It's been a while since I updated. Life has had me pretty busy these last two months. I did manage to get in a few shorter indie titles, though. LIMBO will likely be the last game I complete for 2013 unless I play one of the other short indie titles in my library. This was another of my Humble Bundle finds whose style made me curious enough to start this game without really knowing what it was about.
LIMBO is a side-scrolling, puzzle platformer that I mistakenly thought would be simple. I was wrong, very wrong. The game is simplistic in its approach, but it also presents many challenges for the player to figure out how to continue forward in various situations using whatever the environment provides you such as crates, traps, etc. Much like The Binding of Isaac, the simple appearance of this game is deceptive. It's not until you've died your nth death that you realize you're dealing with something more challenging than it let on.Unlike The Binding of Isaac, you don't have to restart from the beginning, and there seems to be an endless amount of times you can die. Did I mention that you will die repeatedly and often in horrible manners?
From maneuvering around a giant spider to manipulating gravity, this game sets forth various puzzles for players to process through, which usually involves a crazy amount of death, especially for some of the trickier mind-benders as you go through multiple steps to solve the puzzle. There's a lot of trial and error in this game, and honestly, to the people who managed to make it through this game with five or less deaths (for the achievement), you have my utmost respect because that is no easy feat.
There are some puzzles in this game that are downright torture because they require such precision to beat. If your timing is even a little off or you don't set up the situation just so, you're dead. There were a few points where I threatened to quit the game because the puzzle before me seemed damn near impossible, but I'd take a break and come back to it. While most of this game is mainly player versus environment, there are a few instances when the player has to deal with enemies. Since you can't attack, you're tasked with using your environment to defeat your foes, which is something I really liked about this game.
Also, I loved the environment, the stark black and white, the sinister feeling it managed to channel. It had a very lonely feel to it, as if everything was working against the boy achieving his goal. It made me very curious about the story and why a child would be in such a place, which brings me to my next topic.
I wasn't sure what LIMBO's story was supposed to be about. There's no dialogue or anything to read that clues you in to why you're in the middle of the forest trying NOT to die. It really makes you focus on the task at hand without all the extra story. There is one point in the game where you see a girl, but circumstances force you away from her. So, there's just that little clue that this girl is probably the reason the player is running around this treacherous place. Who is she? And why is she there seemingly unscathed by the horrors in that place?
It wasn't until I read the Wikipedia entry that I definitively learned the story is about a boy trying to save his sister from Limbo. Even with that knowledge, the story gives me more questions and no answers. That is not necessarily a bad thing since it allows me to come to my own conclusion, and there are some interesting theories floating around the Internet about this game.
I can't say this is for the casual gamer. If you're a big fan of puzzles or like a good challenge in a more non-combative way, you'll probably enjoy this. I think this game is very beautiful and ominous in a visual sense, and I appreciated the challenge the puzzles offered. Y
eah, there were parts that frustrated me to no end. Aside from a few annoying puzzles, the controls annoyed me a little as well. Without my controller connected, it forced me to use my arrow keys when I'm so used to WASD. That threw me off a few times. The game play kept me engaged and on alert as I tried to avoid my next death, which was a fruitless goal most of them the time.