Papo & Yo

Developer:
Minority
Platform:
PC, PlayStation 3
Play Time:
medium

Apparently any subject is suitable for a gaming allegory. Slip the alcoholic dad in the role of bad-guy, the abused kid in the place of the protagonist, and change dad’s toddies into, um, frogs––and violah!, you have yourself an action puzzle-platformer. A bit like Guillermo del Toro film Pan’s Labyrinth, the aspect that transforms such painful subject matter is P&Y’s sense of magic realism, which shows how even the worst things can become fantastical when seen through the eye of a child’s imagination. Perhaps applying game rules to bad situations makes them fun? I’m not sure. Regardless, Vander Caballero’s real-life experiences of abuse make this one of the more intriguing releases of the year.

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