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“Ape Out” Review

Nothing good can come out of caging a raging ape at any sort of stronghold–nothing good at all, unless of course we’re talking about Ape Out.

What Is It?

Published by Devolver Digital, Ape Out puts you in control of a crazed ape held out of captivity, and it’s all about escaping through any means necessary.

The areas you’re trapped in are filled to the brim with armed guards, and it’s up to you if you want to plow your way through them creating a bloody mess, or stealthily get by in hopes of escaping without confrontation.  If you get shot twice, you die, and the camera pans out to show how close you were to getting out before trollingly reminding you that you’re dead.

Why Should I Care?

The game’s concept itself is pretty simple, and so is its very stylish execution.

The game is played from a completely top-down perspective and for the most part is played with one button.  Nothing in the game illustrates its concept better than just playing through the first level, where you’re taught how to play the game as you go.  You just move around looking for an exit, and if someone is in your way, you slap them out of the way with the right trigger button (on Switch).

Ape Out is a gorgeously bloody top-down mess.

Eventually the levels get a little more complicated. In addition to the procedurally generated mazes getting a little more complex, the enemies increase in number, get bigger, and in turn get harder to slap around.  Along with that, you’ll have occasional obstructions like steel doors that you’ll have to muscle out and use as a shield in various situations.  You’ll probably even have to hold gunmen hostage in attempt to get out of crazy situations as they mindlessly shoot at other guards while in your grasp.

As great as all this is, it’s nowhere near as cool as how the game sounds and looks.

Every move you make will be accompanied by drums and percussion that’s easy to bob your head to, and the sound of the cymbals clashing as you shove a human into a wall creating crimson puddles gets even more satisfying every time you do it, and you’ll do it a lot.  As for how the game looks, it’s a low quality mess of splattered colors that visually gives the game a solid and euphoric tone.  I know I’m probably making it sound like vomit, but never has vomit looked so good.

Each album (or level) showcases the game’s variety in percussion-based music, and they’re all crazy.

Further adding to look and feel is the game’s awareness of its feel good music.  Every game’s level is essentially a vinyl disc with an A and B side, and the scratchy effects add even more to the aesthetic.  If there’s any complaint we have with the game, it’s the fact that load times are rather long, but sometimes it’s good to have a breather in the action.  After you finish the short campaign, you can play it on a harder difficulty or enjoy the game’s Arcade Mode which are both nowhere near forgiving.

What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?

The product of a very small team led by Gabe Cuzzillo, Ape Out has been in development for more than four years, and the end result feels like psychedelic Hotline MiamiApe Out is every bit as fun as it is stylish, which are two features that usually result in a fantastic indie experience, so if you’re even thinking about getting this game, quit monkeying around and do it.

 
 
 
 
 
Title: Ape Out
Platform: Switch, PC
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Gabe Cuzzillo
Genre: Beat-Em-Up
Release Date: February 28, 2019
Developer's Twitter: @GabeCuzzillo
Editor's Note: A review code for the Switch version of the game was provided by the publisher.

Nothing good can come out of caging a raging ape at any sort of stronghold–nothing good at all, unless of course we’re talking about Ape Out. What Is It? Published by Devolver Digital, Ape Out puts you in control of a crazed ape held out of captivity, and it’s all about escaping through any means necessary. The areas you’re trapped in are filled to the brim with armed guards, and it’s up to you if you want to plow your […]

Nothing good can come out of caging a raging ape at any sort of stronghold–nothing good at all, unless of course we’re talking about Ape Out.

What Is It?

Published by Devolver Digital, Ape Out puts you in control of a crazed ape held out of captivity, and it’s all about escaping through any means necessary.

The areas you’re trapped in are filled to the brim with armed guards, and it’s up to you if you want to plow your way through them creating a bloody mess, or stealthily get by in hopes of escaping without confrontation.  If you get shot twice, you die, and the camera pans out to show how close you were to getting out before trollingly reminding you that you’re dead.

Why Should I Care?

The game’s concept itself is pretty simple, and so is its very stylish execution.

The game is played from a completely top-down perspective and for the most part is played with one button.  Nothing in the game illustrates its concept better than just playing through the first level, where you’re taught how to play the game as you go.  You just move around looking for an exit, and if someone is in your way, you slap them out of the way with the right trigger button (on Switch).

Ape Out is a gorgeously bloody top-down mess.

Eventually the levels get a little more complicated. In addition to the procedurally generated mazes getting a little more complex, the enemies increase in number, get bigger, and in turn get harder to slap around.  Along with that, you’ll have occasional obstructions like steel doors that you’ll have to muscle out and use as a shield in various situations.  You’ll probably even have to hold gunmen hostage in attempt to get out of crazy situations as they mindlessly shoot at other guards while in your grasp.

As great as all this is, it’s nowhere near as cool as how the game sounds and looks.

Every move you make will be accompanied by drums and percussion that’s easy to bob your head to, and the sound of the cymbals clashing as you shove a human into a wall creating crimson puddles gets even more satisfying every time you do it, and you’ll do it a lot.  As for how the game looks, it’s a low quality mess of splattered colors that visually gives the game a solid and euphoric tone.  I know I’m probably making it sound like vomit, but never has vomit looked so good.

Each album (or level) showcases the game’s variety in percussion-based music, and they’re all crazy.

Further adding to look and feel is the game’s awareness of its feel good music.  Every game’s level is essentially a vinyl disc with an A and B side, and the scratchy effects add even more to the aesthetic.  If there’s any complaint we have with the game, it’s the fact that load times are rather long, but sometimes it’s good to have a breather in the action.  After you finish the short campaign, you can play it on a harder difficulty or enjoy the game’s Arcade Mode which are both nowhere near forgiving.

What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?

The product of a very small team led by Gabe Cuzzillo, Ape Out has been in development for more than four years, and the end result feels like psychedelic Hotline MiamiApe Out is every bit as fun as it is stylish, which are two features that usually result in a fantastic indie experience, so if you’re even thinking about getting this game, quit monkeying around and do it.

Date published: 03/07/2019
4 / 5 stars

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