Ape Out: Percussive Beat ‘Em Up Romp With Jazz

Ape Out
Ooooh! EEee eee AHH AHH!

Righto, here’s an inventive little indie adventure! It features a funky as heck drum soundtrack and you star as an ape smashing its way out of a human enclosure. It’s all rather excellent. Drum solos galore!

Ape Out in Jazzy Fighting Game

Launched in February 2019 by good old Devolver Digital (a publisher responsible for finding many indie gems), it’s a stylistically violent beat ’em up. It stands out for two reasons:

  1. The distinctive visual style by Bennet Foddy.
  2. The reactive music system which is heavy in jazz drumming (Buddy Rich would approve) – Matt Boch was responsible for that. 

Indie developer Gabe Cuzzillo created the game and a significant chunk of the gaming press is hailing his game as a mini-masterpiece.

You star as a gorilla that breaks out of captivity. It must then battle through maze-like environments whilst overcoming gun-wielding humans.

It’s certainly an intoxicating mix of chaos and percussion. As big drumming fans, we immediately loved how the drums react to the actions of your ape character.

At first we were worried there wouldn’t be enough variety in the experience.

But there are enough ideas in there to keep us occupied and we are still pleasantly surprised by how the idea develops.

It’s not a button masher, you don’t just go around smashing the baddies with your fists.

Strategic elements are involved, such as distancing yourself from grenade-wielding humans. Or using the various structures for stealth and protection from bullets.

Ape Out’s Jazz Drumming Masterclass

The above opening section highlights the brilliant soundtrack perfectly, with cymbal crashed at key moments.

Snare drum paradiddles help ramp up the excitement, too, as the action picks up. It’s all rather excellent, frankly, if a short experience.

But that’s something of a norm for indie games, which is why the asking price is always low.

It’s out on GOG, Steam, and the Nintendo Switch (there’s a free demo on the latter you can check out). It’s a beat ’em up with a beat.


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