Papo & Yo

Can games help us process psychological traumas? Or help us understand them in others? This unconventional game tries exactly that.

In Papo & Yo you play a little boy named Quico that finds his way through a dreamlike Favela, following a mysterious girl. The environment offers creative puzzles that emphasizes whats possible in the fantasy of a kid. But this fantasy is not only that, it is also a metaphor. After befriending a monster that loves to eat frogs but starts raging every time it does you realize that not all is well in Quicos fantasy world, and even less so in his real world.

Without hitting you in the face with it Papo & Yo not only tells you, but lets you experience how traumatising domestic violence can be for a child and how it tries to cope with it. It handles the subject very delicately and at the same time offers great and challenging game play.

The shortness of it is not a weak point as it gets the point across without sacrificing the pacing. It also features beautiful art and music – another example of how interactive media can offer mature experiences without cliches or over the top violence. This game is rare in that it tells a personal story that sheds an artistic light on a societal issue.