First Impressions: This game at first glance is a life simulator, where you the player needs to balance making money, eating, sleeping, staying healthy, and progressing with the story (spying on “monkeys”). Resources are limited - actions take in-game time, food and rent cost money, and you must spend money in a certain amount of time to progress with the game, or lose. Health is a tradeoff to be made by eating junk food. Junk food significantly increases your fullness bar compared to healthy foods, which cost more and don’t aid with hunger as much.
When spying on monkeys, you are trying to learn about them in general: behaviors, vocabulary, emotions, lifestyle, and more. By doing the spying job well, the player can make extra money to help with expenses.
This game’s story compels the player into progression. By forcing the player to constantly make choices between balancing his lifestyle, the player will not feel bored. There are lots of extra activities that the player needs to choose from in order to survive.
Going Forward: Managing resources is a challenging aspect of the game. On the one hand, the player wants to stick to spying on cages to progress with the main game objective. On the other hand, he must do other things: take part-time jobs, buy groceries/takeout, sleep.
Luckily, the player can earn money through effectively completing side quests, generally asking for specific information about the player’s spy targets. This allows the player to occasionally skip doing part-time jobs in favor of spying on side quest targets.
I personally think the way hunger affects the player is unbalanced. The player starts losing health from hunger when over half full, which I think is earlier than it should be. I wouldn’t even mind if the player lost more health when below the hunger threshold, in exchange for lowering the threshold to around 30-40% fullness.
I think that uninstalling the main program, which forces a loss on the player, is an interesting touch. However, this feature feels a bit forced. In Nier: Automata, the player can uninstall the OS, which will kill the player. However, this makes sense in the context of gameplay, because the player can remove, replace, and upgrade with every modular part of his/her system. In Do Not Feed the Monkey, there isn’t a reason why an uninstall option exists in the first place. That being said, I think it’s still a cool feature. Even if a player unwittingly loses this way, he/she simply restarts the day.