Reviews for Papo & Yo Soundtrack & Game Bundle
You will cry and you will love it.sunshine_avis | Nov. 24, 2013 | See all sunshine_avis's reviews »
Papo & Yo is an absolutely beautiful game. It is set in a Brazilian favela where you play a young boy named Quico who has the ability to re-imagine and manipulate his surroundings. The graphics are gorgeous- I appreciated the fact that there are a lot of settings in the options menu that you can tinker with, something I noticed a lot of other indie games don't aways have. The gameplay is great; the puzzles are not overly difficult but there is something where satisfying in completing them. Also, the different ways that Quico can manipulate his environment are wonderful- he can turn on gears, pull levels, and send his robot friend Lula flying causing the entire landscape to shift and bend and move....definitely awe-inspiring. The subject matter may not be relevant to all but the game does a good job making you feel connected to the characters and the storyline; you will definitely cry by the end but you will love what you experienced. While it is a relatively short game (3-4 hour), it is definitely the experience that makes this game worth the price. I definitely recommend the soundtrack; it's absolutely beautiful and worth listening to outside of the game (though of course, depends on your budget!). Overall, really wonderful game!
Profoundly moving.Lunk | May 12, 2013 | See all Lunk's reviews »
Papo and Yo tells the story of Quico, a young Brazilian boy who re-imagines his traumatic world as one that can be bent and manipulated in ways that will allow him to protect himself from his father's alcoholic rage. The gameplay elements are pretty limited - you can run and jump and pull levers to solve mostly straightforward puzzles, but there's very little to test or challenge the player and no gameplay penalty should you fail. The story is also not altogether original, as there are certainly a number of examples in fiction centered around children imagining fantastical worlds that allow them to overcome demons they aren't able to in the real world and some have pulled it off with symbolism that isn't quite as blatant as it is here. However, the combination of the story and the gameplay make for a very affecting experience as the player drives the action and everything feels a bit more immediate and intense than it does while passively watching a movie or reading a book.
Blessedly, I have no first-hand experience with the kind of trauma at the center of this story, but from my uneducated perspective the game certainly seemed to do a very effective job of making me feel many of the emotions that must come with such a situation - a sense of dread when the substance appears, desperately trying to remove it from sight to keep yourself and those around you safe before it's too late, an inability to do anything but hide yourself until the storm has passed, and the familial love during the good times that can make it impossible for a child to reconcile what's going on.
In case I'm scaring anyone off, I should say that the game is not a totally somber affair. There are moments of absolute joy and wonder as you set about reshaping the world, and even if you don't find the story as engrossing as I did, it's not terribly long at around 3 hours and it's well worth experiencing the rich environments the dev team has created. The street art adorning many of the buildings is particularly impressive.
On a technical level, it's worth noting that this is a fairly demanding game that my 3 or 4 year old hardware struggled with a bit. I don't blame the game for that at all - hardware always becomes obsolete eventually and if any game has the right to strain a system it's one that looks as beautiful as this one does - and it didn't significantly detract from my experience, but don't be fooled into thinking that just because this is an indie game it lacks the production values that can bring older systems to their knees.
A quick note about the soundtrack for those deciding between this version and just getting the base game: the music is very well crafted and adds a lot of depth to the game world, but I'm not sure I see a whole lot of value in owning it as an album I can listen to outside of the game. I don't mean to disparage it, it's just that it feels like something less than whole on its own and not something I expect to listen to a lot. Of course, it's true of most things and especially musical tastes that your mileage may vary, but if you're tight on cash there's no harm in just getting the game without the separate mp3 soundtrack.
This is a game that will stick with me for a very long time. Highly, highly recommended.