Also on: Xbox One, PC, PS4
Publisher: Alawar Premium
Developer: Alawar Entertainment
Do Not Feed The Monkeys feels like a great example of overthinking (and overstuffing) a premise until you miss what made it interesting and worthwhile in the first place.
The gist of it is simple: you?re part of some secret voyeuristic club that has to watch cameras and piece together what?s happening in people?s lives. The better you do, the more cameras you have to watch, until it becomes a tense game of juggling all these different peep shows as you frantically go back and forth, trying not to miss anything.
That part of Do Not Feed The Monkeys is good. It?s nerve-wracking in a way you wouldn?t necessarily expect a game with that premise to be. Truthfully, as someone who prefers games that are a little more relaxed, I found it a little too tense for my liking, but still: it?s hard to deny it?s addictive.
Where the game falls apart a little is that it adds a survival element on top of all that. In addition to doing your job, you also have to take care of yourself — which means balancing eating, going to your other work, sleeping, odd jobs for neighbours, and basically doing lots and lots of resource management. It certainly adds to the challenge, but I don?t think it does so in a positive way. Rather than being a very good, very tense satire about dystopia and voyeurism and the modern world, it kind of muddies its message with a lot of unnecessary stuff.
Is that enough to make Do Not Feed The Monkeys a bad game? Of course not — with a premise this good, it?s hard to mess it up. But by adding in all kinds of extra things, it feels like the game tries its hardest to get in its own way.
Alawar Premium provided us with a Do Not Feed The Monkeys Switch code for review purposes.