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Specter, a popular attraction at the amusement park, has been transformed from a mild-mannered monkey into a scheming simian through the powers of the intelligence boosting Peak Point Helmet. Now he and his monkey army have taken over the Professor's time machine in order to to travel back in time and replace human civilization with a simian society. There's just one catch: Spike was caught in the time machine as well, and has been pulled back into the past with them. With the help of the Professor's numerous gadgets Spike will travel through prehistoric lands and capture Specter's army to prevent his evil scheme.

Because of the game's requirement of a Dual Shock controller, all of Spike's items are controlled through the right stick. Examples include a stun stick that can be slashed in any direction or spun in a circle, an RC Car that can drive alongside Spike as he runs, and a helicopter blade that can be spun rapidly to lift Spike or slow his descent. The goal in every level is to capture enough of Specter's monkeys to diminish their effect on history. Each monkey has different stats and personalities. Some will barely pay attention to you and will prefer to goof off or sleep, while others will attack you with machine guns, rocket launchers, and UFOs. Weapons will only stun a monkey, and they must be captured using the Time Net.

Finding every monkey in a level will unlock a time attack mode for the level, and collecting Specter Coins hidden in levels will unlock bonus games like boxing and skiing that use the dual stick controls.


Ape Escape PlayStation In a raft
Ape Escape PlayStation You will find help messages in mailboxes.
Ape Escape PlayStation Inventory
Ape Escape PlayStation Chasing after a monkey.

Promo Images

Ape Escape Magazine Advertisement

Alternate Titles

  • "Saru! Get You!" -- Japanese Title
  • "Ape Escape: La Invasión de los Monos" -- Spanish title
  • "サルゲッチュ" -- Japanese Spelling

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User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine (OPM) Jul, 1999 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100 (GAF) Aug 01, 2003 9 out of 10 90
Power Unlimited Jul, 1999 8.8 out of 10 88
Absolute Playstation Jul, 1999 86 out of 100 86
PSX Extreme Jul 22, 1999 8.5 out of 10 85
Game Revolution Jul, 1999 B+ 83
Game Informer Magazine Feb, 2007 8 out of 10 80
Spel för Alla Sep, 1999 8 out of 10 80
GameBump/Gaming Horizon 1999 8 out of 10 80
Bravo Screenfun Jun, 1999 2 out of 6 80


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1001 Video Games

Ape Escape appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


Ape Escape was the first game designed exclusively for Sony's PlayStation Dual Shock controller.


All of the primates in the game have a unique personality and name, and some of those are actually quite humorous. For example, there's an ape named "Indiana" hiding in a temple, "Darwin" is in a room full of computers, "Elvis" is found on a throne in a castle, "Mulder" is flying an UFO, and so on.

References to the game

In episode 7 of the anime Great Teacher Onizuka the protagonist, Eikichi Onizuka, is briefly seen playing Ape Escape on PlayStation. Everything is depicted faithfully - the HUD, the graphics, and even the gameplay process - making the game instantly recognizable.


  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue #100) - #100 in the Top 100 Games of All Time poll

Information also contributed by Chris Chidester and Evilhead

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Brolin Empey (858) added Ape Escape (PlayStation) on Apr 08, 2001