“An uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution.
Limbo; a state of neglect or oblivion.
Limbo; the supposed abode of souls and those who just died.”
After playing Limbo, I can honestly believe this game could be any one of those definitions. Coated entirely in black, white and greyscale similar to a film noir you control a young boy navigating a land which can only be described as a nightmare all while searching for your sister. Through many trials and tribulations you must make your way past obstacles, floods, traps and beasts. And outrun other infants you may come across.
Although Limbo originally came out 8 years ago now I had merely heard of its existence and had not played it or seen any videos of it previously. I quickly realised from the get go this was no simple puzzle-platformer. As I take one of my first few steps I am caught in a bear trap and my head flies off. I am dead. I’m brought back to before I walked into the trap and make sure to jump this time. I’m safe. For the meantime.
You’ll never make it out alive
Unless you used a video walkthrough you will not make it out alive unscathed. You are not penalised for dying, each chapter though seamless is short so you will merely be brought back a few steps each time. Though each chapter made me question even more. What is going on?
Occasionally you find another child. Some hanging from a noose or drowned in a river. Then other times they will chase you down and try to kill you. Why? Where exactly are you, and what exactly has happened here?
Many questions are left unanswered and it’s up to you to piece them together. Limbo at the core is a very enjoyable game. The constant deaths don’t become annoying or frustrating more used as a way of working out another solution for yourself.
The art style is something that I don’t think will ever become dated, the simplistic details and use of bland colour sets a beautiful tone and the music creates an atmosphere where you know something is definitely going to happen, it will happen but you won’t know until it literally kills you.
I thoroughly recommend Limbo for the Nintendo switch, to use a statement which has become cliche in the switch scene it is perfect for the pick up and go. Play on the big screen, pick it up and play little. I preferred to play in a darkened room not only for the full feel of the atmosphere but from a point where in regular light no matter what setting you have on the switch it’s difficult to see and react to what is happening.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for Limbo was provided by Playdead.