Quico’s best friend, Monster, is a huge beast with razor-sharp teeth, but that doesn’t scare Quico away from playing with him. That said, Monster does have a very dangerous problem: an addiction to poisonous frogs.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (14 reviews) - 92% of the 14 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (2,024 reviews) - 94% of the 2,024 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 18, 2013

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Reviews

“… one of the best games to come out this year.”
Kotaku

“One of the top ten games of 2012”

4.5/5 -TIME Magazine

“Papo & Yo, a lyrical tale of a boy and a monster, has set a new and altogether different standard in gaming for representing the world as it is.”
New York Times

About This Game

Quico’s best friend, Monster, is a huge beast with razor-sharp teeth, but that doesn’t scare Quico away from playing with him. That said, Monster does have a very dangerous problem: an addiction to poisonous frogs. The minute he sees one hop by, he’ll scarf it down and fly into a violent, frog-induced rage where no one, including Quico, is safe. And yet, Quico loves his Monster and wants to save him.
As Quico, players will build their friendship with Monster by solving puzzles together and adventuring through a magical, surrealist world. Players will need to learn to use Monster’s emotions, both good and bad, to their advantage if they want to complete their search for a cure and save their pal.

Key Features


  • Real Relationships – Through a unique mix of gameplay and interactive narrative, players explore the complex relationships between Quico, Monster, Lula and Alejandra
  • A Magical World – a beautiful South American favela based in fantastical realism which highlights actual pieces by celebrity graffiti artists
  • A Captivating Original Soundtrack – a soulful sound design created entirely from scratch by Venezuelan-born composer Brian D’Oliveira and La Hacienda Creative
  • Environment-based Puzzle – explore and interact with a world full of whimsical surprises to progress in your journey
  • A Personal Story – inspired by Creative Director Vander Caballero’s tumultuous childhood

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
    • Processor:2.2 GHz dual core or better
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce 6800GT, ATI Radeon X1800 or better
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:4 GB HD space
    • Sound:Windows compatible sound card
    • Additional:Game supports Multi-Monitor
    Recommended:
    • OS:Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
    • Processor:2.8 GHz quad core or better
    • Memory:3 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460, ATI Radeon HD 5870 or better
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:4 GB HD space
    • Sound:Windows compatible sound card
    • Additional:Game supports Multi-Monitor
    Minimum:
    • OS:Mac OSX 10.6 or better
    • Processor:2.2 GHz dual core or better
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce 6800GT, ATI Radeon X1800 or better
    • Hard Drive:4 GB HD space
    • Additional:OpenGL 2.1 Compliant GPU Required
    Recommended:
    • OS:Mac OSX 10.6 or better
    • Processor:2.8 GHz quad core or better
    • Memory:3 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460, ATI Radeon HD 5870 or better
    • Hard Drive:4 GB HD space
    • Additional:OpenGL 2.1 Compliant GPU Required
    Minimum:
    • OS:Any linux distribution since 2010
    • Processor:2.2 GHz dual core or better
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce 6800GT, ATI Radeon X1800 or better
    • Hard Drive:4 GB HD space
    • Additional:OpenGL 2.1 Compliant GPU Required
    Recommended:
    • OS:Any linux distribution since 2010
    • Processor:2.8 GHz quad core or better
    • Memory:3 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460, ATI Radeon HD 5870 or better
    • Hard Drive:4 GB HD space
    • Additional:OpenGL 2.1 Compliant GPU Required
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Very Positive (14 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (2,024 reviews)
Recently Posted
Ollie 高野
3.1 hrs
Posted: August 31
great atmosphere tho
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dread
5.2 hrs
Posted: August 24
An interesting but very simple platformer with a not so easy story to deal with. The puzzles are super easy but I actually didn't mind that for a change.

I recommend the game for a number of reasons:

1) The developer to have the balls to make a game out what would of been a nightmare to live through.
2) Graphically nice and interesting terrain transforming.
3) The music is awesome and just sits beautifully in the background.

However, I do have to say that I do not agree with the ending in the slightest. Surely in this day and age people still don't think that... Having said that though, I have also been fortuante enough not to have lived through something like that, so.........Make up your own minds.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dangerous Doctor
4.1 hrs
Posted: August 22
Surreal and cheerful story about letting go of your relationship with your abusive alcoholic father.

Monster's path-finding broke once, losing about 10 minutes of progress, but otherwise an excellent game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
cthulhuspitt
5.0 hrs
Posted: August 21
I loved this came. It has unique puzzles and an interesting story line. The art was fantastic and fun. Some of the cut scenes seem to drag but it still looked beautiful so the time passed pleasantly. I recommend this for all ages.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
xsuffer
3.5 hrs
Posted: August 14
You don't really need to play this game. Ok but nothing very remarkable.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
NerakanDrac
9.1 hrs
Posted: August 10
Papo & Yo is sweet, frightening, and heartbreaking by turns. Clever puzzles and careful story building unravel a heartbreaking allegorical tale amidst the backdrop of poverty in a paradoxically delightful and surreal favela. Also features amazing sound design and lovely street art pieces. I highly recommend this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
culinarykid92
3.5 hrs
Posted: August 8
.....Wow! What an experience. I wish I knew about this game sooner. The game primarily deals with a boy interacting with a big creature called 'Monster' as well as a guide and a toy robot friend. Although the game has been out for years, I won't spoil the story. I highly appreciate how well crafted it is in the game and how the devs want each person to interpret the story based on their experiences and perception.
The music is great and adds to the atmosphere. I will say that I didn't like how there were some bad camera angles. And a couple puzzles were more based on precision and timing rather than just thinking puzzles. And it can set you back to the beginning of the puzzle. And there is a bit of backtracking so make sure you don't mind that.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Evengiolon
5.7 hrs
Posted: August 3
Product received for free
Interesting puzzles game, with a story that keeps you going, with a 'real life drama' feel to it, once the story is explained. Fun to play
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Anarka
8.8 hrs
Posted: August 1
I've played this one three or four times through now. I can't finish it without crying. It hits a nerve no other game has ever been able to do. If you want to try something that takes gameplay and turns it into a profound emotional canvas for exploring childhood traumam, this is a mustt.

The puzzle design may not be groundbreaking, but the visual design, art, and story more than make up for it. And this is one of those games, like Braid, where symbolism and gameplay interact in incredible ways.

The soundtrack has to be in my top five of all time. It's perfect.

9/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
awesomesantana
3.6 hrs
Posted: July 31
The game was boring. Just, so boring.

It looks alright, the music is good, it covers unique themes (for a video game, albeit in a heavy handed manner), but it was too easy. I'm just glad it's over.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 24
An interesting but very simple platformer with a not so easy story to deal with. The puzzles are super easy but I actually didn't mind that for a change.

I recommend the game for a number of reasons:

1) The developer to have the balls to make a game out what would of been a nightmare to live through.
2) Graphically nice and interesting terrain transforming.
3) The music is awesome and just sits beautifully in the background.

However, I do have to say that I do not agree with the ending in the slightest. Surely in this day and age people still don't think that... Having said that though, I have also been fortuante enough not to have lived through something like that, so.........Make up your own minds.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
122 of 136 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2013
I love this game! Pure poetry in a childish dream! It's a metaphorical game about a child and his deep fears. The more you play the more you want to know the truth about his father. It's really interesting because there's a real drama behind this poetic and sweet appearances. Plus puzzles are amazing ^^ Very good game, both fascinating and relaxing!
9/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
99 of 105 people (94%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 13, 2014
I don't think a game has ever made me cry so much. Coming from a family with substance abuse, this game hit down to the core. It isn't a difficult game, but it has a beautiful and powerful story to tell.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
81 of 85 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 27, 2015
AT A GLANCE
(Full review follows below)

  • Game Name: Papo & Yo
  • Original Release: 2013
  • Genre Tags: Adventure; Puzzle-Platformer; Atmospheric; Short
  • My Overall Grade: A
  • Estimated Playtime (Campaign): 4-7 hours
  • Multiplayer Aspect: None
  • Recommended To: Established fans of the genre; Those intrigued by the genre; Game atmosphere connoisseurs; Casual gamers

REVIEW
Papo & Yo is a highly atmospheric, third-person puzzle-platformer that will embark you on an imaginative and enthralling adventure. The game is quite short; but it boasts an undeniable charm that makes every hour played, however few, rather enjoyable.

The metaphorical narrative is mostly told through the emotion in the atmosphere and the styles of the puzzles, rather than lines and lines of dialogue. The enchanting soundtrack and imaginative environments serve to create a stimulating atmosphere that tells the story through its interpretation. This approach to storytelling in video games can be hit-or-miss, but I think Papo & Yo is a good example of how it can be quite effective.

The gameplay boils down to three-dimensional, environment-based puzzles that can be solved mostly through exploration and experimentation. Due to this style of gameplay, the game is quite linear. It will usher you from one location to the next, each with its own puzzle to solve. The puzzles are mostly challenging without becoming needlessly frustrating, although some of them can be a little tricky to figure out without any hints or direction.

As I alluded to, the game is fairly short— topping out at a handful of hours, depending on how quickly you can solve the puzzles. To add a little supplemental depth, there is also a decent set of collectibles to search for (i.e.: hats) that can add a little more to the game for players who choose to pursue that. That said, I personally felt the length of the game was perfect and that it helped create a short-and-sweet appeal to the game, instead of allowing it to grow stale.

I thoroughly enjoyed my playthrough of Papo & Yo. I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys atmospheric games and/or puzzle-platformers in this style. Further, I feel this is a game that can also appeal to gamers who don’t normally play this type of genre, due to the fact that it is intriguing and short enough to give someone a taste of something different without overburdening them.

Follow my curation page to see more of my recommendations!
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70 of 71 people (99%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 9, 2014
I am outraged that I have never seen this game before getting it in the Humble Bundle. The fact that Papo & Yo got almost no attention while Gone Home got game of the years, 10/10s, and several thousands articles written about it frustrates me to no end. Not only is Papo & Yo a good game, it does more for story telling and social commentary than any video game I can think of.

Here's the important part first. Purely as a game, it is a good game. The player is required to solve a series of platforming puzzles that gradually become more complex the further in they go. None of them were incredibly difficult. Most of the difficultly comes from figuring out how you're suppose to use a new mechanic or item and then adding it to larger problems. Using the classic system of introduce, teach, then impliment, it makes sure the player is never confused. I was only once stumped enough to restart the level, thinking I had broken the game. However, I had just not been looking hard enough at the answer staring me in the face. Other than solid platform puzzling there's nothing completely amazing. It does what it does well and is definitely worth the Humble Bundle price.


Now for extra bullox.
Papo & Yo is not 2deep4you. In fact, it states the symbolism of the monster in the first few seconds of starting the game, but everything about the game manages to be abstract enough to make the player think and form their own interpetations. It is rather light on story, focusing instead on the gameplay itself. What this game aces is the use of gameplay to tell the story. From the beginning, the player should know that the monster is an abusive parent, but nothing else is ever stated. The interaction between the boy and the monster in the form of puzzle solving mechanics reveals their relationship. There is no walking around reading notes. Very little of the story is spoon-fed. This combination of gameplay and story is what makes Papo & Yo so fantastic. It is telling a story about social issues by the means of a video game, not by a collection of text files.
And the best part is that this social commentary goes beyond first-world, white people problems. It covers problems of child abuse, alcoholism, and class issues, which I feel are much bigger problems in the world than sexuality. Quite honestly, I didn't understand the story at first because I have never been in any similar situations. Still, I was able to feel for the central characters far more than any other attempts at video game social commentary because I was involved with the basics of the relationship through gameplay.
If video games want to be taken seriously they never will , they need to bring to light world issues that don't involve the internet and Papo & Yo does that excellently.

I'm sure someone else could say this far more eloquently than I ever could. Papo & Yo is a good game and is a fantastic example of how to mix gameplay and a serious, non-action story into an enjoyable and emotional experience.
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55 of 62 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
58.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
Papo & Yo is a rare game that manages to perfectly represent what it is like to be a child and the effects of substance abuse by those closest to them. This surprised me, because it is hard to tell a story with such complex themes under the guise of a game with any degree of success. Yet Papo & Yo handles it beautifully, and crafts an emotionally rewarding experience that deserves to be played. It certainly has its problems, but it manages to entertain and engage the player from beginning to end.Throughout Papo & Yo you play as Quico, a young boy who explores a dream like interpretation of Brazilian styled favelas. Throughout the game you are accompanied by three characters. The first is Lula, a cute yellow robot who hangs on to Quico’s back throughout the game, and serves to help him navigate and solve the puzzles that he encounters throughout his journey. There is also a girl who uses chalk to bring buildings and other objects in the environment to life, and more often than not plays tricks rather than help. These two characters are the ones that actively communicate to you.And then there’s Monster, a giant pink beast who grunts and roars as he eats and sleeps. Despite his outward frightful appearance, he is actually quite peaceful more often than not.Papo & Yo handles the complexities of addiction and abuse extremely well, never going into lengthy explanations or long, dialogue encumbered scenes in order to convey its themes. Instead, the game mostly relies on the actions of the characters and the change in environments and scenery in order to communicate, which is a very welcome change.Throughout Quico’s journey, he will encounter puzzles of varying length and complexity that obstruct his path. What is most amazing about Papo & Yo’s puzzles is that they involve the environment in rather stunning and wonderful ways.Turning a switch can result in a building gaining legs and moving to another position, pulling a lever could turn a building sideways to unveil a hidden set of stairs, and lifting a box can create and move giant crates that could be used at your disposal. The mechanics and feel of Papo & Yo also deserve praise. The jumping and navigating of the world feels natural, and I always enjoyed how Quico interacts with his environment. The favelas are simply stunning to navigate and explore. The locations feel like they have been lived in, but also are off just enough that you can tell that it is in an imaginative world. The sounds that the environment makes as you solve puzzles and move about are a delight to listen to, and credit must be given to whoever designed the ambient sounds found within the game.Papo & Yo is a unique game. It handles its themes extremely well, and the world is simply amazing to behold. Though the game is not without its faults, chief among them a lack of difficulty and challenge, Papo & Yo should be played at least once. Trust me, the journey will be quite worth it.
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42 of 44 people (95%) found this review helpful
Recommended
36.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 9, 2014
First of all, I have to mention that this is quite a powerful game and can have quite an impact on people if they have ever suffered with or been aroud substance misuse although it isn't primarily focused on this. The gameplay is incredible. There is lots to explore and lots of creative elements involved such as making things in order to help you through your journey. Without giving too much away, you feel very much like you are the character playing and you quite often feel what he is feeling. This did make me cry, I will be honest but I personally, love games that has such a powerful impact on me. It makes me want to play it again and again and I have already completed the game twice and itching to go back. It's easy to forget yourself and get totally immersed. If you like adventure and a taste for real life elements, give this game a try. It was suggested to me by a friend and I can't thank him enough for putting me in touch with this game. I highly recommend it and I'm very thankful to the developers for going to so much trouble and effort to make it an amazing experience for me.
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41 of 45 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2013
Wow. I was not expecting this at all. Such an amazing game.
Everyone needs to give this a playthrough.
Thank you Minority for creating such an artistic and emotional experience.
I hope to see more from you and will definitely be recommending this for friends and family.
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34 of 35 people (97%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 31, 2014
While not difficult or complex as a platform puzzler, Papo & Yo offers visuals that are at times cartoonish and whimsical, but always hold an undercurrent of something truly sinister. There were times throughout the game, especially near the end, where I felt genuinely tense, and I found myself on edge in dreadful anticipation of what I knew was coming next- which is no doubt exactly what the story-tellers intended. Papo & Yo has a story worth telling, and does not waste your time telling it.
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40 of 45 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 12, 2015
Empathy seems to be in short supply lately.

Though it’s now easier than ever to interact with others, between the endless deluge of vitriolic comments, coordinated harassment, seemingly spontaneous violence and the general lack of decency so often show to other human beings, it feels as if we’ve only become more disconnected as our methods of communication advance.

Papo & Yo is the rare game that asks for us to find the ability for greater understanding. Its design is subtle and meaningful, created in an attempt to tell nuanced human story but without the intention of forcing its meaning upon you. It’s an exploration of our capacity to love someone trapped and tormented by their inner demons, and how sometimes the ability to help them is beyond our ability.

Much of Papo & Yo is surreal and impossible, with walking houses and magic chalk lines allowing its themes to come across less overtly. Playing as the young Brazillian, Quico, the world takes on a sort of childlike wonder, delightfully playful and unconcerned with any greater troubles that might exist within it. Running around picking up frogs and reading the crayon drawn insides of cardboard boxes, I was struck by how humbly the game presents itself. It doesn’t attempt more than it knows it’s capable of, but at the same time has something important to say and wants to make sure it says it right.

One of the ways developer Minority Media achieves this, is how it presents its other main character, Monster. It’s a giant horned creature, but what’s important about it is it’s never framed as the antagonist. When you first meet Monster he’s just a big sleepy companion, who runs around with its tongue hanging out as you lead it around with the help of a mellon. These early moments help to develop the bond between Quico and Monster, as they help each other through levels and Quico shows a very clear fondness for his hulking friend.

Monster’s love of poisonous frogs however, turns him into something to fear. As he ravishly gobbles them up, his actions become violent and his appearance demonic. What was once your friend becomes an unstable brute, and in this feeling of helpless terror Papo & Yo strives to give you a glimpse at the horror of being a child surrounded by abuse. I wanted to help Monster, but any attempt to do so only lead to him taking out his aggression on me. It made me feel small and powerless to do anything but flee, and distressed that there seemed no solution to Monster’s addiction.

Papo & Yo might not be the most polished game, and its puzzle design is rife with unnecessary backtracking and tedious solutions, but it’s overshadowed by what the game represents and is trying to convey to the player. With much of the narrative being autobiographical, it makes it all the more raw and haunting to watch Quico and Monster be torn apart from each other. It’s a complicated story told with uncomplicated methods, deriving empathy through gameplay more than dialogue. From the start of the game, Minority Media seem prepared to not overly simplify the story they want to tell or to take the reassuring route with a clean cut happy ending. I’m finding it hard to completely reconcile my feelings over how everything wrapped up, but if nothing else I feel I comprehend at least a little more what those going through the sort of experiences displayed here are feeling. And that’s something we could all stand to do more often.

You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
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