Sony Introduces Papo & Yo: One Man's Personal Trauma Filtered Through a Downloadable Game

Posted by Alex (2386 posts) -

Amid the din of sequels, shooters, sports games, and whatever other savorless noise we tend to find ourselves inundated with come E3 time, it's a pleasant rarity when a smaller project finds a way to stand out in the crowd and make an immediate impression.

One such project is the newly announced Papo & Yo for PlayStation Network, a game from indie studio Minority Media and the mind of its Creative Director, former EA Montreal creative head Vander Caballero. Making its debut on the PlayStation Blog, this inventive-looking title stars a young boy growing up surrounded by South American favelas. He has a best friend, aptly named Monster, who acts as his protector, but also has a dark side. Monster is addicted to eating frogs, and when he eats them, he becomes a destructive terror, even to the boy himself. His only mission is to cure Monster of the disease that afflicts him.

Addiction is not something that's been addressed in games much outside of the basest examples--see any iteration of NARC, or Grand Theft Auto--but for Caballero, it's a very personal thing. The relationship between the boy and Monster is meant to directly mirror that of Caballero and his father, who was himself an abusive addict. There's no sense in me recapping the entire blog entry, since his words will ring much truer than anything I would repeat. You should read it for yourself.

While the subject matter is dark, Caballero and team seem to have found a fascinating balance between addressing the personal issues at play, and creating a fun game that people would actually want to play. You can see more for yourself in the trailer, which I've embedded at the bottom of this story.

Thankfully, Papo & Yo will make its playable debut at E3, and now all that's left is for Patrick and myself to have a knife fight to determine who gets to go check it out.

== TEASER ==
#1 Posted by Alex (2386 posts) -

Amid the din of sequels, shooters, sports games, and whatever other savorless noise we tend to find ourselves inundated with come E3 time, it's a pleasant rarity when a smaller project finds a way to stand out in the crowd and make an immediate impression.

One such project is the newly announced Papo & Yo for PlayStation Network, a game from indie studio Minority Media and the mind of its Creative Director, former EA Montreal creative head Vander Caballero. Making its debut on the PlayStation Blog, this inventive-looking title stars a young boy growing up surrounded by South American favelas. He has a best friend, aptly named Monster, who acts as his protector, but also has a dark side. Monster is addicted to eating frogs, and when he eats them, he becomes a destructive terror, even to the boy himself. His only mission is to cure Monster of the disease that afflicts him.

Addiction is not something that's been addressed in games much outside of the basest examples--see any iteration of NARC, or Grand Theft Auto--but for Caballero, it's a very personal thing. The relationship between the boy and Monster is meant to directly mirror that of Caballero and his father, who was himself an abusive addict. There's no sense in me recapping the entire blog entry, since his words will ring much truer than anything I would repeat. You should read it for yourself.

While the subject matter is dark, Caballero and team seem to have found a fascinating balance between addressing the personal issues at play, and creating a fun game that people would actually want to play. You can see more for yourself in the trailer, which I've embedded at the bottom of this story.

Thankfully, Papo & Yo will make its playable debut at E3, and now all that's left is for Patrick and myself to have a knife fight to determine who gets to go check it out.

== TEASER ==
#2 Edited by Towers (96 posts) -

Ok this sounds awesome.

#3 Posted by RE_Player1 (7526 posts) -
Very cool concept. I hope it is fun.
#4 Posted by RecSpec (3926 posts) -

Drugs are bad folks! That trailer was awesome though.

#5 Edited by EuanDewar (5098 posts) -

"Vander Caballero". That is a fannntastic name.

#6 Posted by dbz1995 (4790 posts) -

The game is graphically stunning. Love the way it looks. And the whole relationship symbolism thing is very nice. All in all, it looks promising.

#7 Posted by Sanj (2537 posts) -

Man, that looks pretty damn cool.

Online
#8 Posted by HubrisRanger (488 posts) -

A surprising and brilliant example of tackling mature, important topics without disregarding the "fun" aspect of games.

#9 Posted by Redbullet685 (6084 posts) -

Looks really good, and sounds neat.

#10 Posted by jking47 (1247 posts) -

Wow, a game about addiction? That could be very interesting. I am glad video games are taking on mature subject matter in creative ways.

#11 Posted by UnrealDP (1221 posts) -

"Monster is addicted to eating frogs, and when he eats them, he becomes a destructive terror" 
 
Yikes! This is cool and everything, but man does this not so subtle drug refrence make me uncomfortable.

#12 Posted by abdo (1044 posts) -

Amazing idea. Can't wait to see more, that trailer looks fantastic.

#13 Edited by Enigma777 (6058 posts) -

@EuanDewar said:

"CD Vander Caballero". That is a fannntastic name.

Er... CD is his job title, not part of his name.

#14 Posted by EuanDewar (5098 posts) -

@Enigma777: Yes I know but I feel the CD makes it more ridiculous.

#15 Posted by BraveToaster (12588 posts) -

I'm interested.

#16 Posted by Winternet (8053 posts) -

This could be pretty cool. Eager to see more.

#17 Posted by Daikonqueroar (37 posts) -

"Papo & Yo" is a lot like "Papa & Yo" or "Father & I" in english.

Clever.

Sounds like it'll have a pretty good story given that it's written from personal experience.

It might have a Team ICO ending though, I am prepared to be saddened.

#18 Posted by Legend (2661 posts) -

This looks awesome! Looking forward to see more of this game.

#19 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

And for the second time in my life, I am kind of tempted to buy a PS3.

What an amazing concept.

#20 Posted by RagingLion (1368 posts) -

Woooww!  I love the sound of this.  The art style, the fiction, the gameplay mirroring a message ... it all sounds very promising.

#21 Posted by MisterMouse (3564 posts) -

That looks awesome, I hope this game does well.

#22 Posted by Gerhabio (1977 posts) -

Papo y yo looks awesome, wish it was multiplatform.

#23 Posted by billyhoush (1194 posts) -

I'll be picking up this game. This guy sounds like a video game auteur.

#24 Posted by Spiritof (2092 posts) -

I think this game has an Anti-Frog Agenda.

#25 Posted by tourgen (4542 posts) -

I like frogs.

#26 Posted by RnRpax (28 posts) -

Knife fight between Alex and Patrick...next GBTNT

#27 Posted by Spoonman671 (4769 posts) -

Helping some dude handle his daddy issues doesn't sound very appealing to me.  Of course, I might be more interested if I had any clue what the actual gameplay was about.
 
Nevermind, let's just fawn over it because it sounds artsy.

#28 Posted by Xpgamer7 (2398 posts) -

Sounds like a great idea. Hope the execution is as good as the idea.

#29 Posted by spilledmilkfactory (1899 posts) -

Wow.. I had an idea for a game really similar to this a few weeks ago. I guess the creator and I are on similar wavelengths. Anyways, it looks pretty cool

#30 Posted by Deusoma (3032 posts) -
@Spoonman671 said:
Helping some dude handle his daddy issues doesn't sound very appealing to me.  Of course, I might be more interested if I had any clue what the actual gameplay was about.  Nevermind, let's just fawn over it because it sounds artsy.
Would you like a hug, friend Spoonman? I bet it'll make you feel better. :)
#31 Posted by buckybit (1455 posts) -
#32 Posted by Gunharp (337 posts) -

@Deusoma said:

@Spoonman671 said:
Helping some dude handle his daddy issues doesn't sound very appealing to me. Of course, I might be more interested if I had any clue what the actual gameplay was about. Nevermind, let's just fawn over it because it sounds artsy.
Would you like a hug, friend Spoonman? I bet it'll make you feel better. :)

Yeah no kidding.

#33 Posted by Tidel (360 posts) -

Very cool premise and approach. I love the vibe of the trailer -- somewhere between light-hearted quirk and something... unsettling. I would like to know more.

#34 Edited by Capasso (45 posts) -

Eh, it`s written "Céu" (portuguese for heaven or sky) on the wall  yet the game's name is in spanish? It should be "Papo & Eu", I think. Papo could be understood as a slang for chatting or as the first person, present tense of the verb "papar". (Eu) papo = (I) eat. I also find it funny that the small yellow character in the trailer is named "Lula" since Brazil's former president was known for this nickname.

 

        

Oh wow, the saying on the wall at 0:28 is written incorrectly it should be "ordem". Hopefully they'll get some help to fix these mistakes by the end of the project.
#35 Posted by Vigorousjammer (2536 posts) -

Ico in Spain!

looks cool.

#36 Posted by DavoTron (157 posts) -

maaaan that trailer got dark son.

#37 Posted by Gregomasta (1541 posts) -

Wow, beautiful.

#38 Posted by Rudeboy217 (1771 posts) -

I really like the name. This looks really neat.

#39 Posted by UncleBenny (476 posts) -

man, this is pretty heavy.

#40 Posted by crusader8463 (14428 posts) -

Sounds like a Drug parable.

#41 Posted by abara (229 posts) -

Interesting. Have to see more to make up my mind but the concept is great.

#42 Posted by GoldenGlove (54 posts) -

There was a sidequest in Chibi-Robo involving a honey-addicted Teddy Bear that got (relatively speaking) pretty dark.

#43 Posted by xyzygy (10077 posts) -

Can't say that the gameplay they've shown looked that good. It's early though. But the concept sounds... interesting.

#44 Posted by nick_verissimo (1401 posts) -

Kind of reminds me of Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, but set in South America. I've been loving MFK so far, so I'm definitely going to at least check this out.

Online
#45 Posted by TheMoD (123 posts) -

It looks pretty crazy I like it :)

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.