8.5

A creepy journey into the world of LIMBO.

I love indie games. They have so much more personality than some of the other "big" games do. LIMBO sets a standard for indie platformers. There's no weapons, space aliens, or short people wearing diapers and have a mushroom-shaped head. LIMBO is a great platformer that has so few features, yet has so much.

LIMBO takes place in, well Limbo obviously. A dark place, with ink dark shadows, with little light shining down on the boy's dark, lonely face. The atmosphere is chilling and breathtaking. When you're simply walking, you get chills up your spine when you see a boy get smashed by a 2 ton block. I loved the environments because they were all in a charcoal-drawn kind of look. With the little detail in the environment, you get that sense of simplicity and calm, but you still know that there is something huddled behind that tree, waiting to impale you.

The story is simple. A boy is in Limbo, trying to find his lost sister. I found this simple but chilling at the same time. When a young boy throws himself into a world of shadow and despair, you feel bad for the boy. And when you see the things he goes through, you feel even worse. This all added up to the slightly abrupt, disappointing ending. You'd expect something else to happen but it's just *poof*. Done. No matter though; the events that happen prior to the ending are fun and spine-tingling.

Now, you die a lot in LIMBO. Some of the deaths will make you feel sick, watching a little boy get ripped to peices. But, it's still just a puzzle-platformer, and it's got that adventurous touch to it. In LIMBO, the puzzles are pretty simple to solve, but some of them take some time. That is the main purpose in this game. To solve puzzles so you can advance through this labyrinth of death.

There's no combat in this game. You don't have special abilities. You're a simple boy. So you move stuff around to create traps or you bactrack to trick enemies into falling into previous traps you just jumped over. I loved this Penumbra-like lack of combat and power because it makes you feel even more helpless in this insanely twisted shadow planet. ;)

The game has few flaws though. On a keyboard, you dont have the ability to walk slowly unlike a controller. I don't think you can use a controller, either. If you can, then use it. It's a lot easier to control and maneuver. Another problem I had was the ending was too sudden. The game's only a few hours long so it seemed like they wanted to end the game right then and there without a special scene prior to that ending to spice up the tension. Also, the puzzles seemed a bit too easy, as if they were just put there as a filler. And the scariness the game aims to sell, stops abruptly about a third of the way through.

Despite the flaws, LIMBO is a beautifully wonderful adventure to behold.

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