Limbo was the first game to be released by indie game developer Playdead back in 2010. The second of which is the critically acclaimed Inside (which we recently reviewed). You can definitely see some of the gameplay aspects that make Inside such a great game in Limbo. Both games are similar in many aspects but the story told in Limbo is much more creepy.
Limbo, similar to Inside, is a game about a boy who wakes up in an unfamiliar place. No details about the story are given through any text or speech but instead you must figure out what is happening through the characters that you encounter and the environment that you traverse. The environment is absolutely haunting and terrifying and early on you realize that it is a place that you don’t want to be in. This is more evident in that there are no colours in the game but instead you are greeted with black and white and blurry edges to the screen. There isn’t any music to the game but the sound effects of traps, running water and weird creatures add to the gloomy environment.
The controls to the game are extremely simply. You can only walk, jump and grab. That’s it. This makes it more easy to pick up and play and get right into the game. There is no tutorial and one isn’t needed. The only tough controls that you will encounter is the timing of jumps in order to reach a ledge or to jump over something. Instead the game is built around its many puzzles, whether it’s flipping a switch to drain water or moving a crate around to be able to float on water with. The puzzles are truly what makes Limbo such a great game. They are challenging and tough and will really make you think. On top of the puzzles, there are many unexpected traps and pitfalls that you encounter in the game including a giant-sized spider early on in the game. This spider was a treat to play against as after you seemingly defeat it you wind up facing it again as it appears to come back from the dead. We won’t spoil too much but let’s just say that the spider has an interesting death.
If there is one thing that you will need to get used to it is the constant death that will occur. Some of it will be fair while other deaths will not be. You might walk over a trap without seeing it or your timing might be off on a jump. Thankfully the game does a good job of respawning you relatively close to where you die.
While Limbo was released eight years ago, the game has aged well. This hauntingly scary game was a joy to play from start to finish. The puzzles are challenging and the scenes that play out in the game are unexpected and surprising. This game will have you gripped to your seat. This is a fantastic game and if you loved Inside you will love Limbo.
[A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes]