Description official descriptions
Limbo is a side-scrolling puzzle platformer set in a sinister, monochromatic world. The player controls a protagonist simply known as The Boy, who is said to enter the world Limbo in search of his sister. However, the story as a whole can also be seen as a metaphor for the search for companionship and getting around in a new environment. Not a single clue is given at the start, there are no cut-scenes and the game starts right away. In that world filled with hazards and danger, his means are few and he is extremely vulnerable. Only two buttons are used, a feeble jump and one to perform an action, combined with movement. This allows him to explore the world and hang on ledges, slide down slopes, push objects, pull levers, and cling to ropes, but the player has to make most of what is present in the environment to get by, often with physics-based elements.
The gloomy world has a dusty filter showing the game through misted glass, and no vivid colours are present. It is divided into 24 chapters that seamlessly flow into each other, only from the level selection in the main menu can be derived where a new chapter starts. The world is rendered in 2D but with different layers of depth in the scenery. It moves from a forest to an abandoned city and eventually an industrial zone. The player faces three kinds of challenges. There are obstacles where The Boy simply needs to find a way to progress, there are dangerous creatures that hunt him down and try to kill them, and finally there is a gang of children who band together to ward off the intruder and set up traps for him, with a touch of Lord of the Flies. Encounters with other humans are however brief and rare. These account for most of the horror moments, of the psychological kind, with other unnerving sequences like when the player is forced to use the corpses of other children as a bridge.
Music and sound effects are minimal and there are no on-screen elements referring to health or other statistics. Every single misstep, often with gruesome consequences, is fatal. In the same vein the boy cannot jump from great heights or jump very far. When dead, the game immediately reloads before the current puzzle. Most of the encounters are centered around puzzles and these are sometimes based on timing or speed when being chased. Other elements serve only for setting the scene, when The Boy gets to ride a boat to cross a lake (he cannot swim and drowns immediately) or finds the corpses of the people who did not make it in Limbo. Most of the game elements are discovered through experimentation, like the effects of a glowing worm that attaches itself to The Boy's head, changing the flow of gravity, or what happens when a giant spider captures him. There is only a single path through the levels and generally there is only a single solution to a problem.
Credits (Xbox 360 version)
168 People (140 developers, 28 thanks) · View all
|Created and Directed by|
|Director of Development|
|Lead Game Designer|
|Lead Level Designer|
|[ full credits ]|
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- 2010 – #3 Best Xbox Live Arcade Game of the Year
- 2010 – Downloadable Game of the Year
- Indie Game Challenge
- 2011 - Achievement in Art Direction
- 2011 - Grand Prize
- PC Games (Germany)
- Issue 01/2012 - #3 Best Game in 2011 (Editors' Choice, together with Anno 2070)
- Issue 01/2012 - #4 Surprise in 2011 (Readers' Choice)
- Issue 01/2012 - #2 Best Indy-Game in 2011 (Readers' Choice)
- Spike Video Game Awards
- 2010 - Best Independent Game
- Xbox 360 Achievements
- 2010 - Arcade Game of the Year
Related Sites +
Limbo (Xbox Live Arcade) Walkthrough and Achievement Guide
a full walkthrough and achievement guide for the game, on DIYGamer
Limbo 2: The Bars Lowered
a humorous take on how <moby company="Activision">Activision</moby> would handle a sequel to the game
TrueAchievements achievement guide
The TrueAchievements achievement guide for Limbo
Article about the game in the open encyclopedia
- MobyGames ID: 47457
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Sciere.
Linux added by Hamish Wilson. iPad, iPhone added by GTramp. Nintendo Switch added by Kam1Kaz3NL77. Xbox One added by Kennyannydenny. Windows, Macintosh, PlayStation 3, PS Vita added by Kabushi. Windows Apps added by Koterminus.
Additional contributors: Yearman, Big John WV, Patrick Bregger, Kennyannydenny.
Game added July 21st, 2010. Last modified May 18th, 2023.