rewarding when you finally do figure it all out, and you get that warm, intense feeling of satisfaction. I will admit that I was disappointed by the majority of the endings. While not trying to spoil much most endings result in the destruction of the planet, and while carried out in a variety of amusing ways, you derive more pleasure from the switching on of one of the tiny lights indicating you have unlocked another ending than you do from the cut scenes which ensue. That being said, some endings (hammer ending I’m looking at you) work beautifully to add to the chilling atmosphere and Please, Don’t Touch Anything could have been hugely improved from more variety like this.
Being a single screen game there is a limited number of items which could be clues or interactable, which is a nice step away from most 90’s point and click adventure game logic puzzles, and with a little thought it is quite possible to work out all of the puzzle solutions. However, some puzzles such as the roman numeral one right at the beginning of Please, Don’t Touch Anything work as the gateway to a number of puzzles and as such a number of possible endings, meaning that if you can’t figure it out there is really little you can do in this game. Once you work out the developer’s logic, the puzzles become all the more easier, giving Please, Don’t Touch Anything a satisfying sense of progression. The music is pretty rocking too and the graphics all together charming.
Quibbles aside, I have to admit that I originally decided to give this game a quick look before bedtime and ended up 2 hours later hunched over the computer in dim lamp light surrounded by hastily scribbled out math. It’s certainly absorbing from start to finish, even though it is just a few hours in length and rock hard achievements will keep even the most adamant perfectionists occupied, making the most out of the $5 cost price. There are certainly improvements which could be made such as more endings, more variety of endings, and working out the bug which doesn’t register all of the clicks made would certainly be a running start, though this is certainly an admirable start from the developers and I would look forward to more of them in the future.
I received a key courtesy of the developers. You can buy yours from Steam.
A great little point and click puzzle game and I look forward to seeing a lot more in the future.