Yeah, nobody’s going to listen to that…
It’s not often that you can play through an eShop title from start to finish in a matter of seconds. It’s even less frequent that you might find a situation where you do just that, only to think, “that was quite cool.” That, though, is the experience you get in Please, Don’t Touch Anything.
We’ve all said it, and had it said to us – if you don’t know what you’re doing, keep your fingers to yourself. But this is a game where you aren’t supposed to take heed of the title (well, for the most part). You start the game by seeing your colleague leave the room for a bathroom break, promising that he’ll be back in a jiffy. That leaves you on your own in a room full of buttons and dials which are just begging to be fiddled with. It looks kind of like a simplified version of Homer’s workspace in the power plant in The Simpsons.
This is a game which encourages experimentation, and for being inquisitive you’re rewarded with puzzling entertainment. Nondescript clues are scribbled on posters on the walls and elsewhere in your surroundings, and you’ll need to figure out how they can become useful. You won’t find any comprehensive walkthroughs for the Switch version online just yet, which is usually a good thing, but some of the puzzlings don’t really make as much sense as they ought to in a good puzzler. The game prioritises the trial and error of pushing the buttons and twisting the dials before it emphasises using your brain power, and that balance would be best served being more even.
Figure out a puzzle and you’ll be treated to one of the game’s endings, and that’s where the game’s beauty comes in – you can hit the Y button at any time to restart the scene, and when you discover the endings, that’s what you’ll need to do to set about finding the next one. There are loads of different endings to be found, and they are all achieved by making a different decision along the way. You might even get one for actually not touching anything. It’s a clever premise and shows off in a Groundhog Day-like manner how many different predicaments can be brought about from the exact same starting point. You’ll want to tinker around with it for ages until you’ve discovered all those exits, and it almost encourages you along in the same way as Nintendo did with getting players to chase all the exits in Super Mario World.
Some of you might feel that you’ve seen this before, and that may be the case – Please, Don’t Touch Anything was first released on Steam and iOS in 2015 in a distinctly more low-res form. A virtual reality edition was to follow, and the Switch has now got an even more updated version still, which visually looks a far cry from how the game originally looked just three years ago. The Switch version doesn’t look far off something you might see in a Pixar short, come to think of it.
But though we’ve seen it elsewhere, Please, Don’t Touch Anything brings such a clever premise that it makes for a very worthy addition to the Switch eShop. The puzzling could be smoother, but you’ll enjoy the thrill of the chase.
Please, Don't Touch Anything
Please, Don’t Touch Anything won’t feel like anything you’ve played before, and is great at encouraging trial and error. The puzzling isn’t perfect and there are only a few endings which will take more than five minutes to figure out, but it’s good fun nonetheless.