UbiSoft produced titles for Game Boy Color and the newly-launched Game Boy Advance in 2001 featuring the Planet of the Apes license, developed at Torus Games and featuring action/puzzle gameplay. Though released only a few months after the Tim Burton film, the Game Boy version of Planet of the Apes largely followed the plot and situations of the original 1968 film and it's 1970 sequel. The game used still cartoon frames and text to introduce the game itself. Players assumed the role of an astronaut named Ben (originally named John Brent in Beneath the Planet of the Apes) and faced a variety of platform puzzles and side-scrolling shooter challenges as the hero attempted to escape the domination of the militant hyper-evolved apes seeking to enslave him with the other humans on the planet. The nicely designed and interesting still-picture cut-scenes (featuring a few nicely done vocal moments) moved the plot along and appeared at critical junctures throughout thirteen environment levels.
On the ship's Chronometer, the Ship Time reads 7-14-1973 while the Earth Time reads 3-23-2673. Astronaut Ben (originally named John Brent in Beneath the Planet of the Apes) virtually reprised Taylor's opening monologue from the original movie, as he was about to enter his ship's sleep chamber, saying: "And that completes my final report until splashdown. We're in the hands of the computer on automatic pilot. The rest of the crew is in hyper sleep, and I will join them soon. According to Dr Hesline's theory of time, for a vehicle traveling at the speed of light, the earth has aged seven hundred years. While I've hardly aged at all. I do know this; the men who sent me on this mission to find Taylor are long gone."
Ben left his ship and found himself in a barren desert (the fate of the rest of his crew is unknown, they may have died in the crash). He soon found evidence of Taylor's presence in the form of the USNSA flags he left behind (on each level are ten USNSA flags that must be collected en route to the end). Ben began his quest armed only with a knife with which to kill the snakes he encountered on his journey through the desert, and later the club- and machine-gun wielding intelligent apes who populated this strange planet. From one of the apes he killed, he acquired a pistol, and later a rifle, and machine gun. Following the trail, he eventually located Taylor's nametag and an arrow scrawled in the dirt, pointing towards a cave - similar to the one in which Cornelius made his archeological discoveries. He decided to follow the arrow into the cave, hoping to find Taylor inside.
Inside the cave, Ben found only apes, snakes and bears, but also found some primitive cave-drawings of a spaceship in flight, and more of Taylor's flags.
Jungle (1 & 2)
Ben made his way through the cave and into a dense jungle, where he found apes, snakes, wild boar... and more USNSA flags. He also discovered mute humans locked in a wagon cage. He asked them who they were, and who locked them in the cages, but received no reply. Surprised by "Warrior Apes", Ben climbed into the cage wagon to avoid suspicion, reasoning that since the other humans didn't seem to speak, he had better do the same so he wouldn't draw attention to himself.
Taken to the Ape City, and to Zira's laboratory, Ben overheard an argument between Zira and Zaius, Zira pleading for Dr Zaius to allow her to continue her archeological research in the Forbidden Zone, where she believed they were close to discovering "the secret of our origins." Zauis rejected her request, telling her her work was as a vet, not digging for "ridiculous theories", and to get back to lobotomizing humans. After Zaius had left, Ben - strapped to a table awaiting surgery - decided to take his chance with Zira: "Please help me! My name is Ben. I'm an astronaut and I'm looking for a human called Taylor!" Zira revealed that she knew Taylor and helped him escape to the Forbidden Zone. She agreed to help Ben in his mission but couldn't go there with him. She freed him, telling him to go to her house and find a notebook with a map in it which would take him to Taylor.
Ape City Jail
Escaping from the ape cells, Ben had to evade the gorilla soldiers and pass by the other humans held captive.
Ape City (1, 2 & 3)
Traveling through the ape city, featuring some impressive high-rise architecture, Ben found his way to Zira's house and located the map: "I'm getting closer to finding Taylor. It looks like his hideout is close to to the Beach." He proceeded to make his escape from the ape city towards the beach area of the Forbidden Zone. Meanwhile, gorilla leader Ursus was also leading his army to the same place: "There is a talking human out there, and he's come from the Forbidden Zone. Who knows how many others there are! It's time to bring these humans to justice! We must strike, and strike now! March on to victory my army!"
Ben fought with Ursus' army through a barren landscape littered with the debris of man's past. He passed a number of huge radar dishes before reaching... "The Statue of Liberty! I've been on Earth all along! How did this happen? Apes ruling the Planet? I must find Taylor; he will explain all this. The notebook says that I'll need to follow the path through the mountain."
Crossing the barren mountain in the Forbidden Zone, Ben encountered dangerous bears and vicious goats!
Underground City (1)
Inside the decaying subway system, Ben fought his way past Ursus' gorillas before he encountered the trench-coated, and apparently fire-breathing mutants who lived there. Escaping back to the beach, Ben found Zaius, who had some important news: "Ben! Hold your fire, I need to talk to you about the mutants. I spoke with Zira and she told me about your mission, but there is another threat. The mutants have modified Taylor's ship and they have a nuclear bomb. They plan to go back in time and blow up the Earth! The future as we know it will be wiped clean. If you can't stop them all life will cease to exist."
Underground City (2)
Returning to the mutant city, Ben made his way to the familiar Alpha-Omega Bomb, killing Ursus along the way. He successfully disarmed it before seeing Taylor's intact ship: "It's time for me to leave this backwards planet. Although I didn't achieve my mission of finding Taylor, I did manage to save the human race from annihilation. Now I guess I'll just sit back and wait for the next mission... which could be just around the corner." A final twist shows a young chimp stowaway on board the ship.
- Ben was based on Brent from Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
- Despite the publicity blurb, Nova does not appear in this version of Planet of the Apes.
- The Earth Time is identical to the first date shown in the 1968 film during Taylor's monologue. The Ship Time is almost identical to what is shown in the film, but with 1972 changed to 1973. This is because Taylor left in 1972 and Ben searched for him a year later.
- UbiSoft/Fox Interactive’s 'Planet of the Apes' Game for PC, released about the same time, followed a completely different storyline involving it's own unique characters.
- 20th Century Fox Videogames' 'Planet Of The Apes' Atari VCS Game, developed in 1983, was to be the first computer game based on Planet of the Apes but a crash in the gaming industry at the time led to it's advertised release being abandoned. Many years later the prototype game began to circulate among gaming enthusiasts.
- The acronym USNSA was also mentioned in the Planet of the Apes Game for PC, but was used to describe the elite humans who formed the original Ark project - perhaps in reference to the United States National Security Agency. By the time of the second Ark project the leader of the humans was called the 'President of the USNSA', according to President John Fergus.
- Producer ... Kevin McIntosh
- Script and Storyline ... Kevin McIntosh
- Designer ... Michael Solomons
- Art Director ... Jeremy Geddes
- Technical Director ... Steve White
- Lead Programmers ... Michael Abbott, Peter Suwara
- Programmers ... Grant Davies, Brian Hollister, Nick Kovac, Michael Smith
- Lead Artists ... Paul Clarke, Andrew McIntosh
- Artists ... Darren Ballingall, Jeremy Dower, Teuvo Heikkila, Ivan Kenny-Sumiga
- Sound and Music ... Manfred Linzner
- Producer (Ubi Soft) ... Yves Guillemot
- Lead Producer (Ubi Soft) ... Jean-Bernard Jacon
- Lead Designer (Ubi Soft) ... Jean-Christophe Petit
Taylor was one of USNSA’s top astronauts, but since he crash landed with his crew on a strange planet, he mysteriously disappeared. Before he lost contact with the USNSA, he managed to indicate contact with an unknown life form, which may have been responsible for his disappearance. USNSA has launched a retrieval mission, and as 'Ben', you've been sent to the planet to find out what happened to Taylor. Of course, on this planet, apes rule and humans are secondary creatures. The goal of the game is to traverse each of the 10 levels, collect all you can to aid you in the quest, defeat anything that can’t be avoided, and – with Nova by your side – uncover the story behind Taylor’s disappearance. Taylor has done his part by leaving flags behind. Relive the movie as you take control of Ben in search of the lost astronaut Taylor. Seek out the beautiful Nova to help uncover the mysteries of the planet. Includes 10 levels - explore a variety of locales including Ape City, a beach, and an underground cavern.