I’m sure most of us remember a time in our childhood when we stepped into a store with our parents, and the first thing that came out of their mouths as they looked sternly down at us, was simply “Don’t touch anything!” Thankfully, in the experimental puzzle game, Please Don’t Touch Anything, you’ll quickly learn to ignore that rule. For better or worse.
Entry into this game is quite brilliant. You’re presented as yourself in first person, standing in the middle of this room staring at a door as a hand waves with a simple voice declaring “I’ll be right back” as the door closes. At that point you’re given control of your camera view and a cursor. You’re not allowed to move about the room, just simply able to rotate around and up and down. In front of you in the main area of the room are a large screen, and a blank panel with one of those classic big red buttons on it. “Curiosity killed the cat” as they say, so of course you press the button and begin your experimental journey through Please Don’t Touch Anything.
I’m a huge fan of puzzle games like The Room that involve the exploration of a singular object, where the more you solve the more is revealed. These smaller scenarios are more enjoyable that other puzzle games that are more open, such as The Witness. So, when I immediately realized I was focused with just this room’s surroundings, and not allowed to move around, I was even more enticed to discover what it would ultimately reveal, and it didn’t take very long at all to start seeing how my various experimentations with elements in this room would unfold.
Unlike The Room that I mentioned, where there is a linear puzzle to be solved, Please Don’t Touch Anything invites the player to truly experiment by giving them over 30 non-linear endings. As I found very quickly, some endings come fast (really fast), but most require trying out different things based on clues you may find. Each of these endings generally leads you back to a big screen and panel with a Reset Lever at your disposal. Trial and error will win the day! For every ending that you reveal you’ll be awarded a poster or object that is placed in the room with you. It’s a great visible progression of what you’ve discovered thus far.
Gameplay itself is as straightforward as you can imagine. You have a reticle and you simply hover over things, and press or hold a button to interact with it. There is a soft-lock with the reticle, but I found it to be mostly unresponsive, and there were times when I wish I could have snapped between elements faster on the Nintendo Switch.
The game’s visual presentation is unique as well. The room you’re in is all fairly basic 3D geometry with clean textures. There’s nothing mind-blowing here, but that’s really well fitting for this game. Your monitor screen however is 8 bit and reminiscent of the green and blacks from an old Apple IIe computer. The screen displays a 2d skyline of a city and based on certain outcomes, will be affected by your decisions within the room.
Please Don’t Touch Anything is a game that you can quickly get lost in and lose track of time. I started early on evening and the next thing I knew it was late into the night before I decided to put my Switch down. In one go I had discovered about a half dozen of the endings, and this game is certainly one of those that fully entices you to just have ‘one more go’ at it. As soon as I’d discover a new thing, I’d immediately be trying all of the other random combinations of things I had previously discovered with it to see what would happen. It was a time sink in the best possible way. With multiple endings to discover (including some pop culture ones that are really great) and an addictive quality to it, puzzle fans should definitely seek this one out.
Please, Don't Touch Anything Review
Final Thoughts: GREAT
Please Don’t Touch Anything is a clever non-linear puzzle game that highly promotes experimentation to solve the game’s riddles and puzzles. With 30 endings to discover and easy gameplay mechanics on the Nintendo Switch, it’s a great fit for on the go, or binge playing. I’d certainly recommend touching the Purchase button to grab this game for $9.99 on the eShop!
Alex has been actively gaming since the release of the Nintendo. Turning passion into profession, he’s spent just over a decade in game development, and is currently the Creative Director at a studio.