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August 14, 2014 / carlispina

A Dark and Creepy Trip Through (The Game) Limbo

Last week I wrote about Braid. Another of my favorite indie video games is Limbo, which is available for Mac, PC, PlayStation, and XBox, as well as via Steam. It is also available as an iOS app.

Rendered entirely in black, white, and shades of grey, you will know from the first moment of this game that it will be a dark and bleak game. The player controls a young boy traveling through a dark and terrifying landscape on a quest to find his sister. Other than this, players have very little information. Throughout this sidescroller, players encounter dangers ranging from giant spiders to dangerous machinery. The world is largely devoid of other humans and the boy never communicates with anyone over the course of gameplay, but slowly as you proceed through the puzzles in the game, you gather more information about how the world works. The game requires a trial-and-error approach that makes the occasional death almost unavoidable (so much so that there is a special achievement that can be unlocked for completing the game with five or fewer deaths), but it nevertheless proceeds fairly quickly. Parts of the game, and specifically some of the character’s deaths, are somewhat gory, but this feels as though it fits into the overall creepiness of the world, though it certainly won’t be for everyone.

Some have complained about the somewhat abrupt ending of the game and feel that the game is over too soon, but for me, this game was a great example of how beautiful a game can be and how intriguing a world can be even when it remains mysterious. As with my earlier recommendation of Braid, this is a game that leaves some questions unanswered, but they are nevertheless worth considering.

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