Dogs go "woof", cats go "meow", pigs go "oink", birds go "ca-caw/caw-ca" and "twit-twit-a-twit", cow go "moo", horse go "neigh-nonny-no", frog goes "ribbit", sheep go "bong", foxes scream like they're having their snout tweaked by a pair of tongs (giving birth to the phrase "It has all gone a bit Pete Tong"), and I just think it's a bit sad that gorillas never got their own noise.
If I'd been the person whose job it was to dish out the animal noises, I'd have given gorillas something really cool and distinct, like "b'tooo!" or "frobisher!" or "grootu-grootu-hai!".
That said, gorillas probably have enough going for them already, what with the big, hairy, muscles, and come-to-bed eyes, whereas all of the aforementioned animals are only good for one thing: being eaten.
Anyway. The point of all that was to introduce this notion: there is a gorilla in the game Ape Out. You are that gorilla. And you have to get out.... of laboratories, prisons, office blocks, and army camps.
In certain respects, Ape Out plays similarly to most top-down, twin-stick shooters, save for the fact your gorilla is weaponless. He can throw enemies against walls or into exploding barrels, grab their splattered body parts to use as projectiles, pick up the still-living and use them as human shields, or capitalise on their panicked shooting by aiming their frenzied shots at their colleagues.
And that's pretty much the extent of Ape Out; it's just relentless onward movement to reach the next area without dying, rewarding you with a paradoxical, and intoxicating, sense of both power and vulnerability. In later levels, where enemies come armed with flamethrowers, or gather in larger groups, and shells drop from the sky, it's often wise to avoid conflict as much as possible.
In these instances, it was hard not to feel a sense that your character is being victimised. Frankly, PETA would have a field day with this one.
However, what really sets Ape Out apart from similar games is how it harkens back to the 1960s in both its soundtrack and visuals. Clearly inspired by the work of groundbreaking artist Saul Bass - who designed the title sequences and posters for movies such as Anatomy of a Murder, Vertigo, The Seven Year Itch, and West Side Story - it's an exercise in graphic minimalism.
There's little in the way of detail - locations and enemies are mostly a collection of angular, solid colour blocks, looking like they've been put together from paper cut-outs and coloured pencils - but it's all the more memorable for it.
More impressive still is the skittering, jazzy, soundtrack - which you contribute to through your actions, triggering percussive strikes and cymbal crashes, as you dispatch enemies. Coupled to this is how Ape Out delineates its stages as the sides of a vinyl album, and taken together you have a uniquely stylised and beautiful game.
Which, for no real good reason, stars a massive, victimised, gorilla.
Games like Ape Out don't come around very often. Too frequently, modern games either fall into the trap of trying to recreate reality in as photorealistic fashion as possible, or opt for a throwback, pixellated, art style. Ape Out is that most rare of beasts: it looks and sounds like no other game before it.
That would almost be enough to recommend it, but in addition Ape Out also happens to be a maddeningly addictive experience, throwing just enough new ideas into each level to keep you ploughing forwards.
Taken as a whole, the only real complaint I have is that it's too short; I got through the entire game in just a few hours.
Despite this, I felt like I got my money's worth - the bold graphic design and soundtrack are worth the price of admission alone - and if a game is leaving you wanting more then it has to be doing something right.