Please Don’t Touch Anything 3D is a wonderfully creative game with very little that’s similar to it out there.
Games with multiple endings are really quite popular right now. Whether they are the result of multiple choices throughout the game or one final choice at the end, it’s always nice to know that you have influenced the outcome in some way. I often wonder how people play these games — do they get their first ending and decide that it’s their canonical ending, or do they prefer to seek every eventuality out?
One game that certainly leans towards the latter is Galactic Cafe’s 2013 The Stanley Parable. Follow the narrator’s instructions or ignore them completely. Depending on what you decide to do, you’ll reach an ending that could be sinister, funny or poignant. Finding all those endings became something of an addiction for me over the course of a few days. I mention this because Please Don’t Touch Anything 3D reminds me of that style of ‘ending hunting’ in a lot of ways, and it’s a damn fun game to boot.
Please Don’t Touch Anything 3D is a reworking of Please Don’t Touch Anything, released by Four Quarter in 2015. This new version has appeared on pretty much everything so far, and now it’s the Xbox One’s turn to sample the madness. The game begins rather simply, with you placed — immobile beyond your ability to look around — in front of a huge console with one big red button on it and a TV showing a city (presumably the city you’re in) above it. Your co-worker steps out, saying they’ll be back soon and that you mustn’t touch anything in the meantime. So obviously, you completely ignore his instruction and start touching stuff.
I’m going to tell you exactly how my (and I imagine many other people’s) first game went. I pressed the big red button and a switch appeared. I pressed the switch and sirens started going off. With nothing else to press, I pressed the red button again and the city on the monitor collapsed in a nuclear explosion. And that was it! I pressed the reset button (Y on the controller, but there is a reset switch in-game) and received a poster to put on the wall before the world returned to its initial state. At this point, it became clear that this is a game with multiple endings tied to how you interact with the console.
And there are a lot of endings. Without spoiling too much, using the console controls in a variety of ways makes more buttons appear, many of which require passwords. Looking around the room will reveal hints about these passwords, but many require a lot more searching and finding certain items. Some of the endings are utterly insane and require a surprising amount of effort to access, but it’s always satisfying to find what madness the developers have thought up. There are film, TV and game references hidden in there; mini-games to play; and some events that you categorically will not predict.
You may only reach some conclusions by finding things down one path, resetting and going down a different path with your new knowledge. If you aren’t a fan of taking notes or photos of things you’ve seen, this may not be for you (unless you want to use a guide, but I think that would be missing the point). It does mean there’s a certain amount of trial and error at times, which became a touch tiresome after repeating the same process over and over, but seeing a new ending often made it worthwhile, and seeing that wall fill up with posters is quite addictive.
Please Don’t Touch Anything 3D looks fine, with everything being clear enough. The fact you can zoom in with the triggers helps make things clearer when they’re far away. Whilst the visuals aren’t the greatest, they are used in creative ways, especially for the endings. The sound is good, too, with the music changing depending on what you’re currently doing. While voice lines are delivered well, there aren’t all that many of them.
The only real nitpick I have is that this is clearly designed with mouse/VR controls in mind. Playing with a controller was a little fiddly at times, especially when dealing with some of the smaller buttons. Zooming in helps to an extent, but even then it was a pain. I imagine playing this on PC with a VR setup would be fantastic fun.
Please Don’t Touch Anything 3D is a wonderfully creative game with very little that’s similar to it out there. There are so many paths to reach endings in so many interesting ways that you’re likely to be busy with this one for some time. If you’re willing to spend time rooting around the room and noting down things you spot, you’ll have a fantastic time tracking down more and more ways to finish the game. The hunt for insanity is addictive!