Please, Don’t Touch Anything: House Broken Review – Please Touch Everything

Please, Don’t Touch Anything: House Broken Review

Working from home has become the norm for a lot of people. You get up, have some coffee, and sit at your desk, ready to start the day. What if your job was just that simple? What if you simply had to sit down at your desk and not touch a thing? Developed and published by ForwardXP, Please, Don’t Touch Anything: House Broken is a delightful puzzle-solving/ escape room-esque experience in VR. Players are set up with a nice little home office, complete with a simple desk featuring a big red button. Your instructions are simple; don’t touch anything. It’s right there in the name. If you manage to avoid the tantalizing temptation of touching anything, you will eventually be rewarded with one of the game’s 15 unique endings. But where is the fun in that? Press the button!

Pressing the big red button once makes a simple toggle appear, and each successive button press makes some new and interesting features of the desk come to life. In fact, try hitting that big red button over and over just to see what happens next! For taking place in one small room inside your home, there is quite a lot to do, and some of the puzzles can be especially challenging until you get the hang of it. Everything in arms reach will play a part in at least one solution.

Many of these solutions, however, rely on the same early step of entering the same code into a pin pad. Were there a few other early puzzle options to branch from, I feel it would be a little more engaging. Once I realized so many puzzles needed that same set-up to complete, I began each run doing the same thing.

Look For Clues Around Every Corner

Please, Don’t Touch Anything is built for people who love escape rooms. It’s more than just solving a puzzle put in front of you. Players have to look for solutions and patterns in unique places. This sort of game is perfectly paired with VR as you not only manipulate the objects around you but also have to move around the environment for clues. Finding potential clues by physically searching feels far more rewarding than uncovering them in a brick of text on a screen. I found myself closely inspecting everything, trying to parse out any hidden features that could help me solve the room.

Interaction with the objects is fluid and quite charming to behold. Anti-gravity makes everything not bolted down float and spin in the air. Chalk can be used on the chalkboard in a realistic and immersive fashion. I know this is the nature of VR gaming but it doesn’t make it any less impressive when it is pulled off so flawlessly.

Upon activating the aforementioned anti-gravity, I sat in the room and toyed with the clipboard, chalk, and other floating debris. Tossing them in the air to watch them spin, colliding off of each other in the air. When I first grabbed the coffee mug, I juggled it back and forth to myself before throwing it at the wall for fun. It shattered, then respawned on the desk. VR games like this provide the opportunity for childlike wonder, a brief reprieve from the world, and a chance to just marvel at the surreal.

A Delightful Reprieve From The Mundane

The majority – if not all – of the solutions to Please, Don’t Touch Anything: House Broken’s puzzles end in outlandish ways. Beginning in such a mundane place and evolving to something unexpectedly comical and weird is refreshing and rewarding. The UFO ending is my favorite, offering a variety of interactive moments and some genuinely fun effects. The Fly ending was mildly unsettling (without spoiling it, of course), and let us not forget that simple toggle. After that single press of the big red button, the toggle appears. It stays there through the remainder of your session, regardless of what you are working on. Carelessly bumping the toggle will set it off, and… well, don’t hit the toggle.

Please, Don’t Touch Anything: House Broken is brimming with charm. It has a cheeky sense of humor with some genuinely complex, head-scratching puzzles that are satisfying to solve. There is so much rich gameplay packaged into a small, simple room. The physics of each object feels great, and the graphical detail – even on the Meta Quest 2 – is sharp enough to trick the senses. I experienced no issues with environmental interactions, no bugs or glitches, just smooth, challenging puzzles. My only minor issue was how many puzzles required the same starting interaction. Given the varied endings, however, and their complex solutions, this is easily overlooked. It’s the most engaging fun I’ve ever had sitting at a desk.

*Meta Quest 2 Code provided by the publisher*

The Good

  • Challenging Puzzles
  • Great Physics
  • Engaging Graphics
  • Charming

The Bad

  • Common Task Among Many Puzzles