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: Very Positive (1,655 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 18, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"What begins as a puzzle platformer, and very much has its up and downs, becomes a series of brilliantly, beautifully, devastatingly evocative moments."
Read the full review here.

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

    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
Helpful customer reviews
46 of 52 people (88%) found this review helpful
8.4 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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25 of 26 people (96%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 12
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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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 22
I'm struggling to find words that will encourage you to play this "game". It is a wonderful story-driven platform-esque adventure game.
There's that word again...game.

For most people, that would be the end of it. Beautiful music, fantastic atmosphere, interesting characters and intriguing puzzles. 10 out of 10.

For people like me, it's an 11.

For me, this became less a game, and more of a therapy session.

When you discover the nature of the story, there will be a divisive point. Luckily, you will enjoy the game either way. Some people will be emotionally struck. Thankfully, in a very healthy way, in my humble opinion.

Experiences like this transcend the medium. They elevate it, and should be understood for more than just entertainment value, but a conduit for healing, and understanding.

That is all I can say.

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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 16
Nice smothly game with nice puzzles and graphics :3
You can finish the whole story game twice in 10 hrs or less
it depinds on your gameplay.
10-10 from me , sorry i left it for a months ago and it deserves to play it again :)
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
A good platform game reminiscent of 3D classics from the genre (Rayman, the first Jak and Daxter, Banjo series, and the list would go on forever) with a surreal and imaginative twist.

One thing I noticed is that this game is very gameplay-heavy with a linear and puzzle-driven progression that leaves little space for exploration and indeed the story, which is most of the time assumed until the later sections of the game. I'm sure it will leave an impact in those who can share a similar story, without spoiling too much, and for the most part it's well executed and directed. A couple of scenes in particular can be breathtaking, leaving you to contemplate the artsy visuals in the midst of this surreal world.

The soundtrack is what I consider to be the highlight of this experience and it's exactly how I imagined this game to sound like, nothing more nothing less. It's simply brilliant and it does capture the world like only a few other games manage to accomplish through sound alone. It's comparable to titles such as Machinarium.

It does, however, come with a few drawbacks that may or may not ruin your experience. Some of the later puzzles can be a little frustrating to clear, not because their execution per se is particularly demanding, but the logic behind such puzzles require you to go through massive amounts of trial-and-error and solutions that up until that point become quite "exotic". The camera is sometimes a little annoying to manage, especially during timed puzzles where you're supposed to constantly monitor your character or else you'd fail and start over again.

Despite that, I think it's still an enjoyable experience and it's worth its relatively short length. If puzzle-platformers aren't your thing, then simply skip this game and enjoy something else.
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14 of 24 people (58%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014
I don't know, but i think this game should have a "horror" tag!
Every time monster runs after me i pause!! HOLY SHIIT!!!!

10\10, amazing story <3
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 11
I really liked this game. The music and visuals were pretty good with a unique setting. The game is very story focused although the story is never told in direct terms. It becomes obvious as events in the game reveal it. I think for people who enjoy games with a story to them the presentation here is something to appreciate.

The story really resonated with me personally but I will refrain from saying why to avoid any spoilers. You may find that it does with you as well but even if not it is still just as worthy of your time.


As for the gameplay itself, it is simple puzzling and platforming and I do mean simple. Anyone good at those sorts of games may be critical of this one on that account but I hope not. The gameplay is just a vehicle to deliver the story really more than anything else. It's very casual but I liked that personally as someone who does not generally get into puzzlers or platformers much at all. If you shy away from those sorts of games don't let the mention of that here scare you off. It is so easy I can do it which means anybody can. Furthermore, there is a built in easily accessible hint system that will guide you along so you cannot fail if you find yourself puzzled about how to advance. Now, I did not need this of course but I just wanted to let you know it is there and makes what you need to do crystal clear.

I played the Mac version on OS X 10.10.2 with no problems at all. It ran just fine on my late-2013 27" iMac.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
Beautiful piece of art, made me laugh and cry!

Buy this game and experience the feels! So pretty. So empowering. So sad.
It's short but definitely worth it.
Platforming is good, puzzles are easy but entertaining, and the music and artwork is just amazing.

What are you waiting for, go play Papo & Yo!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 27
Papo & Yo is a 3rd person 3D puzzle platformer game, it's short game (~3 hours) with an unfolding story of a boy's journey and his conflict with the "monster". Graphics and music are beautiful and overall the game has a lot of charm.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 5
A beautiful and heart-wrenching game entrenched in metaphor. This game left me shocked, silent and with a lot of thoughts to process. Our story opens with Quico, a young boy living in a Brazillin favela with his abusive alcoholic father. Retreating into his imagination, we follow his adventures through a surreal landscape as he interacts with his friend Monster as his means of coping with the real world. Beautifully written and and powerfully executed, more than once I felt on the brink of being physically ill at many of the implications and how they related to Quico's life.

In terms of gameplay, it's a fairly standard puzzle-platformer. As you travel through the favela you'll be pulling levers, hitting buttons, manipulating the landscape in surreal ways, and either coaxing Monster to aid you, or running from him. The puzzles are fairly simple and never frustrating, nor do they ever interfere with the game's atmosphere. In terms of music, the atmosphere is only boosted by a gorgeous soundtrack (which you can purchase along with the game). The game's only downfall is how short it is, as it can be completed in less than a day.

This is truly a masterpiece and a work of art. If you're a fan of heavily story-driven games, I highly recommend Papo & Yo.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
Papo & Yo uses puzzle platforming mechanics in a Brazilian favela setting to tell a story of the relationship between a boy and his alcoholic, abusive dad. Really clever use of a Dark City/Inception kind of environment manipulation, too.
Just finished it in a few hours and found it delightful.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 7
8/10

Pretty good game. Here are a list of pros and cons.

PROS:
1. Nice graphics
2. Decent level designs
3. The story is what really kept me going
4. Very good ending
5. Simple, straightforward controls

CONS:
1. Some puzzles were unneccesarily frustrating
2. Some puzzles felt useless and recycled

Overall, fun puzzle game with exceptional story/idea behind it.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
i just finished the game :'( This did make me cry a lot :(
i don't really know how to describe it ..
and i can't thank this game developers enough for making such a great game and to give me the chance to live those great moments and feelings , "the sad end break my heart :'(" it was an amazing experience to me
one of the best games ever .. and i recommend it to everyone
---------------
*pros:
+powerful story.
+wonderful graphics
+the music is just amazing "just listen to the music in the last part of the game (papo and yo song)"
+full of magical moments ( it make u feel like the character feels, believe me it will make u cry )
+there is lots to explore and lots of creative elements involved and easy and nice puzzles
+one of the rarest games that deal with a lot of real life issues, like alcoholism, physical abuse, death of a loved one etc...
*contrs:
-none, i can't find anything bad about this game ..
so what's you're waiting for ? go buy it now !
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 27
Such an incredibly beautiful little game. I actually wish I paid more because the creators really do deserve it. The graphics and game play are gorgeous and while not extremely challenging leaves both a sad and warm feeling in your heart at the end. I wish more game creators could balance gameplay, amazing graphics and real world issues as beautifully as this. Definitely recommend playing. Brought a tear to my eye.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
Nice background music.
Strange world.
Amazing story.
Child abuse, an usual issue, was told in a very unique and touching way.
I loved the experience. It's worth to play !
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
Amazing story which unfolds unexpectedly in the end. The flow of the game is good but perhaps a tad short.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
This game is great.
The puzzles are challenging.
In game musics are nice and cheering, with a sad tune in some scenes.
I've finished the first play through in 4 hours.
The camera movement are a bit tricky at first, but you'll familiar with it in a few puzzles.
If you like "Brothers: the tales of two sons" then this game is for you.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014
First time I was staring speechless at credits after a game.

Before playing this game I assumed it would be a fun game for kids with crazy moving houses, but I was wrong. Yes, I got moving houses and many more weird level design ideas (which on its own would make a great game), but the story blew my mind. It's not happy at all but bitter and sad. After getting attached to all of the characters, even a robot toy, I was close to tears when anything would happen to one of them. The ending was hard to finish, not because of puzzle complexity, but because of extreme emotional load.
The only downside to game is how short it is, but I was not expecting anything longer.
I would recommend it to anyone who likes weird level platformers, unusual characters and wants to experience a game that has a deeper meaning.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
This game's puzzles have no logic to them. You simply run around and turn switches and something cool happens. The message about child-abuse is incredibly heavy-handed. The graphics are low-budget but nothing terrible. This is very much a game with little actual game. Still, there are worst ways to spend an afternoon.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
I'm absolutely in love with this game, I adore it. Really good story telling and some fun puzzles along the way. The story underneath is rather dark without appearing dark from the off, beautiful game, can see myself happily playing it again some time.
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