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 ==