Game Idea: Ico (but if Yorda was a dog that needed to poop really badly)

This isn’t really a completely original game mechanic per-se, because the description of the game is completely within the header. For completeness-sake, let’s go about describing this, though.

You know that look a dog gets as they are pooping. That pathetic, helpless, protect me face? There’s a reason for it.

The Game

In Ico, you play as this guy.


And normally need to lead this girl through some rooms


And in many of the rooms, you need to protect from from these things.

Not scary, just nerve-wracking because Yorda is COMPLETELY USELESS. LIKE ESCORTING A PET ROCK, USELESS

Instead, you’re walking a dog.

You know you want to protect the little guy from anything.

Who needs to poop. A Lot. Like truckloads.

I’ve seen bigger.

But only in a few areas at a time, like dogs do when they pee.

But these things are trying to get to your dog, while he’s pooping. It’s your job to stop them in each room so your dog can finish his poop. When he’s done, then the baddies are suddenly disinterested and meander elsewhere. They’re only interested in pooping-dogs, you see. That’s when they are weakest.

The Lore

Before written society, dogs and man were separate. The dogs were fearful of these baddies because of their vulnerable state while pooping. But when they weren’t pooping, they were great at helping early man hunt, find easy prey and offered protection to those humans who would help. So there was an agreement between the two species. If man would protect the dogs while they poop, the dogs would guide them to salvation.

Back to our game

So you and your dog are making your way through this set of rooms, let’s say it’s a castle just to put a name to it. This castle is filled with “puzzles” where you control you or the dog. The puzzles are simple switch games, like in Adventures of Cookie and Cream. One person maneuvers to an area, the other flips a switch and hopefully gets the first to a new area and they leapfrog, so to speak, around the room to get to the exit.

For a better idea of what I’m talking about, check the Game Grumps playthrough of this back in Ego-Tron days.


Let’s be honest here, this best part of the idea came from the title. The rest of it is describing a mechanic that a set of games already implements. Albeit not that well, but this sort of puzzle has never really been felt the most rewarding. You can add timing into the puzzles, and the initial Eureka  moment might arrive, much like how Portal does it, but Portal has an added benefit that you’re working with a new mechanic to re-arrange your logical processes. You’re used to running to point A, press a button and running to point B, repeat; but you aren’t used to running to point A, flip a switch, shoot your portal-gun a few times and be at point B at a particular time. The increase in skill mixed with a difference Lateral thinking help make the challenges feel rewarding.

Adding Constraints

Dog’s gotta poop – you can only take a certain amount of time in each set of challenges before your dog gives up because he hasn’t pooped, yet.

Poop is useful – The dog’s poop is actually used for something. Fuel for the mechanisms that power the switches and moving platforms, collected for “power-ups” to help your dog along with his pooping skills or your teams maneuvering skills, or combustible to destroy the castle you’re in. You’re getting your dog to destroy the castle because it’s the home of the baddies that menace the dogs of the area.


Need to walk to dog now, so feel free to comment on how silly this sounds. I won’t take offense.

Other game ideas can be found HERE