An exploration of addiction in gaming, whether as a mechanical device or something more.
“Looking for a fix, man?” asked the unscrupulous dealer who met The Courier at the gates of Freeside. “I got what you need.”
RPS Feature Lost Weekends
Papo & Yo is a personal game, using the tale of a monster and a boy to touch on creator Vander Caballero’s upbringing. It’s a story of affection, protection, alcoholism and abuse, set in a dreamlike favela. Nathan found the experience powerful:
“That relationship, then, lies at the heart of Papo & Yo, weaving an extremely personal thread through both story and gameplay mechanics. But does it bind them together or leave them straining at the seams?”
You can read his thoughts here to learn more but SPOILER ALERT he decides that the seams are strained, describing the actual puzzling and platforming as ‘exceedingly mediocre’. That said, it’s not often we see this sort of story in a game and even if it falters in places, the experience still sounds worthwhile. Especially when you can pay what you want (minimum of $1) for the next three and a half days over at IndieGameStand.
RPS Feature Together We Can Conquer
Papo & Yo‘s tale of parental abuse, coping, and giant rhino dogs that appear to be made of chewing gum might not have been perfect, but on the whole, it was a marvelously powerful, important experience. Honestly, if you haven’t already, I really recommend giving it a try. Plenty of games tell great stories, but rarely do they teach us to understand and empathize with other human beings. Real ones. In the wake of Papo’s strong reception, Vander Caballero and the team at Minority have decided that’s their goal: to craft inherently human games that explain, heal, and tear us away from each others’ throats. That brings us to Silent Enemy. Rooted in Cree Indian culture, it digs deep into the battered hearts of two Minority team members whose childhoods were defined by bullying. I spoke with Caballero about what exactly that will entail and also received confirmation that – contrary to previous reports of mobile and OUYA exclusivity – Silent Enemy is definitely coming to PC.
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Unfortunately, this one flew right by us during all the GDC madness, but it’s still hugely worth noting. Papo & Yo, you see, is a tale of one man’s real-life childhood relationship with his abusive father, told by way of a giant pink rhino flesh wad creature. It’s exceedingly personal for a game of its scale (originally, Sony chipped in; thus an initial period of PS3 exclusivity), and that alone probably makes it worth a look. But it also functions as a window into a distinctly child-like state of mind – one where astounding feats of magical realism make the world go ’round, with dream-like puzzles to match. It’s coming to PC quite soon, too, so perhaps a trailer will be right up your dilapidated, graffiti-tattooed South American favela alley.