LIMBO / A Hauntingly Beautiful Interactive Nightmare

Sometimes on this blog I talk about something a little different, not necessarily relating to something I’ve read or written. Today it’s a video game. Well, I see it more as an interactive piece of art. A little indie title named LIMBO.

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Developed by independent game developer Playdead, LIMBO was initially released in 2010. I remember seeing it and thinking it had a great art direction, but ultimately 2D platformers aren’t really my thing. A few months back I downloaded it, being on sale at a really good price I figured I might get round to checking it out at some point. I’m so glad I did, because LIMBO is one of the most thought-provoking, beautiful little games I’ve ever had the joy of playing.

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I thought I would show a few screenshots I captured on my Xbox One. Straight away you can appreciate its black and white tones and the lighting used, but what you can’t get from simple screens are the grainy animations and minimalist sound design, which all add up to create a wickedly eerie experience.

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And it is an experience. In terms of gameplay it’s wonderfully simple but very clever. It’s a platformer and puzzle game and I’ll hold my hands up, I got stuck plenty of times. I also died plenty of times, as this is a hellish world where almost everything can and will kill you.

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The plot is as wonderfully understated as the aesthetics. A boy wakes in an evil forest and must make his way through in order to find his sister. Along the he encounters aggressive creatures (such as a giant spider which is freaking terrifying, and parasitic maggots which take the movement of the boy out of your control), violent people (?) who lay traps and throw projectiles to keep the boy from escaping alive, and the environment which, with its sheer drops and sharp edges, will hinder your progress at every turn.

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The game has received critical acclaim, and if you own a PC or gaming console and haven’t given LIMBO a try yet, you should. It’s an absolute bargain, a haunting, beautiful game, a disturbing, never-ending dream. Or nightmare.

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8 comments
  1. Yet another game that has been stuck on my list of games to play. Need to get round to this soon.

    • Do it Karl! It will only take a couple of hours to play through but will stick with you a lot longer.

  2. I’m always on the look out for something different, and fond of games with a real atmosphere. Might give this a try :). Thanks for the review!

  3. I haven’t played LIMBO just yet, but your post triggered fond old memory of playing the Armed with Wings flash game series. Do you think it’s somewhat similiar?

    • Sorry to say I had to google that series – hadn’t heard of it before! Visually it does look very similar but I can’t comment on the ‘feel’ of the game until I try it, which I will try to do at some point soon!

  4. This game was incredibly enticing before, it’s even more so now. Thanks for the write up on it!

  5. talhamuntasir said:

    Thanks for the wonderful review

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