05/03/2019

๐Ÿต Review: Ape Out "Serious Monkey Business" ๐Ÿต @devolverdigital #GameDev #IndieGame

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Game Title: Ape Out
Platform Reviewed: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Rating: Ice Cool

Although at first glance, there are comparisons to be drawn between Ape Out and Hotline Miami, within a few moments of gameplay, it’s clear to see that it isn’t really ‘apeing’ it at all, and it’s all the better for it.

Ape Out’s narrative is pretty straightforward, you are a captured ape and you are keen to get out of the facility in which you are imprisoned. The intuitive casual tutorial which explains all that you need to know in the first few seconds lays out the control scheme in all its wonderful simplicity. A twin-stick affair presented in a top-down view, the left trigger grabs and the right trigger throws…that’s pretty much it. Good.

Visually the game is quite striking with bold, vivid colours and minimalism taking centre stage, the pace of the game is also quite quick with light procedural generation in enemy placement and level layout changing the twitch-tastic-tactics of the aforementioned Hotline Miami into a more frantic yet controlled approach. The music is right up my Strasse, the only used instrument? A jazz-tuned drum kit which ebbs and flows with the on-screen action. This aspect of the game really reminded me of Michael Keaton’s Birdman from a few years ago. Good.
Although the control scheme is quite sparse, the types of enemies you face on your escape (your ‘Ape Escape’) subtly alter your approach and provide an element of strategy. As your character can only take a few hits before expiring, you really need to take care in how you attack your enemies and make your way around the levels.

At only a couple of hours long and with such a basic, fun premise stretched to its limit, Ape Out is a game that will have a quite a lot of appeal, it is instantly accessible and the drum soundtrack along with the artistic, 50’s visual style blend in with tight design and an example of how procedural generation can be used to solid effect, creating a fun and rewarding whole.

Right, I’m off to watch Dunston Checks In.
❄️ RATING: ICE COOL ❄️

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

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