Papo & Yo, the newly announced puzzle-platformer developed by Minority in partnership with Sony's Pub Fund, will be released on the PlayStation Network early next year. The game tells a tale as old as time: a young boy who lives in a magical world of his own creation befriends a red, rhinoceros-looking beast with an addiction to frogs that causes him to break out into fits of rage if satisfied, and embarks on an adventure to cure Monster’s sickness. You know, that old yarn.
Actually, it’s a rather moving little premise, and as you progress through the game, the relationship between Quico and Monster will not only serve as the driving force behind the narrative but it will also factor into the gameplay and game world as well, since Quico’s state of mind affects his surroundings. So when Quico is happy and his pal isn’t in a poison frog-induced rage, the sky will be clear and the sun will be shining brightly, but when there’s danger near, clouds will form and the world will darken.
To solve puzzles, Quico will be able to use seemingly small objects, like a box, to manipulate massive structures, like a building. For instance, if he wants to arrange a neighborhood of houses to create a path or clear one, he simply picks up a series of nearby boxes that then correspond to the houses and arrange them that way. We don’t much about how other puzzle elements will work, but there’s something wonderfully magical about the prospect of this type of mechanic.
Monster’s behavior will also factor into puzzle solving, as players will have to be careful not to get in Monster’s way should he get his hands on a mood-altering frog. If he gets a hold of one, he becomes an temporary enemy of Quico and will be unable to help solve puzzles until he comes down from his frog high. Think of it as similar to The Last Guardian, if, sometimes, the giant bird-cat creature sometimes threatens to eat the little boy.
There’s still plenty we don’t know about Papo & Yo, but from the little we’ve seen so far, it certainly has our attention, and we can’t wait to see more.