User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 108 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 92 out of 108
  2. Negative: 7 out of 108

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  1. Apr 22, 2013
    10
    Papo & Yo is an extremely personal work like only few others in the industry. It is a clear message to the industry: games can be more than space marines. Games can be more, games can be autobiographical using game mechanics as a tool for addressing a message. A beautiful game.
  2. May 2, 2013
    10
    This is a branch that is severely neglected by designers nowadays. Designers blinded by childhood fantasies, sales and "having fun". Games can be much more, as movies can heal and teach, games can be an even better tool at this, involving you even more, and flowing and shaping like water
  3. May 28, 2013
    7
    Remember playing games like Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Dexter, Sly Cooper, and many others? Those were the games that shaped our childhood, and Papo & Yo is one of those games that makes you think of all those while adding some original ideas of its own. It's a puzzle game, where nothing things are explained by gentle hints, fun Hint Boxes, and text bubbles. You rely mostly on your own skills, but when you get help of some companions, you'll be able to jump further, activate unreachable buttons, and so forth. Finally a game that is enjoyable for the younger ones as well as for others. Expand
  4. May 4, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. My god. This game dredged up memories of a time when I had to let go of a best friend of mine because of illegal drug use. It was alcohol specifically, that made me decide. In the moment when he broke into a liquor cabinet and began to get drunk, (while of course being underage.), I was afraid. I let him get drunker and drunker, and when he was stumbling around and falling down, I got in my car, (which had his stuff and the stuff of the people who were with us.) and I left and drove to his parents house. I deposited everyone's stuff on the front porch and rang the doorbell and told his dad where he was and what he was doing. Afterwords, I never looked back. I haven't seen him in years now, nor do I want to, but I just know, if I saw him again I could become friends again with him easily. But I took the harder route of not forgiving him and simply letting him go. The ending of Papo and Yo was a metaphor for an actual moment in my life, and it was one of if not THE most, moving ending to a video game I have ever seen. Millage may vary for other people, but at least for me, I felt very moved. It was just like revisiting that moment again, but this time, I was able to let go more easily. This is a game that simply must be played. It is a beautiful piece of art. Expand
  5. Jun 9, 2013
    0
    boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring and boring. Expand
  6. Aug 12, 2013
    10
    A welcome change from shooting everything and a moving story you will remember. Well done! I'm not sure how you would do a sequel to this game but I hope there will be one in the future. I'd definately buy it. Nicely done.
  7. Aug 2, 2013
    6
    Papo & Yo is an interesting if not exceptional experience. And this is the crux of it; someone had a story to tell and an experience to relate.

    If you play this game as a game particularly if you expect a challenging puzzle game you're going to be disappointed. Whereas if you liked games like Dear Esther then Papo & Yo will probably be right up your alley.

    The graphics are
    functional but scarcely stress the Unreal Engine. The sound is a bit lackluster and the puzzles themselves are not logical (though neither are they difficult). Basically push a white glowy thing which will enable you to push another white glowy thing or lead the monster to a white glowy thing.

    You will not be taxed by this and if you find yourself stuck then it's probably because you haven't run to the right area yet. I don't really have a problem with this as it allows the story to flow without frustration.

    Papa & Yo is a pretty solid game; I've had only two technical issues: once it's locked up my PC entirely requiring a reboot and then I've gotten stuck in a wall on moving block. I'd rate it a pretty solid 65/100 but was tempted to give it a 0. A voter block looks to be artificially inflating the user scores; at the time of writing only 7 of the 17 user reviews really looked legitimate.

    Finally is it worth your money? Yes I think so. Not all game can or should be massive AAA titles. Papo & Yo has it's niche and it fills it.
    Expand
  8. Aug 18, 2013
    9
    I haven't played the PS3 version but this PC port is really well done, and I haven't experienced any gamebreaking problems. (The Unreal Engine works quite well here and it looks great)

    This game reminds me of ICO from a lot of aspects, but this is much better. I gave up ICO because I hated the annoying running around with the puzzles. I didn't mind the easy puzzles here, because they do
    not break the experience. The symbolism of the story is very easy to understand, but that is not a problem as it gives a lot to the atmosphere. The music is also fantastic. Expand
  9. Apr 24, 2013
    10
    Amazing game, great and beautiful story, ingenious gameplay. Proof that videogame is an art. The soundtrack is amazing, and the design of the game is really gorgeous.
  10. Jun 18, 2013
    9
    Once again Metacritic shows us they know nothing about good indie games. This is one of the best games I've ever played, the puzzles are tricky at some point but far from impossible, the story is compelling and it's well thought out. Giving this title a 73/100 is a joke, they deserve much more.
  11. Aug 24, 2013
    5
    I played this as a fill-in between other games, fully expecting it to be a schmalzy allegory for a boy dealing with his dad's alcohol abuse. That aspect of it was quite interesting to me personally, but I also support the idea of games moving into more difficult narrative and emotional territory. I think I read that this was actually autobiographical on part of one of the developers making this game a risky proposition commercially and something very raw and close to someone's heart, creatively.

    The gameworld is quite beautiful, without being graphically impressive it is just nicely, nicely designed. Although the 3D environments were probably quite simple to put together and there are a lot of copied and pasted houses on show they are imaginative and clever. Things like (analog) levers that fold the entire map in on itself, or flexible ramps made out of flying houses. It should manage to put a smile on your face.

    The reason I give Papo & Yo quite a low rating is that it really boils down to a few (10?) extremely easy puzzles slotted into an extremely basic story. It would have been quite okay to quadruple the length of this game, stretch a few of the basic mechanics (freeform, epic-scale, physics puzzler!) into more challenging puzzles and pick up the story again a bit later after you've had some fun levitating huge buildings in from the horizon to land on top of tiny frogs or some such.

    The story is delivered so honestly that it can't be faulted for laying it on thick. But it's the sort of story that someone who hadn't suffered parental alcohol abuse would tell about parental alcohol abuse... but being told by someone who had. The most poignant moment in the game for me wasn't in the story at all it was when you kick a football at Monster, and just for a moment he snaps out of being a lumbering, coconut-chomping cartoon character and patiently throws the ball back to you, like a Dad.

    Overall, this is maybe a 2-hour wonder for younger players. If I was an alcoholic father, I would buy this game for my children so they knew what to do with me.
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  12. Apr 21, 2013
    9
    The new version of Papo Y Yo on PC is just wonderful Graphisms are improved, bugs are resolved (most of them), and the story is still interesting.
    I'll regret the difficulty of puzzles which are too easy, and the game duration, I completed it in less than 3 hours...I just want more of this game, with harder puzzles for a deeper experience.
  13. Apr 25, 2013
    9
    Papo & Yo is a truly charming and surrealistic adventure. Coming from a dysfunctional alcoholic family myself, I can relate quite a bit to what our hero goes through, but with the HUGE difference being that my dad was never a monster but more an angel and a mentor alcoholic or not.
    But NEVER mind, it's a game and a wonderful one indeed. The more I play it, the more convinced I am that
    our young poor mistreated boy never touched alcohol, having seen what it did to his father, but instead ventured into the wonderful world of hallucinogenics You pull a rope and a building magically pulls out, morphs or generally transforms itself in a most pleasing and highly psychedelic manner.
    The art direction alone is worth the entry prize, but it's also a very pleasing game to play.
    Highly recommended.
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  14. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    Deeply moving and visually evocative work of art. This is not a game to tax your brain but it will move you like no other. It narrowly missed a 10/10 because I just didn't want it to end and could see the potential for more.. It actually made me *gasp* on several occasions. Just sublime. Bring on Papo & Yo II!
  15. Oct 1, 2013
    8
    I don't really care for puzzle-games, but the music score and the theme for this game is extremely well-crafted! The metaphors in this game coin it's theme perfectly, and tell a very real story. Impressive!
  16. May 19, 2013
    10
    Papo & Yo is a powerful illustration of what it is like to be an abused child. The game explores the fearful, codependent relationship of a child living with an alcoholic father. As an adult child of an abusive parent, I can interpret it as an intimate illustration of my own personal journey. The interaction of the player with Monster is like therapy, in the same way that therapists use roleplay techniques that encourage you to the difficult but necessary task of facing your pain, processing your feelings about it, & moving past it into the freedom of who you are meant to be.

    The codependent relationship of Monster & Quico may anger someone who is lucky enough to have grown up in a happy home. The child depends upon Monster for survival, but he must also take care of the wounded parent & serve to meet the parent's emotional needs at the expense of his own innocence and safety. Monster is docile & uninterested in Quico except for how Quico may care for him, but he goes out of his way to rescue Quico if needed. I like this because it is an example of the confusion created by the abuser, who tempers his abuse with kindness. The player is always on edge because Monster's kindness turns to fury as the whole world turns dark & red as he explodes into a flaming rage, pouring out all of his fury on the child, cruelly battering him, taking away his only comforts, and then going back to his docile self with no regard for what he has done, or what Quico has lost.

    The end of the game is a bittersweet, emotional sense of closure. The whole environment, a childlike world inside Quico's mind, begins to fall apart as the player begins to face the truth of his situation, & there is nothing left but to face all the pain straight on. There is no violence, no revenge. I would suspect that acting on your anger towards your abusive parent would turn you into a monster yourself. But you must do something else, which is even more emotionally difficult, but altogether right. I had to lay my controller down and cry with my head in my hands when I realized what I had to do. It was a raw moment of pure grief. In that moment it was no longer about the game, but about my own abusive parent who is incapable of changing, & the realization that there is only one choice for me in order to be whole and move on. The bravery of acting out my only choice at the end gave me the bravery to do the same in my life.

    I am going to be ok.

    Papo & Yo is the vulnerable expression of someone who has walked the same difficult path before me & is not only ok, but turned it into a passion to make something authentic and beautiful. It fills me to the brim with hope in more than one way. When I graduated high school seven years ago, I played ICO, and knew I wanted to be a game designer. I knew I had talent, potential, & a special artistic vision. I understood the unexplored possibilities of game design as an expressive art medium. I wanted to create games that gently stirred something deep in the player in same way that music, books, & film does, but with the element of interaction that emotionally engages the viewer in a way that only games can. I wanted to give children hope, alone and cut off from all help except for the entertainment that they escape into, just as I did. But at the time there was little to nothing like that in the industry. I could accomplish little for myself while I was still taking care of my Monster. I spent my whole 20's trying to save my monster.

    But now, oh now! I have let my Monster go! And brave developers like Minority are blazing a trail in the industry with authentic games that sell, proving that games like just like this one are marketable. When I am ready, there will be a place for me. I'm grateful and excited to begin a new journey to turn my renewed passion into something that will touch people's lives who might not find the hope they need in any other way.

    If you have been fortunate enough to grow up in a happy home and have difficulty relating to this game, then that's alright. If you haven't been abused, the game is not going to intensely effect you if you cannot relate. It may feel like just another platformer (with beautiful reproductions of actual street art around the world, whimsical environments, and a gorgeous soundtrack). To be honest, that is a good thing. Papo & Yo isn't so much about entertaining you as it is about creating awareness & hope for those who are abused, on a medium that is safe & accessible to children. But for those of us who are stuck, for those of us who are afraid of the rage that comes when we regain what was taken from us, for those of us who know loss & loneliness & fear from the very one who is supposed to love us, this game is precious. It reminds us of our self worth. It reminds us of our capacity to individuate from our abusers, to let go, & to be whole.

    I am no longer hiding in a closet, alone & afraid. I am healing, & I am strong.

    Thank you, Minority.
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  17. Aug 2, 2013
    7
    Dość ciekawa gra logiczna, przy której raczej nie będziemy się nudzić. Ciekawy klimacik, i nie zrozumienie sytuacji które ciągnie się przez całą grę daję nam chętkę do zrozumienia o co w tym chodzi. O tej grze nie da się opowiedzieć, w nią po prostu trzeba zagrać. Jest przyjemna i pokazuje zagadki przy których będziemy musieli trochę pomyśleć, jednak nie będziemy musieli się strasznie męczyć. Grze jednak brakuje wielu rzeczy. Samo to, że nie ma w niej pomysłów dzięki którym można by było polecić tą grę znajomemu, graficznie nie pokazuje wysokiego poziomu, fabuła pokazuje swój potencjał dopiero w 5 minutach przed napisami. Największą wadą tej gry jest to że nie wiadomo do kogo jest kierowana. Młodsi gracze nie zrozumieją fabuły i logicznych zagadek a starszym nie odpowie klimat, bohater-dziecko i za bardzo kolorowa grafika. Potencjał był, jednak nie wykorzystany. Expand
  18. Oct 14, 2013
    9
    [Papo&Yo Steam PC Score 9] Released in 2013.05 and played 2013.09 As a boy you must get the monster to do what you need so that you may heal the monster; and if the Monster should eat a green frog then RUN for safety and solve the puzzle without getting stomped. A dark and sad story, undoubtedly a therapeutic effort for the author and a revelation for the player. Enjoyable indie adventure game despite the dark subject matter…. Play as a boy in a 3D world with pleasantly simple platforming, straight forward and interesting puzzles and I have to mention wonderfully soothing South America style music [Don’t miss this] I played for 6 hours…. just perfect, it cleansed my palate after a marathon playthrough of Dishonored [DRM] Steam only, thank goodness there is no GamesForWindowsLive on this title. [Save] This game saves automatically and works well [Keys] are WASD and cannot be remapped. Normally this would upset the hell out of me but it all worked out Oll Korrect [Graphics] To be honest I played this on a 6-7 year old laptop running XP because I was on the road. There were a few choppy bits at times but I survived and enjoyed the game. [Audio] Hey I love music and nice sound. This game has great music and great sound which are mellow between the green frogs [Compliments] I think these developers are going to surprise us big next time. They are on my watch list. [MyPC 2006] MSI GX700 2.4GHz XP 2G RAM (still running after all these years yee hah!)

    [MyFavorites] [Win7] Dishonored Fez BioshockInfinite Anichamber Stacking Metro2033 Rochard TheDreamMachine Crysis&Warhead&2 JustCause2 Rage [XP] Papo&Yo DeuxExHR&TheMissingLink DeadSpace1&2 Fallout3&NewVegas HalfLife1&2 Bordelands1&2 BatmanArkumAsylum AssassinsCreed Magicka RedFaction Portal1&2 FromDust MrRobot Sam&MaxSeasons1&2 CulpaInnata TheSecretOfMonkeyIsland DreamfallTheLongestJourney Syberia1&2 CrayonPhysicsDeluxe DefenseGridTheAwakening PlantsVsZombies Prototype Bioshock1&2 UnrealTournament3 Quake4 [360] AfroSamurai BrutalLegends [XBOX] HALO KOTOR1&2 Crackdown ArmedAndDangerous AggressiveInline BeyondGoodAndEvil DeadOrAlive1&2&3&ExtremeBeachVolleyball Psychonauts [AppleG4] FullThrottle DeusExMachina ONI ReturnToZork Suspended UnrealTournament TombRaiderSeries [Born] 1964 [PS: I do not know anybody who works in the game industry I just enjoy games
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  19. Mar 15, 2014
    10
    This is possibly the most beautiful and emotionally moving game I've ever played. The visual style and puzzle design is as whimsical as Psychonauts. It's not a challenging game, because the point of the game is story and mood.

    If you grew up with an abusive alcoholic parent, then Papo & Yo will make you feel like a kid again.
  20. Aug 4, 2013
    10
    This is honestly one of the best games I've ever played. I picked it up on a whim on sale and played through it... it's a truly moving story. If you're on the fence about buying it, just get it. It's worth it. There were a few minor issues with slowdown here and there, but it really didn't detract from this amazing experience.
  21. AWG
    Aug 17, 2013
    4
    Boring. If you have a sad story to tell about your childhood write a book about it, don't create a bugged videogame.
  22. Jul 2, 2013
    8
    at first i think it is meh, but after play it, that game has great story and its background music. very touching to tell the audience about children abusing.
  23. Mar 12, 2014
    9
    This is a beautiful game in the line of titles like Journey or Flower. It is not supposed to be a funny platformer (although it sometimes tries it), since everything revolves around the relationship between the protagonist and his father. In order to enjoy this game and appreciate its beauty you need to go further than the platform and puzzle scenes, and try to feel what Quico is experiencing as he struggles between his love for his father and the violent man that he is in true. Expand
  24. Jan 10, 2014
    5
    Papo & Yo is a completely average game. There's nothing overly bad or good about it. The gameplay is totally dull and uninspiring. You solve simplistic puzzles and perform basic platforming with a favela background. The soundtrack and graphical style are both average. The story, which some people claim to be emotional, is nonsensical and boring. On top of all that, the game will take you all of 3-4 hours to finish and you'll have no intention of ever wanting to play it again. Expand
  25. Mar 8, 2014
    9
    I don't know if what really catch me was the plot, the lush visuals - street art referenced - that reminds me my own childhood here on Rio de Janeiro, the cool and well placed soundtrack, or the way they manage to bring to us the story in a so engaging manner. But the game have so many good things, that doesn't matter what catch me first.

    The mechanics and puzzles are very simple, you
    will not get stuck, frustrated by angry and wanting to quit the game or looking for some walkthrough. You will be challenged just a few times, and just for a few minutes each time, bounded to the feeling of keep on doing it to know a little more about that story.

    It's a metaphoric world created by the suffer and desires of a boy, that leads you to join him on his quest to help a friend. A very hearty and well done work.
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  26. Feb 5, 2014
    2
    Tries to be sophisticated but does it horribly wrong with extremely, painfully boring gameplay. Tediously repetitive, the fun is already long gone before you can enjoy what 'story' there is here. It tries too hard and it falls flat, some other time maybe.
  27. Jan 11, 2014
    7
    I thought about how I should rate this game for a long time, and still don't know what to write.
    If you don't mind a bit crappy mechanics, pretending that they are more important than the story, boring tasks and puzzles, or not fitting to this kind of game graphics, you should definitely give it a try, cause there aren't many games about child's point of view.
  28. Jan 10, 2014
    10
    Papo & Yo is nothing less than a breath of fresh air when compared to other recent games. Despite its graphics being not quite up-to-par, I was rather impressed with the other material aspects of the game. Movement mechanics were great and easy to adapt to for a third person game. Also, I am glad that they chose third person for a game like this, where you really get to know the character. Speaking of which, the story in this game is perfect. The player has to really get into the game and piece the puzzle together, an aspect that I think is missing in games today. Overall, Papo & Yo is definitely worth the play. Expand
  29. Jun 10, 2014
    8
    Otro de los grandes videojuegos de 2013 y sin duda una de las grandes historias del desarrollo del videojuego. Si no lo has visto busca alguna conferencia en Youtube de su creador Vander Caballero pero es muy emocionante. La mecánica y los gráficos están muy bien, pero el sustrato es lo mejor. Buena compra.
Metascore
70

Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 23
  2. Negative: 2 out of 23
  1. Aug 28, 2013
    70
    When you look at it it's a captivating tour along the foreign culture and child's phantasy that is in fact a sanctuary against real demons lurking behind three-dimensional puzzles. Playful and at the same time mature game experience, whose concept works only halfway through. But when it works, it pushes your emotions forward.
  2. Aug 12, 2013
    60
    Papo & Yo leaves me conflicted. On the one hand, I couldn’t be happier that Vander Caballero turned to video games as his means for self-expression. Unfortunately, the uninspired, frustrating gameplay adds nothing to the heartbreaking story contained therein.
  3. Jul 24, 2013
    70
    Achingly beautiful. [Aug 2013, p.85]