Papo & Yo was a critical darling that got a lot of attention in the past couple of months. It is the autobiographical story of the lead designer and how he survived the monster that lived inside his father. All of it is told through the allegorical lens of a child’s fantasy as he hides from his alcoholic father, which is here represented by a larger orange behemoth.
In addition to the more artistic aspirations of the game, there is a pretty solid game beneath these ideas. The mechanics and dynamics of the interactions work to foster a sort of paradoxically needy, yet toxic relationship between the boy and the monster. Everything works well together to create the artist’s singular vision of this very personal story. And it is because of all of that I feel like a complete ass when I say the game made me feel nothing at all.