Don't Disturb (PC) Review

By Thom Compton 21.12.2016

Review for Don

It's no secret that short, narrative-based games have become somewhat of a well-known part of the medium. For some reason, many like getting to play through their stories, such has been seen by the increased popularity of visual novels. Unfortunately, many of them are written off as simply being "walking simulators," while all the subtext is lost behind rolling eyes and talk about how "that's not a game." Don't Disturb could easily remedy that problem, but seems content to showcase other flaws in the genre.

Make no mistake, there is gameplay in Don't Disturb. The focal point, though, is walking around the absolutely stunning sumi-y landscape, talking to the various people waiting to go to the afterlife. You play a dog whose owner has passed away, and you are attempting to locate her. It's a touching story, and a lot of the people in the line for the afterlife have equally heart-breaking tales to tell. The gameplay however comes in two forms. Occasionally, there will be a puzzle, but mostly it's "find this item and give it to this person." One puzzle requires navigating a maze without touching the sides, but the collision detection isn't quite right, making it difficult to fail.

This is symptomatic of one of Don't Disturb biggest issues, which is that it's incredibly buggy. One very annoying bug comes in the form of saving the game. It seems to only want to give you the option to load your last save when a game session hasn't been closed entirely. Therefore, when in need to put it all down and come back later, better leave the window for the game open. In fact, this seems to create a save at the very end of it all, so you could go back and choose the other ending.

Unfortunately, the save loads you directly to the moment the final cut scene starts, making it completely useless. Other bugs like the fact that when the player character gets off an elevator in the game, he's just walking in place, are less irritating, but still very bizarre. Couple this with the fact that there's no way out of certain puzzles, meaning you need to have the solution ready right then, and Don't Disturb seems flimsy a lot of the time. The save issue, while being one of the most noticeable, is easily remedied. This, however, is because this adventure is ridiculously short.

Screenshot for Don't Disturb on PC

A playthrough could be done in less than 10 minutes, if you know what you're looking for. This is the biggest issue this has, as the world is so inviting. The beautiful landscapes and charming people would be wonderful to spend a bit more time with, but even a first play-through can be wrapped up in under 30 minutes. It's criminal that something worthy of an epic adventure has been reduced to the video game equivalent of a summary. It still stands to reason that a longer version would make up for the myriad of bugs it seems plagued with.

The final major issue is the English translation. It would be unfair to tax the game too deeply, as it would appear the creator is not a native English speaker. However, some sentences, like "I hope my family burns paper money and iPhone9 to me," just come off clunky. Also, it would appear the dialogue was thrown in last minute, as a lack of punctuation and grammar is abundant throughout.

With all the negatives out of the way, there is a lot to love about here. Japanese folklore is definitely some of the most enticing, and thanks to a beautiful soundtrack, this world feels like its breathing. There are multiple endings, though they add next to nothing to the overall story. For fans of atmosphere, Don't Disturb hits the nail on the head with ease, and shouldn't be overlooked due to its, otherwise, glaring shortcomings. Finally, it's easy to sympathize with the dog, which feels all alone in the world, and would venture into the depths of purgatory to be with the one he loves again. This is a package that should be visited, but beyond an initial play-through, gives you no real reason to overcome its flaws a second time.

Screenshot for Don't Disturb on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 4 out of 10


It's hard to recommend Don't Disturb, because there seems to be a severe lack of content; content that is either broken or excellent. The beautiful world is realised just fine, but the issues that soon appear bog the experience down. The short play time means that getting around the one-chance puzzles and irritating save system is much easier, but is that trade-off worth it? Still, for those who find the beauty in the rubble, it will at least feel like a short time well spent.


Midnight Party







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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