With the PSP aimed squarely at adults rather than children, we were surprised to see Ape Academy on Sony’s handheld console.
The game is structured around completing a series of mini games, and in doing so progressing through the Ape Academy so you can become a clever little monkey.
The levels are arranged into a small game of noughts and crosses (tic-tac-toe for our American friends) arranged on a 3x3 grid of which you have to score three in a row to progress further to the next level.
Those looking for the usual array of adult entertainment - or any entertainment for that matter - should turn away now as the main focus of the games seems to be geared towards children under the age of 5 rather than the gun-toting, car-racing football-loving PSP gamers that we all know.
It’s at this point that the problem starts. The games take forever to load and with the games only lasting seconds rather than minutes it soon gets very frustrating.
Furthermore the games themselves are so hit and miss that they will either annoy you enough to want to throw your console across the room, or you’ll love them (although we very much doubt it). Get past your loving or loathing and you’ll realise that with all the games you only get one shot at glory. With some of the mini games, this means it can be over before you’ve even had the chance to work out what is going on.
All of this would be okay if the games were worth the wait but as they range from playing paper, scissors, stone or seeing if you can hit another monkey with only your left hand, the wait is rather disappointing.
The kids should love it and if the load times were a lot quicker they would, however with such a wait in between games they are likely to get bored.
The only redeeming feature is a mini game that requires to you send a monkey to the bottom of the ocean. The game itself is rubbish, but the game asks you to turn the console on its side so you get a real feeling of depth. It's a flash of inspiration that unfortunately isn't followed through anywhere else.
One to avoid.