[Review] Papo & Yo (PC)

When I hear a game is a “platformer,” I have to mentally prepare to play it. I have played my share of platformers in my time, and have found some of them to be frustrating. So when the hubs suggested I play Papo & Yo for my next game, I installed it….and left it there on my PC for over a year. He recently encouraged me again to play it, and finding I no longer had any excuse, I went for it. Glad I did! Papo & Yo not only is fun to play, it has a good story attached.

The game begins in Brazil in a slum, with a young boy named Quico. Quico enters a fantasy world where he befriends and cares for Monster, a gorilla-like figure with a big rhinoceros horn. Monster has a problem: he is addicted to frogs. If he eats a frog, he fills with rage and often takes it out on Quico. The boy receives sage advice in this fantasy from Alejandra, a young girl who encourages Quico to lure Monster to a Shaman to get him cured. Along with a little robot named Lula, Quico is able to manipulate the world around him to try to get Monster the help he needs. Switches and gears are pushed and pulled so that Quico can turn buildings into platforms and bridges to get from one place to the next so that he can reach the Shaman temple before it’s too late…

If you read between the lines, there is a metaphor at play in this game involving Quico and Monster that reveals itself early on…and it’s a sad one, but it motivates you to help Quico reach the goal. I won’t reveal anything further…

Papo & Yo was originally released on the PS3 and later released on Steam. I played on PC using a controller and found that to be a comfortable experience. The graphics were great and the music was gorgeous. There was no map or inventory, but these were not needed as the game followed a linear thread, and there really was no chance for screw-ups. I did find a couple of graphical glitches in the game: in one instance, I jumped down from a platform and was stuck in mid-air. I forgive the game for this because if anyone finds a glitch it would be me!

As for the puzzles and platforming, both were pretty intuitive. The game is quite forgiving too, so if I fell off a platform, I would respawn without penalty. Papo & Yo‘s puzzles did make you think, but there was no timer, and if you gave your brain a chance to think through a puzzle, you didn’t have to reach for that walkthrough!

Overall, Papo & Yo was a fun puzzle platformer, with a fantastic story. It’s a 5/5!

Papo & Yo
Minority Media
2013

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