A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ape Out is a hyper-violent action/arcade game available for download on Windows-based PCs. Players control an ape as it makes a frantic dash to escape captivity. Players must grab, throw, and smash their way past armed human guards to escape a lab facility. Despite the game's minimal art style, it's a violently bloody experience. Players grab guards and use them as human bullet shields before tossing them aside, slamming them into walls in huge explosions of blood and body parts. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
APE OUT is a fast and frantic race for freedom, as players embrace their primal rage and a hulking ape bent on escaping captivity. Of course, to make your way back to the wild, you'll first have to navigate through countless twisting hallways and corridors, avoiding the legions of armed guards itching to put you down once and for all. Of course, you’ve got the desire to roam free on your side. Well, that and the inhuman brute strength you possess to grab your would-be captors and use them as human shields before smashing them into a bloody paste against the walls. It's Human vs. Beast in a fight for survival ... and this time the humans don't stand a chance.
Is it any good?
Sometimes in entertainment, style occasionally beats out substance, and this action game tries to adapt this formula with a unique and flashy style, but little depth. Ape Out is extremely simple to pick up and play, though it does throw a lot at players to ramp up the difficulty relatively quickly. This also means that most stages don't take too much time, which tends to work in its favor because it's one of those games that gets way too repetitive way too quick. It's not long before you're just going through the motions for no reason other than trying to eke out a little extra distance over your previous run.
One way Ape Out tries to keep players' interest is through pure shock value. At first blush, the game's unique silhouette look seems like it's going to be pretty tame. That is, until the first time players hit one of the guards and send him flying into a nearby wall, where the guard virtually explode into a gory mess of blood and body parts in the otherwise sparkling clean hallways. It's a stunning contrast to the rest of the game's minimalist art style and catchy soundtrack. Of course, that's also a bit of a one-trick pony. Once you’ve seen the carnage the first time, it loses its surprise and quickly feels commonplace. From that point on, it turns into almost every other old-school arcade experience out there. The only thing missing is a stack of quarters and an "Insert Coin" prompt.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Ape Out affected by the limited visuals of the game? How do art style and presentation affect the impact of violence in gaming? Does a satirical overabundance of on-screen violence give it less shock value?
What are some of the positive reasons that some animals might be kept in captivity? What are some of the ways that professionals make sure these animals aren’t mistreated?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Windows
- Price: $14.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Devolver Digital
- Release date: February 28, 2019
- Genre: Arcade
- Topics: Misfits and Underdogs, Science and Nature, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
- Last updated: February 19, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.