The "BackBlog" Game #1: Limbo

I finished the first game of my back log, Limbo. Here is my original post about challenging myself to finish my back logged games.

Limbo was an amazing game that turned into a disappointment. The game opens up with no text, no tutorial, no music, no voice acting and it continues this way through the entire game. The developers use good game design to allow you to figure out the puzzles on your own and how the game works so you don't have to take 15 minutes to be explained every single mechanic. The lack of voice acting or any text at all to explain the story was also done really well because I started piecing everything together myself from what was actually happening in the game. This all works perfectly in the opening of the game. You are alone in this quiet seemingly empty forest that is definitely not empty. Being afraid of spiders, this game may have had the creepiest spider I have ever seen in a game. Not to mention, the game is horrifyingly brutal. You are playing as a young boy and to see some of the stuff that happens to him when you die is shocking and also adds to the creepiness of the game. The environment and the puzzles work perfectly with what is happening around you and everything fits together so well I could not wait to see the conclusion to the game.

Then the second half of the game disappoints big time. The environment completely changes from a forest to a factory and all the brutal images and enemies of the forest go away and you are left with a puzzle game in a factory that is much less creepy. It felt like the game went from this really interesting, creepy story experience that had puzzles just to add to that experience, into a game where the puzzles were the only thing that mattered and the atmosphere and story were no longer important. The game did throw a lot of interesting mechanics together in a really good way and the puzzles do start to get difficult near the end but I was still left totally underwhelmed. The final puzzle isn't even some big special reveal or some puzzle that ties all the mechanics together, it just seems like it's another part of the game and then the game just ends. I was happy with the ending and the way I interpreted it from what I saw made sense to me, but I can't help but feel really disappointed by the second half of the game. The forest and what you encounter there was so perfect that I didn't understand why they felt the need to get rid of all those enemies and level design for something that was much less interesting. Overall though, I am happy I played it.

Now onto my next game, finishing Sleeping Dogs!

3 Comments
4 Comments
Posted by CJduke

I finished the first game of my back log, Limbo. Here is my original post about challenging myself to finish my back logged games.

Limbo was an amazing game that turned into a disappointment. The game opens up with no text, no tutorial, no music, no voice acting and it continues this way through the entire game. The developers use good game design to allow you to figure out the puzzles on your own and how the game works so you don't have to take 15 minutes to be explained every single mechanic. The lack of voice acting or any text at all to explain the story was also done really well because I started piecing everything together myself from what was actually happening in the game. This all works perfectly in the opening of the game. You are alone in this quiet seemingly empty forest that is definitely not empty. Being afraid of spiders, this game may have had the creepiest spider I have ever seen in a game. Not to mention, the game is horrifyingly brutal. You are playing as a young boy and to see some of the stuff that happens to him when you die is shocking and also adds to the creepiness of the game. The environment and the puzzles work perfectly with what is happening around you and everything fits together so well I could not wait to see the conclusion to the game.

Then the second half of the game disappoints big time. The environment completely changes from a forest to a factory and all the brutal images and enemies of the forest go away and you are left with a puzzle game in a factory that is much less creepy. It felt like the game went from this really interesting, creepy story experience that had puzzles just to add to that experience, into a game where the puzzles were the only thing that mattered and the atmosphere and story were no longer important. The game did throw a lot of interesting mechanics together in a really good way and the puzzles do start to get difficult near the end but I was still left totally underwhelmed. The final puzzle isn't even some big special reveal or some puzzle that ties all the mechanics together, it just seems like it's another part of the game and then the game just ends. I was happy with the ending and the way I interpreted it from what I saw made sense to me, but I can't help but feel really disappointed by the second half of the game. The forest and what you encounter there was so perfect that I didn't understand why they felt the need to get rid of all those enemies and level design for something that was much less interesting. Overall though, I am happy I played it.

Now onto my next game, finishing Sleeping Dogs!

Posted by MooseyMcMan

How'd you like the giant spider?

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Posted by bluefish

That was ok, but you need to work on your writing. It's pretty stop-and-go in terms of flow and you observation about the game (and thus your criticisms) are paper thin. I'd like to hear WHY you feel the later city and industrial sections aren't effective other than just 'puzzles'

my 2 cents

Posted by CJduke

@bluefish said:

That was ok, but you need to work on your writing. It's pretty stop-and-go in terms of flow and you observation about the game (and thus your criticisms) are paper thin. I'd like to hear WHY you feel the later city and industrial sections aren't effective other than just 'puzzles'

my 2 cents

Well thanks for your criticism, my writing is definitely stop and go, but I wasn't trying to turn this into anything big, just a quick two paragraphs about the game. Maybe I should take the time to edit my writing but I didn't want to spend tons of time on this I'm just doing it for fun. This was not a review of a game or a blog post meant to say the game was bad (the game is pretty good) it was just a quick summary of my basic thoughts. Also I did say my criticisms with it and it really wasn't anything to do with me not liking the puzzles, I thought they were pretty good for the most part. I wrote about how the switch in environment and lack of the spider and kid enemies, ruined the feel of the game. They didn't replace the enemies with anything in the factory and the games awesome creepy atmosphere turned into just another puzzle game for me. I wish they had stayed in the forest because the atmosphere there was the best part of that game. The puzzles were good but not great so it felt underwhelming. Anyway, thanks for reading and stating your opinion, I will try to be more clear in my next post.