Review XBLA: Limbo

Limbo, a black and white flower in the middle of a black and white desert, the only opening line that felt fitting for a game so strangely beautiful.

With no text, no dialogue and a mysterious black and white harmony to the environment Limbo creates a fascinating first impression. It then goes on to immediately challenge you, not only with its lulling pace but with some unpredictable angles of 2D puzzle mastery.

You control a young boy who finds himself in a strange parallel world with no indication to how he got there and as you take your first steps into the game you’ll get the immediate feeling this world isn’t a very safe one. With an eerie silence throughout and dampened sound effects as you move and clamber the environment, combine this with the games backdrop and the top quality puzzle mechanics the game becomes very unique and memorable.

The best part about Limbo is its challenges and mind bending puzzles and it pours from the game from the word go, showing you an amazing way of looking at some seemingly simple movements and logistics. You’ll need to climb, jump, swing and nudge your way through 24 levels of constantly dangerous booby-traps by using the objects around you like crates, ropes and all-manner of gravity bending switches. This all sounds like a lot of fun initially but throw in blackened monsters, bear traps and giant rotating blades and it becomes a bit more frantic. There’s some incredibly irritating ‘slap your head moments’ but it’s done in a really commendable way, which will keep you playing for longer and longer as Limbo doesn’t have any cut-scenes or indication of what level you’re on.

The game has a small amount of arcane items to search for and are placed very well, these look like small white eggs and will be located in areas you really wouldn’t think to look or try to get to0, giving you more good game time for your MSP. There’s some other secrets in Limbo which require some serious grey matter and that’s what amazing about it, it really gives you a refreshing angle on 2d puzzle platormers that you won’t forget in a hurry.

This all blends into a great gaming experience, one with substance and class. Sound effects are perfectly timed alongside the unearthly visuals, puzzles are creative and progressive and Limbo also has a very distinctive ending but it was a little too blunt and abrupt for such an impeccable title. Limbo is an unmissable arcade game on any platform and especially if you love 2d plaformers as it will fascinate you from the very beginning.

Score: 9/10

Published by: PlayDead

Developed by: PlayDead

Genre: puzzle

Number of Players: 1

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