Please Don't Touch Anything is a pixel art point-and-click adventure game developed for Ludum Dare 31 by Four Quarters and published by BulkyPix and Plug In Digital. The idea is that the player is asked to watch a control panel while the person working at it is off on a bathroom break. Aside from a cryptic poster on the wall, you are given one simple instruction: Please don't touch anything. So, naturally, your first instinct will be to play around with things, right?
As of December 7th, 2016, the game has an Updated Re-release on Steam, called Please, Don't Touch Anything 3D. In addition to 3D graphics, the new version includes a room around the panel, small changes both to finding the endings and the endings themselves, and five brand new endings. Every ending is unique in their own way.
A version for the Nintendo Switch is set to release on November 22nd, 2018, with new mechanics, puzzle solutions, and endings.
SPOILER WARNING: A large part of the experience of this game is playing around with different aspects and variables and discovering the various endings for yourself. While spoiler tags will be used wherever necessary, the nature of this game will mean that unmarked spoilers will be rampant on this page. You Have Been Warned.
In Other Words: Please, Don't Read Anything.
Please Don't Touch Anything contains examples of:
- Alien Kudzu: The Panda Ending, in which the office in covered in plants.
- Anti-Frustration Features: Several upgrades are made from the itch.io version into the Steam and 3D versions.
- The "Bender" puzzle was reworked, the solution to which going from being the binary code for the letter W, a slightly obtuse puzzle based on the "WORK" instruction, to the binary code represented by dots on the informational flyer.
- The initial code needed for the Roman numeral panel was originally based on the number of individual lines in the bar code on the information sheet. This was changed to a depiction of a ladder which, when rotated, became Roman numerals.
- The Braille in the itch.io version became math equations in the Steam version, making the associated puzzles less Google intensive.
- The numbered bullet points on the informational flyer become the code of a later puzzle, but in the Steam version, they are out of order, making it clearer to the player that they are to be used as a code.
- The Illuminati ending no longer closes the game, meaning you don't have to restart it.
- Hidden around the room are Morse Code Pamphlets, which are useful, considering the game changed the letters needed for the Morse code ending.
- In the VR version, it's much more difficult to take notes for future endings. Luckily, the whiteboard is completely changeable, and is preserved between resets.
- A more subtle case for all versions: The roman numerals for the code 132231 are a palindrome, so that regardless of how it's rotated, it can be easily read as the correct code.
- Bait-and-Switch: One of the Satanic endings has the clouds and buildings growing happy faces like that of a child friendly cartoon. This is especially jarring after having encountered the other Satanic ending, which has the kind of spooky content one would expect.
- Be as Unhelpful as Possible: The game itself. Your only instruction is to not touch anything.
- Big Red Button: The game starts with the console having only this button. Pressing it opens up more things to click. Breaking it with the hammer unleashes the Bloody Baby.
- Boss Battle: Getting the "Essence Of Machines" ending requires the player to beat a mini game that is essentially this. The Bloody Baby will slowly trickle a row of blood towards the reset lever, and the player must defeat the vessels projecting a force field that protects the fetus in order to hit the fetus itself, before the blood reaches the lever. Even the music is befitting of a boss theme, being much more intense and fast-paced than any other song in the game.
- Computer Equals Tape Drive: In 3D is a tape-reel mainframe labeled IcBM. Unscrewing a panel turns it off, and reveals a hamster in front of a miniature version of the machine.
- Cruelty Is the Only Option: The entirety of the gameplay is you finding a myriad of ways to destroy the city you are supposed to be monitoring. Technically speaking, it is possible to play the game without doing anything particularly cruel to the city, but doing so would mean that the player would miss more than half of the game's content.
- Everything Makes a Mushroom: The easiest ending to get in the game (and the only one shown in the trailer) results in the on-screen city getting destroyed in a mushroom cloud.
- Featureless Protagonist: You. Only the console and its surrounding area are visible.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In the original, the Illuminati Ending crashes the game. Meanwhile, the VR version puts the player into the room itself and all the horrors within.
- The Illuminati: One of the endings results in an all-seeing eye appearing. This and the accompanying achievement strongly hints at their existence in the game's universe.
- Moon Logic Puzzle: Some of the puzzles are quite a reach in terms of logical progression. Particular mention goes to the itch.io version of the Robot ending, which requires you to punch in the binary code for the letter W. There is zero indication that this is what you have to do, and even after realizing it, it still makes little to no sense. This was altered in the Steam version to using the dots on the information poster, next to the word "work," to represent binary. A bit simpler, but still a stretch.
- Multiple Endings: The game has twenty-five, all depending on what you do (or don't do), while the Steam version adds more.
- Nightmare Face: The Satanic Ending. A pale-White, ghostly face with sharp teeth that keeps glitching in and out. The Illuminati Ending features a Nightmare Eye- The All-Seeing Eye, specifically.
- Nothing Is Scarier: The Illuminati Ending ends by making the window fullscreen (if it isn't already), with an eye suddenly opening at you, which automatically closes the game.
- Number of the Beast: 666 is curiously drawn onto the side of the machine. This is a hint towards two puzzles, at least.
- Omega Ending: The last ending is automatically unlocked when you achieve all the rest. Turns out the panel is just a coffee maker. Enjoy some coffee and watch the credits.
- Overly-Long Gag: Unlocking the Panda Ending requires you to click a button 276 times. The Happy Buildings ending requires you hit the same button 666 times.
- Patience Plot: The Peace ending can be achieved by...just waiting a minute without touching anything. After that, the guy from the start of the game who told you to wait for a minute while he takes a bathroom break actually returns and thanks the player for waiting (and not touching anything).
- Retraux: Both in terms of graphics and sound effects.
- Rewarding Inactivity: The Peace ending is gotten if the player sits back for about a minute, perfectly obeying the game's title instruction. The player can get an achievement for waiting 3 minutes longer.
- Schmuck Bait: Natural in a game where the entire point is directly disobeying the instructions given in the title. The Peace ending, however, requires the player to defy this trope and not touch anything until the coworker gets back.
- Shout-Out: Has its own page.
- Time-Limit Boss: The Essence of Machines (the bloody baby that emerges from the red button after hammering it) has to be hammered thrice before a trail of blood reaches the restart lever and forces it down.
- Trial-and-Error Gameplay: No instructions are given regarding how to play the game. Only random guesses and a bit of Insane Troll Logic can help you complete all the endings.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change:
- "City Boom! Press button to drop bomb!" a minigame that has a chance of appearing whenever the game is reset, or when a floppy disk is inserted in the 3D version.
- The "Essence of Machines" ending is a whack-a-mole Boss Battle.
- Unrealistic Black Hole: The city gets consumed by one of these in the fittingly-named "Black Hole ending."
- In the 3D version, the black hole sucks in the entire room-except for the panel, screen, and you. It also reflects exactly what you're seeing, for some reason.