LIMBO is one of those games that’s going to be hard to review let alone talk about without treading the line of the “spoiler zone.” PlayDead has created a beautiful game in the same vein as Braid or the recent P.B. Winterbottom. The simplicity of the controls doesn’t hamper the challenge that waits in LIMBO; expect to have some interesting concepts thrown at you. With LIMBO, PlayDead has set out to create a game that would make them a staple in gamer’s minds, and the story that unfolds is one that will never be forgotten.
LIMBO opens up with a little boy lying in the grass; the player is not sure how they got there or why. The boy wakes up and the game begins. LIMBO is a side-scroller with no color to it at all; only black, white, and every shade of gray inbetween. To understand how the game looks you have to check out screenshots, its limited color palette does not make the game look plain at all due to the striking shading of LIMBO. You have only two buttons, a jump and an action button. The action button takes care of little things like pushing random objects or activating levers. You combine these two simple commands in search of your little sister, but playing through the game you realize it’s not going to be an easy task.
The puzzles are perfect; they challenge you in a way that never gets aggravating and feels very rewarding once solved. Enemies in the game range from giant insects, people, and even the hell that is LIMBO itself. Puzzles start off fairly easy; you push blocks, pull levers, and set traps but later introduces gravity defying segments and timed puzzles. All these add up to a heavily stylized world that you must solve to find your little sister, which I completed in less than five hours. Yes, it’s a short game, but one that feels the perfect length and could be longer/shorter depending on how early you grasp the puzzles.
LIMBO is essentially one big area seamlessly blended together. Once you complete an area of the game, there is no loading or “stage complete” prompt, you simply move into the next set of challenges. This works perfectly to not break the mood the game is trying to set, which can sometimes be stressful. You really do start to feel for the silent protagonist, and even the silent world of LIMBO. No music will play through the game, nor is their a single bit of dialogue, but you strangely know what is going on. The poor boy really does go through hell and back, and a couple instances in the game I caught myself mashing buttons trying to get out of a situation I had no control over.
That is really all that can be said about LIMBO without going into something specific that I would rather have you experience for yourself. LIMBO is 1200 Microsoft Points, which seems to be what most games are set at and could be a hard sale for a new studio and a new IP. I cannot recommend this game enough though. If puzzle platformers are in any way interesting to you, buy this game as soon as you can. The intense moments coupled with the brilliant puzzles makes this one of the most interesting titles on XBLA.Originall written for resumeplay and 64bitbastard