Planet of the Apes

The best thing that can be said about Ubisoft’s adaptation of Planet of the Apes is that it’s based on the classic 1968 movie and not the old Tim Burton remake. Aside from that one reprieve, it’s exactly the kind of cookie-cutter movie spin-off we could easily survive without.

3Planet of the Apes kicks off with an opening sequence almost identical to the movie’s, before handing control over to you — a human stuck inside a prison cell. The problems begin here. The puzzle itself is simple — the key to the cell is hidden inside the bowl of food an ape minion brings you. I figured this out quite quickly, but I had one huge problem – I couldn’t pick the key up. Eventually I realized that the key from the bowl was usable after all — I just wasn’t standing in the exact pixel-perfect position for the program to realize what I was trying to do.

Once outside the cell, the game progresses as a purely standard mix of 3D exploration, puzzle-solving, and rudimentary combat. There’s a slap-dash feel to the whole experience — the graphics are thoroughly mediocre throughout — though there are enough puzzles to please genre purists who feel the urge to persevere nonetheless. As I wandered from cave to cave, occasionally trading loosely controlled blows with an ape guard or trying to interact with objects only to be told “This is of no interest,†I realized that I couldn’t have put it better myself.

System Requirements: Pentium II 233 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Win98

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