Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Played Lately: Limbo

  • I didn't know anything about Playdead's new game, Limbo, until I saw the quick look video over at Giant Bomb. I was immediately hooked by the game. The art style, the ambient soundtrack, the straightforward play mechanics. Everything I saw in that video looked amazing. I just had to wait the couple weeks until it was released on XBLA.

  • I picked up the game on Friday, downloaded it, and played it through to completion over the course of a few hours. Fifteen dollars might seem like a lot for a few hours of entertainment. But in this case, it was absolutely worth it.

  • From a gameplay perspective, Limbo looks like a standard side-scroller. But at its heart, it's really a puzzle game. Many of the puzzles are physics based, which I wasn't expecting in a side-scroller. They let you do some really cool things and I felt pretty good when I figured out some of those puzzles.

  • I ended up looking up three spoilers over the course of the game. They each came later in the game. Some of the final puzzles are quite devious and I doubt I would have solved them with a walkthrough. (Thanks, GameFAQs!) I don't feel about about looking up the solutions because otherwise I probably would have quit playing. That would have been unfortunate.

  • Of course, I just spent all those bullets talking about the gamey part of the game when half of the experience is the game's style. The graphics are rendered in very atmospheric black and white, backlit like you're watching a shadow play. And their is no traditional soundtrack. You experience the sounds of the world and ambient tones that invoke the title perfectly.

  • Limbo was everything I was hoping for out of the game. Breaking through the final puzzle to reach the ending was hugely satisfying. It was the perfect first game for XBLA's Summer of Arcade. The rest of the releases have a lot to live up to now.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.


  1. That was certainly not on my radar. I'll have to try the demo.

  2. @ Yeebo - Oh yeah, demo. Total forgot I could do that. Good thing I liked the game since I jumped into it Microsoft Points first. :)

  3. I've been tempted to check this out, but my track record with puzzle games is very spotty. For instance, I hated Braid, didn't even solve the first puzzle, but I love Auditorium.

    Would Limbo still be fun if I ended up using a walk-through to solve half the puzzles?

  4. @ Blue Kae - I actually played it with GameFAQs open in the background. (I have my PC and Xbox connected to the same monitor.) I only had to use it sparingly (I only read just enough to hint at what I needed to do) and I really enjoyed the experience. Since there are the sidetracking achievements to complete. I'll probably do my second playthrough with an walkthrough in hand.

  5. Have the same monitor setup myself (it's nice that I don't have to negotiate for living room time), guess I'll have to check out the Limbo demo then. I gave Braid that much of a shot, so...