Ape Escape 3 review

Sony's monkey mayhem is still cute, but we could've sworn that we've captured these monkeys before

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Lots of apes to catch

  • +

    Costumes add interest

  • +

    Story is kid-friendly


  • -

    The series is stagnating

  • -

    The aiming and camera are iffy

  • -

    The game stutters and staggers

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Given the recent epidemic of monkey escapes in the US, it's no surprise that video games are looking to capitalize on the headlines to eke out a few extra sales. Such is the case with Sony's Ape Escape 3, the third full entry in its on-again-off-again, simian-snagging series. As always, your job is to take control of a curiously young child and capture 434 or so marauding monkeys before they can cause real damage. You have all manner of high-tech gadgets at your disposal, and it's the skillful use of the right ones at the right times that forms the heart of the game.

As with the previous entries, Ape Escape 3 's biggest claim to originality is its dual-stick control scheme, wherein the right analog stick is dedicated solely to controlling weapons and gadgets. After a bit of practice, you'll find the controls become second-nature. Smacking the stick forward to attack forward makes sense, after all, even if the sense of aim and general response don't seem quite as accurate as they should.

The colorful levels mainly consist of the cartoonish TV sets the monkeys have constructed to create their own inane brand of television, and the level themes and in-jokes usually reflect this. It's not quite funny, but like everything else in the game, it's certainly cute. The monkeys are noticeably tougher this time around, but then, so are you. As the game progresses, you'll collect seven magic costumes that give your character special abilities for a limited time. For example, a cowboy get-up has six-shooters, and ninja duds proffer speed and stealth.

More info

DescriptionCatching monkeys still has its moments, and the game is certainly cute. Still, the whole affair feels too familiar.
Franchise nameApe Escape
UK franchise nameApe Escape
US censor rating"Everyone"
UK censor rating""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)