This could be one of the most stylish games you’ll play with hits of Jazz and colour to the extent you’ve never seen before. The concept is simple, just get the Ape Out – and smash everything that gets in your way.
Ape Out is a game about searching for freedom. You play as an Ape in a top-down world and you have to escape a series of levels including a research lab, military bases and ships. The game itself is short, sharp and snappy and feels direct with its intent.
The objective of the game is to get out. You’ll navigate your Ape through corridors, trying to stop the guards from shooting you. There are windows to smash through, doors to rip open and enemies to stop – or smash, whatever stops them from shooting you.
There’s a beauty in the simplicity of the game’s controls – one button to smash and one button to grab. Using your Ape fists you can smash some enemies out the way, or you can pick them up, throw them into a wall or use them to shoot their own buddies.
As well as picking up enemies to shoot, you can also use them as human shields. This is handy as you only get three hits before you’re dead, so you’ll need to avoid being hit where possible by dodging around walls or using your human shields to soak up the bullets.
The colour and style in the game just leap off the screen and into your eyes. There’s a simple contrast between the Ape, enemies and it’s surroundings with crisp vectors. When the alarms go off the screen goes red. Enemies walk around with white coats and shadows are cast across the screen as you leave a path of destruction. Blood spats against the wall when you remove an enemy from your path and blood also trails your Ape when he’s shot. It’s all very striking, simple and effective.
The sound in the game is some of the best found in 2019. There’s a jazz audio track which pops and rings with the sounds of cymbals when you hit an enemy or you get shot. The music perfectly accompanies you on your attempts to get to freedom through the winding corridors filled with enemies. The sound of the cymbal changes with the different enemy types which was a nice touch.
There’s something about running around an enclosed space as an Ape, smashing and crushing the weak enemies in front of you that just feels good. From the first moment where you figure out how to smash and grab you realis how strong you are compared to those around you. Smash windows, pick up people without a thought and throw them into a wall with velocity. It’s a short, sharp power trip with Jazz and I like it.
The enemies in the game aren’t all that clever, adding to the sense of strength you have over them. More often than not you can run (making sure you dodge the bullets), hide around a corner and tempt your lemming-like enemies towards you. When they pop their heads around the corner simply dispose of them one by one.
Ape out is procedurally generated so every time you go back the levels will be a little different. The goals remain the same but your path to get there maybe a little different. This kind of game is therefore perfect for a commute, or if you’ve had a bit of a stressful day and just want to smash something.
In summary Ape Out is a great game. Enjoyable, funny, great music and graphics. I had fun from the moment I picked it up. This is one of 2019’s indie gems and you should check it out today. I played it on Nintendo Switch but it’s also available on PC and Xbox Game Pass.