Genre: Point and click strategy
Developer: Fictiorama Studios, Badland Games Publishing S.L.
Publisher: Alawar Premium
Release Date: October 23rd, 2018
Edited by AlexKnight2005
We all know the “Do Not Feed the Animals” signs. It’s all to keep them safe. But when it comes to Do Not Feed the Monkeys, will you be able to resist and not interfere with them? In Do Not Feed the Monkeys, the player becomes an observer of those hypothetical monkeys. And in this case, the monkeys are all of us, in stories that happen around us every day.
Everything begins with an invitation to The Primate Observation Club, a secret society that is all about watching people in their natural habitat. None of the subjects know that they’re being observed. To stay in the club, you need to not only keep an eye on the subjects but you need to expand. Every few days, you get an evaluation, and if you don’t meet the requirements, you get expelled from the club. We all know how it ends when you get cast out of any secret society.
Time management is a huge part of this game. Even though the main goal is to spy on people and places, you need to make sure to keep healthy, stay well-fed, get enough sleep and pay your rent. Even in getting the food, you have a choice. Will you get some healthy groceries from the supermarket, or will you call for a fast-food delivery and save some time? This is what makes it much more challenging than just simply watching cameras. To be able to afford all of that, you need to get money either by doing jobs in the city or by completing challenges you get from the Club. The other way to fill your bank account is by interacting with your “subjects.” Every new camera feed you get is a fresh start for you. You only get the picture and have to figure out what is happening there, who is involved in the scene, and if you want or need to intervene.
To achieve this, you need to pay attention to the surroundings, listen to everyone involved, and gather evidence to reveal the big picture behind everything. To keep you even more in suspense, some of the camera feeds are time-limited without you knowing. Because the game is happening across a 24-hour cycle, you can get help by getting a night vision camera upgrade and recording software that allows you to keep track of more feeds simultaneously. Sometimes, however, the camera feeds are just duds, and you never know which ones you will get next.
The design of this game is very minimalistic and set basically in just two spots. Throughout the story, not everything happens on the cameras on your PC. Since the game’s main point is observing, most of it is happening on your PC. But to keep yourself maintained, you can turn around and view your room, where you keep your coffee maker, your refrigerator, and your bed. This is also a screen where your room entrance can be found. You will also meet other people, like your neighbors, landlady, postman, and many others.
You never get the same camera feeds in the same order. So if you have trouble figuring out some stories at the beginning, you can easily begin a new game and get a different start. There is never just one way to solve situations, which gives you a reason to replay the game again multiple times.
Even though completely set in a pixel-art style, you always know what you are looking at because the game still focuses on details. Whether you’re looking at streets, nature, or offices and flats, the screen is very rarely just empty. The game supports many resolutions and a windowed mode, so you can set it up just how you like and need it.
The soundtrack of this game is very varied, as it consists of different songs in many different styles and languages. What is interesting about the music is that you’re not playing it directly. You’re getting it randomly from neighbors’ apartments. But even like that, it fits the game situations well and doesn’t feel forced at all. Since you spend most of the game inside your room, you are surrounded by the sounds of a city residential building, whether it’s cars on the street, loud music, the sound of a baby crying, or neighbors arguing. Just as in real life, you can never affect whether or when you get those. The game sounds are very fitting with the game setting. They all correspond with the situations you’re going through, which means that although the day can be pretty loud, you can rely on the fact that at night, the game gets much more silent, with occasional crickets.
You can either run the game in normal mode or in “Peeper” mode, which is the same but easier due to lower focus on health, food, and sleep.
The controls are pretty user-friendly and very easy to understand. It’s easily controlled with just the mouse because the game explains all the ways required for that. With the keyboard, you can make things much easier due to using several helpful shortcuts. Please note that there is only one save file, so you can’t start a different game and switch between them as you like. The game always saves automatically at 9 AM in-game time, which means that if you mess up at the end of the day, you have to either stick with how things played out or replay the whole day again.
All things considered, Do Not Feed the Monkeys is a very interesting game with a high level of replayability. Stories will catch your attention and keep you invested in the fates happening on your PC’s screen. You will be constantly kept on your toes, either with the stories themselves or with the neverending need to fulfill expectations. Although what is good for one person doesn’t have to feel the same for another. The constant need to push forward, improve and expand can start to feel like a grind because you need to focus on the requirement of money and thus lose sight of the stories that are unfolding in front of you. The “failure” is a part of the game and sometimes is very hard to avoid, but it is a thing that might start to get annoying to a certain level. But if you do get past that, you can expect to have lots of fun. Just don’t forget the number one rule: Do Not Feed the Monkeys.
- Interesting stories
- A Player’s choice makes an impact
- Great replayability
- Too focused on expanding
Coipher gives Do Not Feed the Monkeys for PC a Drastik Measure of 8.0 out of 10.0 (80)