Game Reviews

Please, Don't Touch Anything - Or there'll be trouble

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Please, Don't Touch Anything - Or there'll be trouble


AAAAAAAAH why are you not using your inside voice???

Because the world is at stake! I'm talking mushroom cloud, sonic boom, chew-your-fist-in-terror apocalypse!

But stop looking so panicked and take your arm out of your hazmat suit sleeve. It's really just a game made by the folks at Four Quarters. Have you heard of Pandora's box? Please, Don't Touch Anything is basically the mobile game puzzler version of that.

You could have just said that to begin with. So how do I play it?

Sorry. So the game begins with your mate who knows how to operate a machine console disappearing off to the loo, and he asks you not to touch anything before he gets back.
Of course, there's a big red button in the middle of the control box - and everyone knows that big red buttons are meant to be pressed.

Push it, and a whole series of puzzles start to appear. Switches flip out, draws with screwdrivers and hammers pop open, and hidden clues reveal themselves - all depending on how you interact with the box.

Ok, got it. But what's the point?

There are 25 ways to solve the box in total - and each solution brings about a different ending to the city outside.

Each time you solve a particular pattern and unlock an ending, a poster will appear on the wall in front of you and one of 25 lights will ping into life on the console. Complete all 25 and you will have completed the game.

Wait, haven't I seen this game before?

If you're a fan of one of those new-fangled PC things, then maybe. Please, Don't Touch Anything was released earlier this year on Steam and has proved pretty popular.

However, don't expect exactly the same game. The developers invented a handful of extra puzzles for the mobile version that weren't available for the PC version - so there's new content for you to get your teeth into.

So is it any good?

The original game on Steam was great, and it ports equally well to mobile. The pixel art style borrows from games like Papers, Please - but the game's dark humour makes it a more likely sibling of The Stanley Parable.

The gags will tease a smile and the puzzles are challenging enough to ensure frowns, while the gleaming art and evocative music creates a compelling atmosphere. You'll want to touch everything until MC Hammer comes and forcibly ties your hands behind your back.

The only flaw is that Please, Don't Touch Anything feels like it's missed an opportunity to craft an interesting narrative.

Papers, Please provided a commentary on bureaucracy and the dehumanization of immigrants while The Stanley Parable parodied the process of game development.

Please, Don't Touch Anything has the same satirical promise, but doesn't quite deliver in the same way. What it does present on a platter, however, is fun gameplay in a neat pixel art package.

So it's worth a play?

If you're a fan of puzzle games and pushing things that you shouldn't, then Please, Don't Touch Anything will be an unlikely boost to your serotonin levels.

Just make sure to actually start touching everything, or it's a very short game indeed. Trust me.

Please, Don't Touch Anything - Or there'll be trouble

Please, Don't Touch Anything has the potential to touch on some serious issues. What it lacks in narrative it makes up for in fun factor.
Alysia Judge
Alysia Judge
After spending months persuading her parents that it's a valuable career path, Alysia is still not bored with writing about games. That's a good thing really, since skills like spaceship navigation and zombie slaying are pretty much non-transferable.