Review: Please, Don’t Touch Anything
...or how to blow up a city because you've been told not to.
Modern virtual reality (VR) is capable of doing a great many things. Uses attributing benefits to education, healthcare, industrial and commercial industries have already been discovered and many put into practice. But in addition to all those high level productivity use cases, VR can also be fun. Pure, simple, unadulterated fun. This is where Please, Don’t Touch Anything steps in.
Please, Don’t Touch Anything is a videogame of endings. 30 of them, to be exact. Some take less than a minute to reach, some longer and one precisely that. However, it’s the finding of each one that comprises of Please, Don’t Touch Anything’s exploration and offers a unique and often amusing videogame experience; it’s surprising how far you can go with only a big red button, screwdriver, hammer and two unwitting hamsters.
Positioned on a chair in a single room throughout the duration of Please, Don’t Touch Anything, the videogame begins without instruction bar that of not doing what you are so obviously about to do: don’t touch anything. Please, Don’t Touch Anything could be seen a videogame about defiance; fighting against the controlling nature of a laborious rule that prevents you from escaping your meaningless daily grind for a vague superiority that has no respect for your personal condition. In reality however, it’s a videogame about breaking things and blowing stuff up in amusing ways.
That aforementioned big red button is key to a great many things, both doom and insight into a hidden realm of the illuminate. However there’s much more in your surroundings that take time to discover. Please, Don’t Touch Anything borrows mechanics from point-n’-click adventure videogames in that everything that can be interacted with has potential to unlock another avenue of interaction, and without instruction it’s a case of trying object X with item Y to see what potential new interfaces and interaction arrive.
Throughout the course of your interaction and exploration you’ll often find the start of a path to a new ending before you finish your intended journey, and this is the principle mechanic that makes Please, Don’t Touch Anything such an enjoyable waste of time. Once one ending has been completed and you’re rewarded with a virtual Polaroid to stick on your office wall, you’ll want to dive back in immediately to find what waits hidden upon another path. Constantly overarching routes to these endings means that you’ve never truly finished the process you are currently exploring and pursuing subsequent branches of intrigue is never less than entertaining.
Theoretically, you can see everything Please, Don’t Touch Anything has to offer in less than an hour and, at present, there’s little reason to return beyond that. However, the puzzle challenges get increasingly convoluted once you’ve broken everything once and found clues to what should (or could) be coming next. It’s still unlikely to take you more than an evening to find all 30 of Please, Don’t Touch Anything’s endings, but it’s a journey that will remain with you due to it’s constantly evolving nature and it’s return to 0 upon every completion.