Who knew a simple melee twin-stick action stealth game could be presented in such a jazzy fashion? In a game about a gorilla escaping, of all things?
That’s Ape Out in all of its pastel glory, presented in minimalistic colours ala Saul Bass and with a jazz soundtrack full of wild percussions inspired by films like Whiplash (sans teacher abuse). Like I mentioned, all you have to do is go from left to right. No map screen except when you die; the camera pans away to show the current stage’s layout.
It’s just you, your two fists, and your gorilla speed as you sneak your way through many stages from a laboratory to a military base, even busting out through a private estate.
I have to bring up the major part of the game that ties everything together: the audio. The music, the percussions, the snares: all of them play out in sync with what you do and how the level is set up. The stage goes dark: it gets less noisy. The level blares up with alarms: the music plays at a super-fast frenetic tempo.
The action and gameplay is nothing new, but it’s presented in such a stylish flair, unlike any other game I’ve seen. No, really. I’m having trouble remembering an indie game where its aesthetics and gameplay go very well and just feels cools without any words or any exposition whatsoever. It’s an arthouse game that revels in its violence, and there’s tons of it to enjoy.
Simply put, the game’s aesthetics communicates all of the joy and dangers of breaking out.
I painted the room with a lot of white and other bright colours by tossing doors or just grabbing and tossing enemies to the wall while the cymbal rings in sync with every kill. It’s abstract violence, it’s pretty, and it’s visually arresting. It’s also over in a few hours, and it’s hard to go back and replay it again unless you’re aiming for an imaginary high score.
While that’s all there is to it with this short SG$15 game, sometimes that’s enough. Especially if it’s done in a rough raw jazz motif using a top-down view and a minimalistic art style to get its kinda-environmental message across.
-Unique aesthetics & soundtrack.
-Simple-yet-fun top-down action game reliant on stealth.
-Not much of a challenge in the long-term.