Limbo

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Good
  • Definition of eerie atmosphere which is created through level, music and art design
  • Offers a wealth of story and emotion without the usual tool of dialogue to create character connection
Bad
  • Puzzles can be excessively abstract with leads to a flurry of deaths which breaks the immersion and creates frustration
  • At around 5 hours in length Limbo is on the shorter side of gaming and even well after release has maintained a high price to content ratio
9

Limbo is a 2D puzzle platform title that takes the genre into a darker setting than usual. Leveraging this dark setting to create an emotional tale of a young boy while also adding challenge and puzzle like elements to the otherwise basic platforming Limbo features fantastic and unique game design that you won’t soon forget.

limbo-gameplay-atmosphere-boat

Creating this atmosphere primarily through visual presentation Limbo takes place entirely in a black and white game world. It’s similar to film noir style with the way that the game uses film grain and lighting effects, all of which enhance the eerie atmosphere of the adventure and also allow for some puzzle tricks to be played on the player in the way platforms, enemies and challenges are hidden from obvious view. This could entail an object to be moved, a bear trap that lies on the floor, spiders or even the more noticeable glowing worms that will take control of the player and walk them to their death.

This atmosphere is also created by the often brutal death animations and a design philosophy clearing focused on trial and error that means you’ll be seeing them constantly. For the most part this design philosophy fits right into the broader atmosphere although at certain parts platforming segments do cross that fine line between trial based design and player frustration.

limbo-gameplay-other-humans

Your character throughout this adventure in the eerie Limbo environment is a nameless boy who wakes up to find himself in the middle of a dark forest.  As a 2D game Limbo movement is restricted somewhat with control mechanics allowing players to move left to right, jump, push, pull and climb throughout the world. The latter of these mechanics are heavily used in the last hour of Limbo where traps and mechanical devices become more complex with physics based solutions.

For the true completionist a number of hidden insect eggs are also scattered throughout the roughly 3hour long adventure with a flawless run which increases to around 5 hours for first time playthrough. While having a short game doesn’t automatically make it bad the price of Limbo has remained high since release which does hurt its overall value to budget conscious gamers.

limbo-gameplay-platforming-jump

To provide you a reason to push on despite the darkness and death that lies before you Limbo positions itself as a story about the boy rescuing his litter sister who lies beyond the forest although the lack of other humans encountered during the journey make survival for the sister seem bleak. Ultimately the final fate of your sister and even your boy character is left unclear and for interpretation or theory.

Summary:

  • Explore a dark game world of threats, puzzles and platforming as you search for your sister.
  • Find the hidden insect eggs amongst a sea of black and white for an extra challenge.
  • A game that teaches you mechanics with constant death.
  • Offers a 2D game world with emphasis on push, pull and climb puzzle design.
  • Blend of art, game and philosophy available on a vast range of platforms.

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Review Platform: PC

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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