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'Papo & Yo' might make you cry

Minority's PSN adventure/puzzle game shows off puzzle solving at E3.

Papo & Yo
Papo & Yo

Minority's PSN adventure/puzzle game shows off puzzle solving at E3.

If you've been paying attention, you know there's a personal backstory behind Papo & Yo that's far more on the nose than in most games. If you haven't been paying attention, read our feature and catch up. It's worth it.

Now that the game's getting close to launch, developer Minority has invited local players in to test the game, and according to creative director Vander Caballero, some of them have ended it in tears.

At E3 this year, though, Minority brought a new slice of the game that stays away from the emotional aspects and focuses on puzzle solving. Lead character Quico runs around a village, rotating handles on the sides of buildings to make them move around. After doing that a couple times, he realizes they're stacking atop one another in the middle of the village, and Quico figures out he can use a lever to move that stack around — creating a path for him to run along to reach new areas, rotate more handles, etc.

Part of the E3 demo also reveals Monster — a literal monster in the game based on Caballero's father, who at times serves as Quico's friend and at times as his enemy — in the game for the first time. Quico can climb on Monster's stomach and use it as a trampoline to jump high, pick up a soccer ball and throw it to Monster (then catch it when he throws it back), or pick up fruit to lure Monster around the village.

All-in, the demo doesn't show a dramatic amount of new content, but it's great to see the game running with better jumping controls and smoother camera movement than the last time I saw it, at this year's Game Developers Conference.

The other reveal for the game at this year's show is a new trailer (embedded above), which shows Quico in various outfits, tribal paint, etc. According to Caballero, these touches are not optional for players, but part of the story. He wants to go against the grain with the industry's current trend of beefing up characters with layers of armor and making them feel stronger over the course of the game, and instead plans for Quico to start in his full school uniform and lose his clothes over the course of the game, to the point where he ends up naked at the end of it.

I asked if he thinks players will be surprised to control a naked 30 year-old man at the end, and he said, "In North America, yes. But if you go to Rio, you'll see all kinds of kids running around native."

Whether that will play any role in making you cry at the game's ending is something that has yet to be seen.

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