Ape Out – Nintendo Switch Review

Busting its way onto the Switch is Ape Out, a seriously stylish smash ‘em up that gives a new meaning to the term “Ape Escape.”

Ape Out is a top down perspective game with a very deliberate feel to the way it was made. You control a gorilla that must break its way out of a cage and through various scenarios to your freedom. A relative army of humans stand between you and the open jungle. At first glance Ape Out is a game that seems like a rampaging primate power fantasy of breaking ones shackles and escaping. Hidden within its simple art style and jazzy tunes there is an underlying sadness to this tale that is all too real but is never preachy. Every play through is randomly generated and upon every death the world changes so you never know what to expect around the next corner.

Every scenario in Ape Out is presented like a record, with a different colour palette and soundtrack to match. The art style uses basic contrasting colours and is very minimalistic and striking. Enemies are white silhouettes against drab coloured floors and walls that splash with bold crimson upon taking one of them down. Through all of this the soundtrack plays a pivotal role in creating atmosphere. As you burst through glass and guards the soundtrack is always present with an experimental jazz feel. Upon killing an enemy there will be a cymbal crash and an increase in tempo momentarily, upon taking out several guards the soundtrack really reaches full strength. Alternatively, sneaking around will have you hearing the steady beat of a high hat that beautifully builds tension.

Gameplay mechanics are kept deliberately simple, boiling down to simply “push or pull” style controls. You can grab a guard and use him as a shield or throw him at another guard, wall or even through a window. There are also multiple scenarios that offer different mechanics based on the location that they are set in, from a science lab to a sky scraper. Every Run is timed and at the end the amount of deaths are given. There is also a “Harder” mode for those that like the extra challenge and an Arcade mode that gives you a score based on time and kills.

Ape Out is a beautifully designed little game with lots of care put into it. Although it may feel a little short, it is definitely worth your time. You’d be bananas not to try it!

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Mat Panek
Retromancer – Collector, repairer & fan of retro games & tech. Atari to Amiga, Nintendo to Sega! LD, Zip, Beta and a proud dad! One half of the TiredParents on Twitch.

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Disclosure: Ape Out [Nintendo Switch] was kindly provided by POWER UP PR for this review.