Indie game studio ForwardXP unveiled the latest installment of its virtual reality game series, Please, Don’t Touch Anything: House Broken, debuting today as a VR game on Meta Quest headsets.
This release coincides with a significant milestone for the franchise. The original game has sold more than 400,000 copies on Oculus Quest, said Steve Nix, CEO of ForwardXP, in an interview with GamesBeat.
Dallas-based ForwardXP said the new game plunges players into chaotic adventures within their homes using Meta Quest’s mixed reality (MR) technology. Available on Meta Quest 3, Meta Quest Pro, and Meta Quest 2, Please, Don’t Touch Anything: House Broken is priced at $10 in the Meta Store.
Free from the mysterious bunker of its predecessor, players find themselves tasked with the familiar yet ominous directive: “please, don’t touch anything!” However, temptation looms in the form of an irresistible Big Red Button.
“Please, Don’t Touch Anything is a fan-favorite series that has accumulated a great community of
players itching to further warp their brains with the most outrageous puzzles and unleash destruction
in their actual homes. House Broken will satisfy that itch in the most immersive and interactive way
we can legally get away with,” said Nix. “The ForwardXP team has developed this game to push the limits of oddly satisfying virtual interactions, unexpected outcomes, and the chaotic fun that Please, Don’t Touch Anything: House Broken brings to players.”
The original Please, Don’t Touch Anything debuted in 2015, made by developer Four Quarters. A 3D version of the game was created later by Escalation Studios, a Dallas studio that was acquired by ZeniMax Media, which owned Bethesda. In 2017, ForwardXP acquired the rights to the game franchise and ported it to virtual reality platforms such as The Quest. VR turned out to be its biggest market, Nix said.
“It’s been the most successful version of the game by far,” Nix said.
The game offers players the choice to explore Please, Don’t Touch Anything: House Broken in mixed reality, fully virtual reality (VR) mode, or a combination of both. Leveraging mixed reality technology, the game brings thrilling dimensions to gameplay, allowing players to merge the game’s turbulent amusement with their own surroundings.
“The mechanics were largely based on the original game and we knew we wanted to create more nonliner puzzles for the game and make them much bigger, crazier and more complex and deeper,” said Nix.
Featuring fifteen new puzzle endings, the game spans a range of difficulties from deceptively simple to notoriously challenging. It supports hand-tracking or controllers, encouraging players to engage their mental and physical prowess in solving diverse and gratifying interactions.
Please, Don’t Touch Anything: House Broken offers four to eight hours of gameplay. Of course, it will take longer if you’re not so good at brain-teasing puzzles.
ForwardXP is a veteran independent game developer creating innovative games across platforms. The studio co-developed on Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and Arashi: Castles of Sin – Final Cut and is currently developing an unannounced cross-platform action game. ForwardXP has a team of 49 people working on both contract work and original titles.
As for VR, there are a lot of Quest headsets in the market and the installed base is still growing, Nix said.
“Overall, the VR ecosystem seems pretty healthy, and with the right games VR can be really great,” he said. “We plan to continue to make VR games.”
Nix said the team finished the game relatively quickly, starting on it earlier this year. It embarked on the game after talking with Meta about the plans for the Meta Quest 3 headset.
“One of the big initiatives on the Meta Quest 3 is the device has high-quality color passthrough cameras and it’s really good at mixed reality,” Nix said. “For most of the development for the game, we were actually focused on the mixed reality aspects.”
Craig Sutton, lead game designer, said in an interview, “This is even more of a step into 3D. It’s not just translating the original game.”
In a brief demo, Sutton said, “Nothing has to make sense,” as a machine springs a leak in a house and then the whole room becomes flooded. The name is “House Broken” because everything just breaks in the house and your job is to try and fix things and break things. It reminded me a bit of the wackiness of Job Simulator.
“We don’t worry too much about things making sense,” Sutton said.
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