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Critic Reviews

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85 (Aug 21, 2012)
Man könnte Papo & Yo als simples Jump’n Run abtun – da hätte es keine Chance gegen Mario & Co. Aber dieses Spiel hat nicht nur ein charmantes Rätseldesign. Es ist auch eines der seltenen Exemplare, die eine Bedeutung unter der Oberfläche haben und ein ernstes gesellschaftliches Problem ansprechen: Alkoholismus. Es inszeniert nicht nur Sprünge, Rätsel und Verfolgungen, sondern verarbeitet eine Lebensgeschichte mit ungewöhnlichen Metaphern. Die Symbolik ist stark, die Geschichte einfach, aber bewegend - genau das zeichnet ein gutes Märchen aus.
PlayStation Lifestyle (Aug 14, 2012)
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Papo & Yo is the most personal game you will play this year. You can only find a handful of games that can truly be classified as Games as Art, and this is definitely one shining example. But don’t be confused – this isn’t a game you want to play to feel good. Creative Director Vander Caballero had a story to tell, and he does so in a way that few have done before him.
Still, for as much as Papo & Yo falls short of greatness, there’s no title in recent memory that better exemplifies the kind of risks we should be taking with the medium. Gaming is the world’s youngest art form, and while it’s gotten exceptionally good at a handful of things—shooting people in the face springs to mind—there’s so much territory we’ve yet to explore. Imperfect though it may be, Papo & Yo should be commended for pushing those boundaries and proving there’s something worthwhile on the other side.
ZTGameDomain (Aug 22, 2012)
Papo & Yo seemingly exists as a way for Caballero to drag the demons of his youth out into the light. That is a noble goal in any medium, and certainly one that has not been fully explored in video games. The thought that others might also be able to find some measure of solace through Papo & Yo is a good sign for the future.
Destructoid (Aug 24, 2012)
For the happy ending that we so desire, we have to look past the game's melancholy closing chapter, maybe to Caballero himself. He's worked through the damage wrought by his abusive father and crafted a memorable, unique autobiographical work; one that's subtle when it needs to be, and hits hard lest you forget what it's really about. He's managed to make something thoughtful out of something terrible, and, as weird as it is to say given the circumstances, quite fun.
Gaming Nexus (Sep 14, 2012)
Papo & Yo is a flawed but ultimately enjoyable game. The dodgy platforming may hamper the experience but the story, setting, and soundtrack combine to form a rather unforgettable experience. By the end of the game I was utterly enthralled with Quico's journey and Vander Caballero's experience and wish nothing more than for people to get out there and give this game a try. Vander Caballero's experience makes for a journey that feels both heartfelt and personal which is a rare quality in games these days. The shortcomings are definitely visible, but this is an adventure everyone should see through to the end.
Cheat Code Central (Aug 16, 2012)
Ultimately, though, you'll play Papo & Yo for the story, for the characters, and for its fascinating surrealistic world. It's an experience that can penetrate even the thickest of skin, and it will make you feel something. What that is, I can't exactly say, but this is an emotional journey you won't soon forget. It's a short journey, but it's packed densely enough with cool stuff to see and do that I would enthusiastically encourage you to pay the fifteen-dollar asking price.
Papo & Yo is a game that puts little faith in the player. It doesn’t trust you to read subtext and it doesn’t trust you to be able to solve puzzles. It beats you over the head with its message, but that’s kind of OK because it never pretends to be subtle. The story about an abusive relationship between father and son probably could have been better told with a lighter touch, and the puzzles could certainly stand to let you actually solve them instead of just ride through them, but if you can forgive those shortcomings, Papo & Yo is a unique game and a worthwhile experience. It’s just not the shining example of games as art that it perhaps could have been.
Giant Bomb (Aug 17, 2012)
Minority Media's debut game is at once a beautiful, affecting tale of childhood tragedy, and a generally lackluster puzzle platformer.
Gameplay (Benelux) (Aug 31, 2012)
In dit puzzel adventure tracht een getraumatiseerde jongen genaamd Quico om te gaan met de harde realiteit van zijn dagdagelijkse bestaan door denkbeeldig vriendjes in te schakelen om zijn leefwereld naar zijn hand te zetten en daardoor draaglijker te maken. Een bijzonder ambitieus project dat jammer genoeg niet zijn volle potentieel haalt.