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Imagine what it would be like to live in a place were copycat first person shooters where the exception and not the rule. A place where games had to go through some form of QA testing to ensure that they somehow pushed the industry forward.
It’s a nice dream isn’t it? Sadly, the huge success of franchises like Call of Duty and unstable financial markets mean that this dream is a hard one to take seriously at the moment.
Canada’s indie development scene, and the international indie scence as well, are doing what they can to destroy that black and white way of thinking by constantly providing their colourful creative efforts. One of the most creative of those efforts was released this week, and it comes to us from the Montreal based indie studio Minority. Their game, Papo & Yo, is actually inspired by the childhood memories of the game’s Creative Director, Vander Caballero. It’s based on his experiences growing up in South America with an abusive, alcoholic father. Caballero, formerly a Design Director at EA Montreal, is attempting to show off his design chops while trying to tell a personal story through Papo & Yo.
Obviously, it is not a story that we can all identify with, but it appears to be a story leaving few people on the fence.
Like all games that could be considered for the highly coveted title of Art, it has confused the industry. It currently sits with a score of 66 on Metacritic. A break down of that score shows 2 reviews of 40 out of 100 evening out the the 6 critics who gave the game 80 out of 100 or higher, and then there is a whole bunch of critics in between those two extremes. The major criticism constantly raised against Papo & Yo is a lack of polish with the title’s gameplay mechanics. However, it’s also not uncommon to go on social media sites and see experienced industry people describe Papo & Yo as a game with, “more emotional resonance in 1 hour of this game than the last 5 AAA games I’ve played.”
Like all games that could be described as art, it appears that you will either love or hate Papo & Yo.
However, what is Papo & Yo specifically? To answer that question Christine and I called up Minority and talked to Charles-William Bibaud. Together, the 3 of us discussed the world, story and personalities that make up Papo & Yo.
Download Here is our discussion.
If you’re interested, you’ll be able to trade $14.99 over the PlayStation Network for roughly 4 to 5 hours of Papo & Yo gameplay, and it is currently avaliable for purchase right now.
I know for a fact that Christine and I are both excited to play this game, but we’ve already had a chance to get our hands on it. We both know what to expect. If you have yet to see the game in action, you may wish to consult the video that I’ve post at the bottom of this page. It will give you an idea of the gameplay mechanics that you can expect if you choose to buy Papo & Yo.