Those of you who prefer your games to surprise you with creative style and design choices instead of delivering the same old blockbuster polish have had a few good years in downloadable titles. The independent scene has quickly become a breeding ground for ideas too outside of the box for major developers, and the latest announced game by indie studio Minority looks to be yet another example. Papo & Yo is proposing some interesting mechanics to go along with a unique storyline, and the newly released teaser trailer and screenshots are proof positive that creativity is alive and well in today’s game industry.
Papo & Yo puts the player in control of a young boy named Quico, living in a favela (slum neighborhood) with his robot sidekick Lula. The tale of a boy and an odd friend isn’t unheard of, but that’s not the only thing that makes Quico’s life extraordinary.
The star of the game so far has got to be Monster, a massively powerful, yet good-natured beast that Quico also calls a companion. The game is described by the developers as a 3d adventure that requires Quico to solve various puzzles with the help of Monster, but the aspect of the game that carries the most promise has to be the beast’s strange addiction.
A creature as large as Monster is prone to get hungry from time to time, and poisonous frogs are one of his favorites. But when Monster consumes a poisonous frog, he lives up to his name, becoming an enraged beast that is more bent on destroying Quico and Lula than helping them. Quico then, will not only be tasked with solving puzzles in an eye-catching world, but solving Monster’s problem once and for all.
To get an idea of just what kind of danger players will be facing, take a look at the teaser trailer:
With a teaser showing so much more of the story than of actual gameplay, it’s obvious that the narrative themes and struggle between friends will be just as important as the actual puzzles. It seems that both the relationship between Quico and Monster and the game’s puzzles will be working together, with Monster’s various moods being an integral part of some solutions.
The idea of moods and relationships progressing to help solve more and more difficult challenges is a loaded one, but Minority seems to explain the mechanic as both a function of story and gameplay:
“As players progress, Monster will react differently to their actions based on his current desires. If Monster is in a good mood, he will play with Quico and help with tasks; if Monster is hungry, he will seek out food; if that food happens to be a poisonous frog, he’ll transform into a terrifying killing machine bent on nothing but destruction. 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.”
Nobody can accuse Minority of being unoriginal, and given the studio describing itself as made up of programmers who “could not stand to develop yet another shooter game,” we shouldn’t be surprised. The looks at the game in action featured in the teaser are enough to show that Papo & Yo will be using some eye-catching colors and style, as well as some intriguing forms of puzzles.
We may not know much about how the game will function moment to moment, but the screenshots deserve to garner some attention for their style alone:
Minority has announced that Papo & Yo will be coming exclusively to PSN next year, with some more details to be announced when the game is unveiled at E3 next week. What do you think of the style and mechanics shown so far? Does this seem like your kind of game, or will you wait until you get a better idea of the game itself before getting excited?
We’ll bring you all of the E3 2011 details on Papo & Yo, with plenty more to come before its 2012 release.