I sit firmly on the fence when it comes to No Pineapple Left Behind. First, it does not appeal to my personal inclination towards gaming entertainment. I'm not an overt fan of Prison Architect, so the game is immediately at a disadvantage. Objectively, it's as ridiculous and challenging as Prison Architect, just with less pieces to it, so those interested in that particular genre of games should probably perk up their ears. It's a far lower budgeted title, so the invisible engines running the backend of the randomness are quite simple, and overall the key elements that lead to chaos in a select mission are largely the same with minor alterations. The funny thing is No Pineapple Left Behind sounds like an absolute blast. So far every person I've talked to about this game has immediately wanted to play it, or been left in tears of laughter. The sheer madness surrounding game mechanics, laser beams, hacking students' brains; it plays on people's almost delightful mystification. The description of the game seems to have masses of appeal.
One of its main strengths is the humour. Everything I described to peers is entirely accurate, and it's one of the key components to enjoying the game. What I'm saying is if you're not a fan of the humour off the bat, you may find yourself bouncing off of it quite early on. The objectives and achievements in the game are all highly ridiculous, but largely school orientated and based around individual student quests and general finance control. In that regard, if those don't sound interesting to you, again, you're going to bounce off the game early on. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that it's a niche product that's only going to appeal to a small niche market. I may not be part of that market, but I found the basis behind the game highly amusing. I don't currently feel neutral enough to provide an objective critical analysis of the game, simply because it's not really the type of game I'd go out of my way to play.
If you're looking for something amusing, like-minded to Prison Architect but with fewer base elements, No Pineapple Left Behind may appeal to you. It's done on a small budget, it's absolutely preposterous in its entirety, and I found it quite funny. It's one of those games I got a tonne of joy just talking about to other people, and I hope by showcasing it here other people will take a swing and see if it appeals to them. It's like a hugely unfair, dry humoured casual version of Prison Architect, with a fair amount of micromanagement in menus. A lot of it gets quite repetitive, but I feel like that's just an inherent part of games like this. It's not my type of game, and I can't imagine the market for it is massive, though I'm certain there will be those out there that click with the game right away. Unfortunately I just wasn't one of those people.
No Pineapple Left Behind is available on Steam for $9.99/€9.99
- Most unique game ever!
- Brilliantly amusing
- Great fun to describe to people
- Quite repetitive
- Very niche genre
- UI can sometimes feel cluttered
- Humour may not appeal to all