Reviews | Written by Chris Jackson 11/03/2019

APE OUT

Ape Out doesn't mess around. The name of the game tells you all you need to know - you're an ape, and you need to get out. So go!

Your job is to guide the ape through 30+ top-down levels to his eventual freedom. A whole army of soldiers will try to prevent your escape, but you're able to fight back with an almighty punch and the ability to grab things. Punching an enemy sends him flying across the screen, bursting into a bloody mess if he collides with any solid objects. Hold onto an enemy to use him as a human shield, or throw him into another bad guy to make the pair of them explode in a shower of blood. The various enemies behave differently when thrown, and several even die in different ways, so a little bit of thought is needed to keep yourself safe.

Each of the game's four environments are visually striking, mostly made of solid colour, with very little detail apart from bright red blood splatters left behind by murdered enemies (if you hadn't guessed by now, there's a fair bit of blood in this one). Each level is randomly generated, but there are a few fixed areas that are guaranteed to appear, serving almost like set pieces. It can get pretty tricky towards the end, but it's worth persevering to experience the unexpected (and rather abrupt) ending and subsequent final level.

Special mention must go to the soundtrack, which changes based on what you're doing at any given time. If you take it slow, the jazzy percussion will be limited to the occasional cymbal crash, but the music goes absolutely crazy if you go on a full-on rampage. It can end up being a bit of a racket at times, but it's the perfect backing track for a simian slaughtering spree.

Finishing each set of levels (arranged into vinyl LPs, with four per side) unlocks “arcade mode” where you can replay for high scores in a timed playthrough. An additional mission with a slight twist is unlocked after beating the whole game, as well as a more difficult mode where each level is longer than before and filled with even more baddies. Plenty to keep you going long after the ape is, indeed, out.

APE OUT / DEVELOPER: GABE CUZZILLO / PUBLISHER: DEVOLVER DIGITAL / PLATFORM: PC, NINTENDO SWITCH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

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