Game | Puzzle Platformer | $9.99
Rating: DIG IT!
Few games truly stand out in their uniqueness and originality these days. It seems that, lately gamers spend time replaying the same video game constantly, for lack of something more exciting to pick up. LIMBO, the debut effort of indie developer Playdead, brilliantly breaks the mold. Though actual gameplay is relatively short, the mysterious storyline and beautiful artwork make this release unforgettable.
Released worldwide across such platforms as the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Steam on the PC, LIMBO is a compelling puzzle-platformer that’s one of a kind. The game begins with the main character, an unnamed little boy seen only in silhouette, awaking in a deserted clearing of a dark forest. From beginning to end, the background is composed of only a neutral palette — blacks, grays, and whites — but never becomes redundant. The controls are simple: jump, move and interact. The audio in LIMBO adds to the game’s edge-of-your-seat experience. For most of the adventure, there is little to no music at all, leaving the player’s ears with only the ambient sounds of the environment.
The “meat” of LIMBO, however, is the puzzles intertwined within. The ambiguity of the game makes the puzzles seemingly effortless, though they can be tricky at times. In order to really enjoy this game in its entirety, multiple play-throughs may be necessary. The first time through, the puzzles are most important. A second playthrough however, reveals the story behind the boy’s endeavors. The clues lie in the path he takes to reach his goal.
Though a pleasure to play, the game frustratingly provides absolutely no prologue, nor any insight into how or why the boy is where he is. This leaves the player to interpret his own meanings, Playdead’s way of giving the player freedom. The game is worth every minute of gameplay, the first, second and even third time around.