E3 2011: Looking forward to… Papo & Yo
Quico has friends: Lula, a flying robot, is his best friend. Loyal Lula has reservations about Quico’s new friend, Monster, a pot-bellied bipedal rhinoceros with a dangerous addiction to poisonous frogs. The three take center stage in the PSN title Papo & Yo, the first title out of the independent Montreal-based studio Minority. I’ll get to sit down and see the game at E3 on Tuesday.
Monster is an intriguing character. From what we’ve seen so far, players control Quico and Monster will do his own thing. If he’s feeling happy, he’ll help out Quico as we attempt to solve puzzles in order to navigate the colorful game world, but if Monster gets hungry, he’ll wander off and that’s when trouble can start. While wandering around, Monster might consume a poisonous frog, at which point he will become violent and a threat to Quico. But Monster isn’t the only star. The trailer shows hovels in the shantytown that surrounds him moving as Quico moves the boxes. A closer inspection shows that the boxes have houses drawn onto them. Why and how Quico is moving the boxes and houses around remains a mystery that will hopefully be answered when I get to sit down and see the game. Where Lula comes in is still a mystery.
What’s most ensnaring is Papo & Yo’s art style. The trailer shows Quico running through a forest at dusk, with the dwindling light from the setting sun soaking into the silhouetted leaves above him. Monster’s skin looks like sandpaper, and you get the impression that if you could reach into the screen and touch him, it would be rough against your hand. Papa & Yo’s introduction so far is brief, but I’m already excited to bury myself in the world Minority seems to be building. How the game will play out is still entirely shrouded in mystery, but Papo & Yo mechanics, art style and game world have me very intrigued and excited.