Papo & Yo came out finally on the PSN and after having played it, I can safely say I have no idea what is going on. It’s one part adventure, one part puzzle, and many parts WTF, but in a good way. Over the course of the first level in which the demo takes place, you can see a few of the game’s mechanics and it is quite the breath of fresh air in a stale market of clones. You play a small child, in (what I assume to be) a magical, imaginary world who is tasked with completing puzzles using his (or her…the player character is kind of ambiguous) environment as well as a couple extra characters, Monster, which the demo does not let you use, and a tiny manga style robot, which functions as a jet pack and long range key.
I thought some of the puzzles were pretty innovative in how they are handled with the player picking up boxes to gain access to other areas in the level, and the boxes functioning as avatars for larger square houses that are moved when their counterpart is picked up. A couple more unique puzzles in the game are the chalk drawings which are used as levers and gears to operate different “machines” if you will in game, such as summoning stairs, rotating pipes, releasing valves, etc. I will say that I was highly disappointed that I didn’t get to see Monster being used, because the game mechanic looks as though it functions along the same lines as something akin to Pikmin or say the summonable ant-beasts from Half-life 2.
The other thing that strikes me with a whole load of WTF is the beginning of the game. You start in a closet and I assume the child is hiding from someone. You see Monster walk by, and the child clutches manga-bot when the chalk appears on the wall and summons the child to another dimension. This whole seen leads me to believe that maybe the game is sort of the child’s escape from an abusive parent. All together it seems very dark in contrast to the happy music and bright almost Brazilian landscape the rest of the game has. I wish I could have explored the Monster levels, but this game is definitely worth a view for those of us that own the PlayStation 3 since that’s the only place you are going to be seeing Papo & Yo, at least for the time being!
Back to the Farm!