Hey Folks, If you’re looking for In Depth Indie Reviews, You’re in the right place! And today, I’ll be talking about Fictiorama Studios, Do Not Feed The Monkeys 2099 – A sequel to their earlier Voyeuristic point & click puzzler, Do Not Feed The Monkeys. But, was it worth watching, or was it simply aping its predecessor? I’m your host Arlyeon, Let’s find out together.
When your uncle died mysteriously, you received an unusual inheritance. Namely, membership within the secretive Primate Observation Society. On paper, its activities sound harmless enough- being the acquisition of cages, and the study of the primates within.
That is, until you realize the primates are humans (and aliens)- while the cages are intrusively placed hidden cameras, giving you windows into the lives of others. Worse, however, is that membership -requires- you to continue purchasing more cages in order to retain your position within the organization. And perhaps, your ongoing safety.
Which is to say- The overall plot outline feels -very- similar to the first game, at least insofar as the premise. And ultimately, that’s fine- because that’s not really the meat of the narrative experience. Instead, that comes in the form of the many situations playing out in the cages, as the majority of them highlight the lives of other people – providing interesting scenarios to observe. Or to involve yourself in. Because even though the rules of the society dictate that you do not Feed The Monkeys’ – the temptation to do so, either for Altruism, Greed, or even malicious amusement can be a difficult one to ignore. Especially given that the scenarios playing out in the cages have a -number- of different outcomes.
And it will likely take a number of playthroughs to discover them all. One major part of this, is the simple fact that these events will play out at certain times of the day, sometimes simultaneously- which may require you to bounce between monitors in order to get the information you need to advance a scenario. Or to carefully plan out when you sleep, or work. Which is then further compounded by time-limited scenarios, where an outcome will come to pass even without your involvement- such as the ultimate fate of an observation subject stranded on a frigid mountain.
What’s more, while you -will- ultimately get up to 25 cages you’ll be flicking between- another part of its replayability ultimately comes from the randomization of its scenarios. There’s no guarantee for the order in which they’ll appear, or even which ones can occur, which helps to make a runthrough feel a bit more unique.
And, if you’re really diligent, there’s up to 5 different central endings to achieve, as well as a number of epilogues tied to the scenarios you solved.
And since we’re on the subject of solutions- let’s tackle the whole matter of enacting them. Essentially, Do Not Feed The Monkeys is a point and click adventure- where you scour the various cages in search of clues that can ultimately be used to solve their scenarios. These come in the form of objects you can click, as well as bits of dialogue – which are gradually added to your list of keywords. These, in turn, can be used with the in-game browser, either on their own, or in pairs- allowing you to search up articles for further clues. These clues can then be used to find relevant details, like an individual’s address- so you can send them items they need, or even their contact information, if you want to get more directly involved, whether to investigate, or provide details.
You’ll also be occasionally quizzed on specific bits of information by the Observation Society itself, a task which provides you money, but may also solve the cages in…different ways then you may have intended.
That said- it’s not simply a matter of obsessively watching the monitors, even if there are things happening at all hours of the day. And that’s because of the sim elements. During all of these endeavors, you’ll need to carefully manage your time, since you’ll need to chart out the ideal moments you can work in order to buy the ‘cages’ you need to advance- as well as to earn the money necessary to keep away reptilian tax collectors . . . and to get the food necessary for keeping your hunger and health bars up.
That, and maybe sleeping. It’s an admittedly tricky balance to maintain- and while successfully solving cages -can- mitigate a lot of it- the earlier run throughs will likely see you scrabbling just to survive.
Thankfully, there are some options to customize your experience. For instance, there’s a casual mode, which makes the survival elements a lot more manageable. There’s also a few other options which unlock after you beat the game- such as a fast forward option to make things more convenient (click the clock when toggled), and the ability to peek at people waiting at your door.
And speaking of peeking- it’s about time to talk visuals. And on the whole, I’d say the game looks decent. The overall sprite work is a lot of fun, and even the screens which aren’t necessarily specific to a scenario can still have fun elements in it for you to notice.
What’s more- there are some nice details to help make your overall play experience more convenient. For instance, when you move your cursor over an object you can click, it lights up- which avoids pixel hunting. Likewise, useful text is coloured yellow. That said, the really helpful part- is that your accrued clues are organized rather well, and you’ll generally be given a decent indication of how many there are still to find, based off the boxes- which are always attached to a transistor- helping you to know if you’ve figured out the central elements.
Really, the only visual element I wasn’t too keen on, was the bits of motion sickness I felt when I was obliged to rapidly flick between several different scenes. Which, uh, wasn’t exactly a rare occurrence.
Sound wise, I wasn’t quite as captivated. Mostly, this is aimed at the OST, which was so subdued I often tuned out its existence- overshadowed by the sounds of a door being knocked, or the approach of a robotic bird at the window.
But yeah- that’s the long of things. As for the short? Well, As far as sequels go, this feels -incredibly- similar to the first entry, to the point that it doesn’t really seem to innovate on the formula. If anything, it more or less feels like a piece of science-fiction flavored DLC. Now, if you’re a fan of the investigatory elements of the game, or storytelling as it was- this won’t be a terrible thing, since it does provide some adequately challenging content to pore over. That said, I’ll admit that even during my second playthrough, I was seeing a fair amount of content I’d already tackled during my initial aborted run, which was then further compounded when I went through my third run. It’s not -bad-, but I definitely felt my enthusiasm slowly wane the further I got in. So, overall, it’s a -competent- experience, but as for my actual enjoyment of the game- it slowly became a FUMBLE, as my attention slowly- waned.
Anywho, Thanks for tuning in. If you agree, disagree or just have something ta’ say to me, feel free to comment. That said, I’ll catch you on the next episode of Crit Hit. Take Care till then, Folks.