Papo & Yo
Platforms: PlayStation 3
Release Date: August 14, 2012
Like any other form of art, video games are most relevant when they're interpreting issues that can sometimes be hard for us to deal with. Papo & Yo may look like a typical fantasy adventure on the surface, but under the right microscope it's an allegory about drug abuse, neglect, unconditional love, and child abuse; not easy stuff to swallow.
Inspired by the life of its creator, players take on the role of a little boy growing up in a fantastical Brazillian favela with his best friend and companion, Monster. Monster's taste for eating frogs that turn him into a raging beast that will destroy everything in his path - including the player if he can't escape - is a harsh reminder that no matter how close you are to someone, a drug can change them entirely.
Touching and maybe just a little sad, Papo & Yo is a beautiful and sometimes painful reminder of the harsh realities those touched by drug abuse face. Still, within such a grim topic the game never loses its childlike sense of imagination and playfulness which provides hope, arguably the most powerful weapon against situations like these.