Every now and then, a completely unique type of game pops up out of nowhere and completely changes the way video and computer games are played. Do Not Feed the Monkeys might be one of these and definitely has everything it needs to become a cult classic.
Probably the biggest disadvantage of Do Not Feed the Monkeys – except for the lack of media coverage – is that it’s a puzzle / adventure / something completely different type of game. These are, nowadays, not as popular as shiny shooters or crazy clickers and whatnot, but this doesn’t mean that we’re not dealing with a truly revolutionary game here.
Do Not Feed the Monkeys throws you straight into the action, without taking you through a complex tutorial beforehand. You’re mostly on your own here, in a game that portrays the modern world better than anything else I’ve seen.
In this game, you’re nothing but a lonely guy living in a small apartment, whose only entertainment is watching hidden video feeds of various places in the world. Initially, you have no idea why you’re watching or where the cameras are located but you have the option to do so eventually. And in most cases, you’ll be forced to do so, because this is what Do Not Feed the Monkeys is all about: observation, interaction, loneliness.
Sure, you are not supposed to interact with your subjects, but who can do that? By watching the video feeds on your screen (which get pretty insane in numbers as time goes by), you start learning more about the locations of the cameras and even the stories of the people you’re seeing. You won’t always see people, but you’ll always be able to find out more if you pay attention, if you’re there to watch the screens at the right time and if you use your imagination a bit.
Of course, violating the privacy of people all around the globe doesn’t pay the bills (at least not in this game), so you’ll have to do the odd job every now and then in order to be able to afford the rent and put some food in your belly. Each job that you do takes some time, keeping you away from your precious screens. This requires a bit of planning since you don’t want to miss out on the special events that might be happening on screen.
And as boring as this might sound at first, watching on your real screen a virtual screen with multiple video feeds where, for most of the time, nothing happens, is fascinating and addictive. The things you see there and everything you end up learning as you spend more time spying on the poor people are what keeps you glued to the screen. So we can say that this game masterfully pushes all the right buttons: our innate curiosity that keeps us playing as we want to know more, as well as the voyeuristic nature of our actions.
And the biggest, most important catalyst for you to keep going is that you don’t really know why you’re doing this. What’s this club that you have joined? What happens when you reach that final level? What the hell is this game about?
You are not supposed to interact with “the monkeys” but you will, because that’s human nature: we have to interfere. From recording short videos that we can anonymously share with the local television for some extra money (but which usually end our ability to continue working on that specific feed) to making phone calls, deliveries to our subjects or even having direct contact, there are many ways for you to break the rules. And you will. Because, as I said, that’s human nature.
So I highly recommend this game to anybody who’s willing to try something different. Something unique and entertaining, something that tickles your mind and ego and makes you realize that we are heading towards supreme loneliness. But we can always wave into thin air, hoping that somebody is watching…
You can download Do Not Feed the Monkeys on Steam today.