Limbo: A Haunting Journey

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Limbo is a simple game. You play as a boy who runs through a mysterious world solving puzzles and evading deadly traps as he searches for his sister. I say the game is simple because this game represents its truest meaning. There is no discernible plot; I had to learn of it through the developer’s website. There’s no dialogue of any kind and all of the deadly world you’re in is colored black and white. Even the main character is only a black shape of a child with glowing white eyes; every other person you see runs away from you, attacks you or kills him- or herself.

What makes Limbo different from other puzzle games is the way it looks and the fact that most of the time you are solving puzzles on a trial-and-error basis. Like another very popular game, Super Meat Boy, you’ll die a lot in various shockingly violent ways, but every time you die you’ll learn what not to do when solving a puzzle.

The land you’re in is a depressing and deadly one filled with spiked pits, man-eating spiders and bear traps, but it is also a beautiful one. The stark contrast of black and white combined with the rare ambient sounds of rustling animals, rain or just your footsteps make for a hauntingly beautiful surrounding. Limbo’s style is one that I’ve never really encountered before on an audio and visual level.

The looks of Limbo are quite the opposite of what might be expected in a puzzle game. Puzzle games usually have bright colors, loud noises and music; Limbo has pretty much none of these, but nonetheless it is an exciting experience. From those moments when you’re in a pitch-black cave and all you can see is your glowing eyes to those times when you’re walking through the dark shady forest and you encounter a bright ray of sunshine, Limbo will draw out emotion.

While Limbo isn’t very lengthy, it can be time consuming. Its landscape is beautiful and deadly and its simplicity is its strong point. Limbo is a game that I think should be bought and played not only for the puzzle solving aspect of it but also for the beautiful visuals and ambiance.