Humans are the strangest of all primates, as contradictory and panicky as they are creatures of habit. Fictiorama's darkly comical voyeurism simulator Do Not Feed The Monkeys implores you to merely observe and not interact, but you probably won't be able to resist pushing a few buttons here and there. Released yesterday and the latest in the growing genre of Orwellian panopticon simulators, Do Not Feed The Monkeys has you juggling your own character's needs while meddling in the affairs of others through hacked cameras. Sneak a peek at the launch trailer below.
Looking a bit like a blend of Papers, Please, Beholder and even multi-screen FMV games like Night Trap, Do Not Feed The Monkeys is a strange blend of point-and-click and life sim elements. As a new member of the 'Primate Observation Club', you're tasked with spying on 'caged monkeys' through camera feeds, gathering information (through clicking hot-spot items and words in dialogue) and assembling it into profiles. Some cams give a broad look into an individual's home or work life, others are more situational, like a security camera at a petrol station, ideal for spotting cars.
Being a member of the Primate Observation Club has its costs. Both in member's dues (clandestine snooping groups don't come free), time and energy, and players are tasked with juggling all those through gauges for health, hunger and tiredness. Play your cards right and you can earn yourself a better life through your snooping. Do it wrong, and you can end up ruining (or ending) the lives of the 'monkeys' being observed. Or your own. There's multiple endings to work towards, and a whole lot of video feeds to juggle.
From the little bit of the game that I've watched streamed, it seems remarkably complex in its systems. Not all options seem immediately obvious, and some decisions can have sweeping knock-on effects that you read about in the papers the next day, rather than seeing on one of your regular camera feeds. I'm interested in seeing just how deep the rabbit-hole goes, and just how far choices can take you.
Do Not Feed The Monkeys is out now on Steam and Humble for £7.19/€9.59/$9.59, or in a pair of bundles on Steam along with the similarly paranoia-inducing Beholder and I'm Not A Monster from publisher Alawar Premium. Now there's one hell of a market niche to have cornered.