An Artistic Masterpiece
There is something to be said for games that make an impact. In a world increasingly filled with semi-identical modern shooters, Limbo comes as a breath of relief and a really incredible experience. It's worth every last dollar you'll spend on it.
Limbo is one of those artsy indie games that doesn't take the time to explain itself. This definitely is the right idea - the lack of exposition just makes Limbo that much more resonant and spooky. You're a little kid, lost in a forest somewhere, supposedly searching for your sister or something. There's overtones of death and afterlife, though nothing is ever explicitly laid out.
The gameplay is straightforward platforming with a puzzle emphasis, similar to Braid. The puzzles don't tend to be as difficult as the ones found in Johnathan Blow's indie darling, but they do put up a decent challenge and make you think. Around practically every corner, there's some buzzsaw/acid pool/falling wall/etc. waiting to kill you, and your first time through the game you'll definitely fall prey to many of these.
The controls are silky smooth, too, so it just makes the whole thing that much better.
The graphical presentation of Limbo just goes to show that you don't need a huge budget to make an awesome-looking game. It plays off the heavily saturated lighting and colorless landscape to extremely good effect. The visuals are downright haunting, especially when you can only sort of make out what exactly is trying to kill you. The silhouetting effect is really beautiful.
There's been some talk about the value of Limbo. To be quite frank, you can probably beat the game in about three hours your first time through. There's even an achievement for beating the game in one sitting (albeit, without dying more than five times). For $15, that can seem like a bit of a stretch. Honestly, though, I haven't regretted my purchase for a second. Limbo has made an impact on the way I view games, and the overall quality is simply unmatched. I'll take that over the bazillion hours found in an empty experience like Oblivion any day.
So in the end, I cannot possibly recommend Limbo more. Especially if you have grown up with games and are very familiar with platformers, you must play Limbo. If you're extremely closed-minded or only like games where you can shoot (insert military/space marine/alien stereotype here) then it may not be for you. This wins my vote for the best game of 2010's Summer of Arcade.