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Limbo (Windows)

83
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Pixelspeech (955)
Written on  :  Jun 02, 2012
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars

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Summary

Still has one of the best boss-fights ever

The Good

- Amazing atmosphere

- Oozes creativity

- Clever puzzle-design

- Often gory or painful deaths

The Bad

- Not very long

- Loses its novelty quite fast

- stiff controls

- Not really any sort of music

The Bottom Line

This isn't going to be my new style of reviewing, don't worry about it. It's just that this game is so short that by the time I was done with it, I hadn't even taken any notes yet. Normally I use a style like this to review some of those "special" games like Skyrim and Fallen Sage, but while Limbo is definitely special in many ways, this is merely for the sake of convenience (there is not much to say anyway).

In Limbo you play as a little, unnamed boy and have to traverse a 2D world where everything is in shadows. I am pretty sure that everybody has gotten the message after like two years: "The shadows are just the beginning of what this game has to offer, there is tons of atmosphere" and so forth. Yes, that is most certainly true. The Shadows are sort of a herald of things to come and the designers put in a lot of effort to make sure that Limbo genuinely feels like an experience. The way people act in this world, the sense of oppression all the obstacles give you and the grim look everything all contribute towards making the audience feel like they are in another world, it's quite absorbing to say the least.

As you travel to the right (where else?) you will encounter many traps and hazards, some of which require you to solve some puzzles before you can move on. The puzzles were honestly very well designed and I liked it that you never had to travel far to find everything related to the solution, most of the time everything you needed was within five seconds walking of the contraption blocking your path.

This might give you the idea that Limbo is a very strong title, but sadly I have to say the opposite. While the puzzles remain consistently good throughout the entire experience, the atmosphere kind of loses its way after a while. At the start of the game there are two entities besides your character: a giant spider and some people setting up traps for you, this was the best part because you felt like you were actually interacting with and fighting against other things in the world, like you were actually trying to beat organic opponents.

After beating both these two opponents though you just kind of move on and you just end up solving random puzzles. There doesn't appear to be anybody setting these traps up for you, so it doesn't feel like you are working towards anything anymore. I heard a lot of reviewers say that Alice: Madness Returns was worse than its predecessor because there were no longer any NPC's to make the world feel alive and that's what I feel here as well, Limbo becomes deserted. Some might argue that it fits the theme, but I have to disagree because the beginning of the game sets the story up as a tale of survival against enemies that are either more organized or much larger than you.

After that I grew kind of bored with the game, especially because I suck at puzzles. The game is kind of short, but as much as the art-style and gameplay are filled with creativity, the story progression was clearly not. Limbo set out with the spider as its only idea, but couldn't figure out anything else to fit in it. If you like puzzles a lot, then you will find the ones in Limbo to be of a good quality and enough incentive to keep playing. If you were more interested in the horror theme and were hoping Limbo would fit in that category, then I can only recommend it if you find it on sale... such as the Humble Indie Bundle currently on sale... you should probably buy that one.