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Home » Game

Papo & Yo Father knows beast

Submitted by on February 14, 2013 – 4:23 amNo Comment

Papo & Yo Father knows beast 3Papo & Yo Father knows beast, Papo & Yo is a game about that tragedy. It’s about a relationship that is by turns loving, gentle, and even playful, but can instantly turn into something ugly and full of violence and pain.

As a video game, Papo & Yo can be lacking – the mechanics are simple, and while the technology is capable of creating some beautiful moments, it’s just as capable of being frustrating. As an expression of autobiographical emotion for creator Vander Caballero, however, and a rendition of the complicated relationship between a young son and his abusive father, Papo & Yo succeeds in the strongest ways.

A boy named Quico is Papo & Yo’s main (and playable) character, but Monster, the big pink creature that Quico finds in his magical Brazilian favelas, shares the spotlight. He, like the rest of the game it seems, has been through a few revisions, but he’s landed in a well-crafted spot. When you first come across the creature, he’s intimidating, but a little silly. Quico can use Monster’s stomach like a trampoline as he sleeps to make bigger jumps, or feed him magical fruit to guide him around the game’s first few puzzles.

As Quico navigates Papo & Yo’s dingy but beautiful world, cracks begin to appear. White spaces and boxes float up out of nowhere, and at times, the world is literally pulled apart and manipulated by Quico himself. It’s a child’s view of a ghetto, with elements like hopscotch squares that rise up out of the ground, or a chalk-drawn soccer field with dimensional doorways. Eventually, you find some colorful, gigantic frogs, and this is where Monster’s full character is revealed. He prefers frogs to the fruit, and when he eats them, he flies into a flaming rage directed squarely at Quico.

The relationship between these two characters, Quico and his Monster, is portrayed in a wordless, gorgeous way. Monster’s animation and movement all speak towards how caring and playful he can be. At one point, you can even toss him a soccer ball, and he’ll kindly throw it back in fun. But leave a gate open, and allow him access to just one frog, and he’ll turn on you. The kind, even gentle giant helping you navigate the world suddenly becomes a raging, firey beast.

Is it his fault? Is it yours? Was there something you could have done to stop it, to calm him? Why is he so driven to become such a Monster, when just a moment ago he was so willing to play and help? Papo & Yo doesn’t necessarily answer these questions, and they are certainly tough ones to ask. But what it does best is make you, as a victim of such abuse, stop and think about what’s happening, and how helpless it can feel to have someone so close turn against you in such a terrible way.

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