Apeboy Bebop!

Title: Ape Out
Platform: PC and Nintendo Switch (Reviewed)
Developer: Gabe Cuzzillo, Bennett Foddy, Matt Boch
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Price: £11/$15 (across all platforms)
Release date: Out Now.
TL;DR: Angry Gorilla breaks out and smashes people to bits whilst bopping along to some funky jazz.
Family Focus? Click here for more information.

The last time I played a game about our evolutionary cousins was with Japan Studios’ Ape Escape series which I really wish they would just bring back already! Ahem, Ape Out however is not about a ten year old boy chasing after monkeys in brightly coloured boxer shorts with a flashing helmet. No, Ape Out is about an angry gorilla out for blood and boy does he get it!

The concept for Ape Out is straightforward, you’re a gorilla who is locked up in a tightly guarded lab and you’ve had enough of all the filthy humans and the things they’ve done to you… okay that part isn’t clear but I imagine those evil gits have done something. There are three other levels, these are a skyscraper, a military compound in the deep jungle and finally a huge ship, all of which have the same objective: get out.

The gameplay for Ape Out is simple but so goddamn satisfying! You literally run up to a guard a slam him into a wall and watch said guard explode into a pile of limbs with a dash of red mist to add extra flavour. You can also grab the guards and use them as a meat shield against enemy fire and if you’re quick and accurate enough the guard will always fire off one shot as you grab him so might able to serve a lead breakfast to one of his fellow guard friends.

Ape Out’s stages are procedurally generated; each time you die and as you progress the enemies gain different ways to kill you from shotguns to explosive devices like C4 which allows you to mix things up a little on how you kill those pesky guards, like punching a guard with some plastic explosives towards a group of guards and watching the C4 he drops obliterate his comrades! Like I said this game is so much fun!

The art style for Ape Out is simple yet beautiful. Presented in a spectrum of flat colours, the floor is a dark blue with you, the gorilla, contrasting beautifully against in your glowing sunset orange. Guards are black sticks figures wielding white guns, with some guards sporting blue body armour. Armour or no, all the guards bleed the same, with blood a harsh red compared to your blood which sprays out in a lighter orange. Your blood is only shown if you’ve been shot with more trailing behind the more damage you take which is cool as it eliminates any form of a HUD.

The soundtrack for Ape Out is simply incredible. It made me feel like I was in an episode of Cowboy Bebop but instead of being Spike Spiegel I’m an oversized gorilla! The drums really ramp up depending on the action that’s happening at the current time, blending perfectly with the game as the music imitates the sounds of glass smashing when you ram yourself or the guards through it.

It’s clear to see that Ape Out is inspired by Hotline Miami but instead of clearing out a building of all the enemies leaving nothing but blood behind, you can make it to the end of a level in Ape Out with very few causalities to the enemy team, an interesting little feature that adds an extra challenge for anyone willing to try out a non-violent rampage.

Ape Out’s violence is short-lived as you can clear the game in around four or five hours. There is however extra content with an arcade mode that puts you against the clock as you clear the game, a harder difficulty or an extra chapter where you must break back into the facility except you have one shot, no checkpoints and you need to make sure you are eliminating those guards as you have to go back on yourself.

Overall, Ape Out is one of those games you need to try at some point and it works perfectly on the Switch both docked and undocked. The game is a delightful little adventure of massacre with an art style and soundtrack that fits the game perfectly.

Oh, I think a leader board would fit this game, especially with arcade mode challenging yourself to go up against your friends or random people’s record times!

The Good:

  • Incredible art style with amazing contrasting colours.
  • A jazz-tastic soundtrack!
  • So. Much. Carnage!

The Bad:

  • No online leaderboards.
  • Can feel short-lived.

Family Focus

Ape Out is rated M for Mature by the ESRB and PEGI 18. The game contains an angry gorilla who goes around various locales smashing people against walls which causes them to explode into a red mist.

Disclaimer: This review is based on a copy of the game provided by PR for the purpose of this review.