Creative director Vander Caballero uses the game as a metaphor for his own personal childhood story. Vander represents himself in the story by using a young boy named Quico, and Monster takes the place of his alcoholic father. It is a touching representation of what life is like for a child living with a parent with substance addiction. The game tells the story as any child could tell it with monster leading the way. Monster has two states: sober and drunk. Monster is passive and unresponsive to Quico’s existence when sober and only cares to sleep and eat. After Monster has choked down a frogs however—things go horrific in no time—and he becomes vicious and attacks the boy. Like anyone who loves someone, Quico wants to help Monster and goes on a quest to cure his addiction.
The game is an entertaining puzzle platformer that entails solving ingenious puzzles to advance. Actions speak louder than words in Papo & Yo, and the brilliant gameplay needs little dialogue to thrive. Quico’s actions impact the environment around him, and his imagination leads the way. As almost a way to deal with Monster’s mayhem—Quico begins to draw doors with chalk and manipulate his environment for the goals at hand.
As the story progresses, Monster has little remorse for all the damage he has done, to everyone and everything around him. Quico spends every waking moment trying to help Monster and by the end is only enraged by it. The game is an emotional roller-coaster that leads to an ending of gloom, antipathy and liberation. Papo & Yo utilizes stunning graphics coupled with awe-inspiring audio and a touching storyline to teach that sometimes you just have to let things go.
Papo & Yo is now available exclusively for PlayStation Network and can be purchased for $14.99. Papo & Yo is rated E by the ESRB for Fantasy Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official Papo & Yo website.
Developer: Wear Minority
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Available exclusively on PlayStation Network
Release Date: August 14, 2012