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6 Indie Dark Horses You Should Watch Out For This Year

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Ruiner/Ape Out

Ruiner, Ape Out

Let’s kick this off with a twofer of difficult games that will leave you stumped, frustrated, but coming back for seconds, and thirds, and fourths, until you get it right.


Ape Out in particular, from Gabe Cuzzillo, is the tougher of the two and requires split second reflexes and a little bit of luck to get through its static levels but randomly generated/placed enemies. Ape Out is about a gorilla that escapes from the zoo and has to violently bruise its way through hordes of security guards trying to bring him down. The most amazing thing about it is that, according to its developer, it actually isn’t meant to be Harambe-inspired, as it was in development before everything went down at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Still, whether you want to channel your inner Harambe or just want to play an excellent Hotline Miami inspired game, Ape Out is solid. The gorilla lacks weaponry variety, instead the challenge (and fun) is on quick, rapid fire, split-second decision making. Gorillas don’t take bullets well, so you’ll need to pay attention to which guard noticed you first, attack, and lunge at the next one that is in your path. Deaths are frequent, but you can restart your game instantly to give it another go, a very welcome feature for a game as difficult as Ape Out.

Ruiner, we’ve written about before, and we’re just as hyped now as we were before after playing it. It’s still a challenging (although not as much as Ape Out), cyber punk action game that blends Hotline Miami-like combat in with brief stops into a RPG-style town where you can take quests and speak to locals. Nothing is dramatically different this time around from when we last previewed it, but we did recently play a different part of the game that felt a bit easier. It was heavier on the strategic use of weapons, and less about twitch reflexes. That said, it is likely the the final product will be a mix of both. Making use of whatever weaponry you can find and swapping on the fly to engage waves of enemies.

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