Do Not Feed the Monkeys: Big Brother at its most comical.
A light and funny spin on an Orwellian’s worst nightmare
One of the most common activities that people indulge in today is voyeurism. This is the age of reality TV after all! If you enjoy watching other people’s lives with TV shows such as ‘Love Island’, ‘I’m a Celebrity’, ‘Goggle-box’ etc. then we have just the game for you. If you also happen to be an old school gamer that enjoyed the likes of Monkey Island and other point-and-click adventures then hold onto your grog.
Do Not Feed the Monkeys sees you become part of a secretive club, the details of which are never fully disclosed. Unraveling the mystery behind your employer is part of the incentive to progress through the game. In your apartment you have access to a fridge, a bed, and a computer which is hooked up to a form of CCTV. Each of the CCTV cameras (or ‘cages’ as they are called in-game) is following the daily routines of people affectionately known by your employer as ‘monkeys’. It is your duty to observe them, investigate, take notes, and report back to your employer regarding said monkeys and their activities. You are warned not to interfere with the lives of the people on screen or as otherwise phrased, “Do not feed the monkeys”!
It is not as straightforward as simply observing, because each of the cameras runs in real time. You may find that events and conversations are unfolding across multiple cameras simultaneously, so you will have to choose when and which cameras you’re going to observe. Beware; you might miss vital details that you need to further the story and progression. Couple this with gauges for your food, sleep and health of which you must constantly monitor, a persistent landlady who comes to collect the rent every three days, and the mailman who brings random items and collectibles, there is more than just your voyeuristic ways to consider.
Your rent of $90 is due every three days. Food as well will cost; more if you order takeout. Supermarket food is cheaper and healthier; however the trip to the supermarket will take an hour out of your day losing valuable ‘big brother time’. The takeaway is delivered to your door, but although will fill your food gauge will most likely reduce your health gauge at the same time. Fast food and takeaways aren’t exactly known for their nutritional goodness after all!
Every five days, your employer will review your work and will expect you to increase the amount of ‘cages’ that you staking out. Failure to meet your targets will result in game over. Each new camera or ‘cage’ costs an additional $50. Post-it notes on the back of the apartment door will offer various jobs to earn some cash, but these can lower your health and will take time away from the cameras. I spent 8 hours at a security job, but fell asleep because my bar gauge was too low and wasn’t paid anything for my time. The only way to effectively manage your rent, food and cages, is to discreetly feed the monkeys.
This was a really fun game and we thoroughly enjoyed it. At one point there was over a dozen cages, all with their respective lights blinking in the top right corner to let me know that there was activity on that camera. The phone was ringing, somebody was knocking at the door, the fridge was bare and the rent was overdue. Finding inventive ways to make money from the monkeys without being detected was great fun. We won’t post any spoilers or tips for the cages, but we will point out that on our first run we were not paying attention to the blinking lights in the top right hand corner of the “MonkeyVision 2.1” program on the desktop. Those lights flash when there is activity so you know you are missing something.
The only downside to this game is that having played through a cage, you then know its story. There is nothing randomly generated, although the cages presented to you will be randomized in the order they appear. You will also have ‘dummy’ or dud cages that serve no purpose other than to distract you and fill up the CCTV monitors (although many do have a story to watch if you have the time), and with a maximum of 25 cages per play-through, it will require multiple sessions to see everything. There are several endings to unlock and if you are an achievement hunter, this game will keep you coming back for several more runs before you are done.
Get this game on offer and you won’t be disappointed. Fans of point and click games such as Broken Sword or Monkey Island will love this game; I have no doubts!
Do not feed the monkeys is available on Steam at £8.99