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Papa and Yo has been released on PS3 and been provided for us to preview/review by the publisher.
Believe it or not we are still playing it. Here are some extracts of what we made of it in chronological order:
"Papo and Yo wears its more-than-entertainment credentials on its sleeve. It's a game about the fear and pain of growing up with an abusive and alcoholic father. Unlike other games I've reviewed here, I know this to be so not because of what I've read into the experience but because that's what creator Vander Caballero has been vocal about in the build up to release..."
- Faithful Gamer (Tue, 27 Nov 2012)
Papa & Yo is an almost uniquely autobiographical game, taking one man's story of his addict father and translating it into a childlike fantasy set in the poor towns of South America.
Papa & Yo (which is Spanish for Papa and I) is the story of a boy, Quico, whose best friend is a giant creature named Monster. They have a great relationship except when Monster eats a frog, at which point he becomes a vicious beast and a danger to Quico. Since Monster cannot avoid eating frogs, Quico must find a way to break Monster's addiction to save himself and restore their relationship.
According to the game's creator, Papa & Yo is the story he's been trying to tell throughout his life about his own relationship with his father and that man's own struggle with alcoholism and drug abuse.
It's hard to think of another game which is so uniquely personal to a creator's own past. Many have cited influences before, such as Satoshi Tajiri who cites his childhood hobby of collecting insects as an inspiration for Pokemon, or Eric Chahi, whose world travels inspired the incredible landscapes in From Dust.
Nevertheless it is interesting to see this approach to game design and it is surely a continuing sign of the maturity of games as an art form that they are able to provide individuals with an outlet for expression. It is also heartening that Sony continue to provide funding for these kinds of independent projects.
From a gameplay perspective it will also be fresh to be faced with a character who is at the same time both ally and enemy. Many game characters are either treated as an outright threat OR a team-mate and I will be personally intrigued to see how Monster balances the line between danger and affection.
Papa & Yo looks to be an exciting independent adventure, which a mix of fantastic environments and stunning sun-bleached representations of South American favelas. We can only hope that the gameplay lives up to the inspiration behind it.
Papa & Yo is currently planned for release on the Playstation 3 via PSN later in 2012.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: