The other weekend I decided I wanted to play something on the Playstation. I trawled through the online Playstation store looking for something that took my fancy. I eventually decided on a double game pack – Limbo and Inside both by independent studio Playdead who are also apparently working on a new game.
I decided to play Limbo first after having seen a trailer for it a very long time ago and thinking then it’d be a lovely game to play.
Limbo was originally released in 2010 for Xbox Live Arcade and can now be found on several platforms. It is a 2D side scroller (think Abe’s Odyssey, Super Mario, Sonic etc. but with a rather more sinister edge). You control a little boy through a dangerous and atmospheric environment, avoiding traps, giant spiders and glow worms that control your mind whilst solving a number of puzzles. Limbo has won several awards and was named one of the top 10 games of 2010. It’s easy to see why.
The main and almost only character of the game is a small boy with no name, looking for his sister, he encounters very few other people and those he does are very unhelpful – one of whom launches a bear trap at him and others who shoot arrows at him. Bit rude if you ask me. You also encounter a few departed humans lying around who often come in handy to complete a puzzle – thats karma for you I suppose.
You wake up on the edge of a forest (or the edge of hell as some reviewers have said). I assumed from the gameplay that the little boy is dead, searching for his sister and is in “Limbo (which in Christian tradition is the edge of hell – a place where you are damned, or trapped and not absolved of your sins). There are a huge amount of theories around what the story of the game is and the games developers are keeping quiet, which I admire – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading players theories on what is going on and I’m glad it has been open to your own interpretation.
The game is very dark and entirely monochrome, there are no voices just eerie music and sounds that put you right back in Silent Hill. Many of Limobo’s puzzles mean you often have to die a few times before solving a puzzle and believe me, once you’ve been sucked into a grinder numerous times you will find some of the puzzles incredibly frustrating.
Limbo is a beautiful game to play, with relatively simple, but beautiful graphics, the predominantly black and white screen is really immersive. The games actions are simple, basically backwards, forwards, jump and an action button. The game is very easy to play and master and with a bit of patience it can easily be completed.
Some of the puzzles are more frustrating than others and often it is necessary to sacrfice the unamed boy in order to solve a puzzle. Playdead have dubbed this “trial and death”, each time the poor lad snuffs it, you see a gloriously gruesome graphic to accompany his untimely demise.
The enemies in the game are simple and very effective – my least favourite being the giant spider – luckily, once I’d whipped all his legs off, he wasn’t so much of a threat anymore. Another enemy is a glow worm type thing that attaches itself to your head and leaves you only able to walk in one direction often having to jump gaps and traps to avoid a brutal death until you either find a shaft of light that helpfully pushes you back in the other direction or a group of chompy bugs that hang from the ceiling and handily munch the mind control glow worm off your brain! They were one of the more frustrating aspects of the game.
I really enjoyed playing Limbo, it was beautiful and eery and kept my mind working overtime trying to suss the storyline and solve the puzzles! It took me around a day of on and off playing to complete this through once. There are a number of secret eggs and achievements to find as well, plenty to keep you busy – especially as one of the achievements requires you to play the game through without dying at all! I will definitely be playing Limbo again and look forward to seeing what Playdead do next.
I’d like to thank my husband for assisting me during the times that the controller nearly got flung through the window during the more trickier puzzles of the game!
Have you played Limbo? What did you think? Get in touch below.