Limbo Game Review

Limbo is a puzzle-platform game created by Playdead, an independent video game studio. It’s available on both iOS and Android platforms. You can grab it for $4.99 in the Google Play store or $3.99 in the App Store for iOS devices. While the game has received tons of positive reviews since its July 2010 release, there are some criticisms around the game’s mechanics and plotline. The game was designed with a very specific mood and artistic style in mind. Limbo’s creators purposefully let an air of mystery surround the meaning of the game to intrigue players. We’ll take a closer look at the inner-workings in this Limbo game review.

Type of Game Puzzle
Developer Playdead
Platforms iOS, Android
iTunes Download Page
Google Play Download Page
Free No

Your Mission

The main purpose of the game is to guide a boy through a series of obstacles to achieve the end goal of finding his sister. You aren’t presented with much background, nor do you know exactly where the story takes place.

Related: Limbo Walkthrough

Many players theorize that the little boy and his sister are dead and lost in purgatory, trying to reunite and be sent to Heaven. Interestingly, other players speculate that the boy is a villain, trying to work past the obstacles protecting his sister from his murderous intentions.

Design & Graphics

While most developers were busy using 3-D to revolutionize the gaming industry, Limbo’s creators managed to develop a minimalistic 2-D game that shook up the gaming world. The game has a stripped-down appearance, using only black and white imagery. The principle of “less is more” is very evident in the game. Simple controls—moving with a stick and jumping with a button—keep the game easy to navigate across all platforms.

The puzzles in the game are extraordinarily clever. The gameplay was designed using primitive graphics to establish the brain-boggling look and feel of the puzzles. Limbo’s creators did everything possible to avoid redundant gameplay mechanics often found in big-name games. The eerie-looking game started out on Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation 3, and Microsoft Windows.

The bizarre monochrome backdrop of the game is only one of the elements that have led players to describe the game as “eerily beautiful” and “uncomfortably genius” in other Limbo game reviews. If you’ve got a thing for the dark and freaky, you’ll love the Limbo realm. The game effectively takes place on one long, continuous level. The gloomy, purgatory-like setting features nightmarish landscapes, creepy shadows, and suspicious looking puddles of dark liquid.

Main Characters

The main character in Limbo is an anonymous young boy. At the start of the game, the nameless boy awakens to find himself in a forest on the edge of hell. The boy is supposed to be searching for his missing sister, who also remains nameless. He encounters only a handful of human characters along his journey.

The humans that the boy encounters might try to attack him, or run away. Some of them are dead upon their introduction to gameplay. At one point, the boy does see a female character, but cannot reach her. Eventually, the forest backdrop transforms into a decrepit cityscape.

When the player completes the final puzzle, the boy is thrust through a window of glass, landing back in the original forest. He walks until he runs into a girl, who stands up abruptly when she sees the main character. At that moment, the game suddenly ends.

Storyline

The game’s story and conclusion are very much open to interpretation. The ending was purposefully designed to be vague, leaving unanswered questions for the player. Limbo isn’t exactly straightforward—it’s confusing and compelling by design. There are a lot of theories and rumors about the game’s meaning and underlying themes.

After the boy awakens in limbo, he begins his adventure through a hellish landscape filled with creepy creatures and other devilish devices. He is searching for his sister, who is also lost somewhere in limbo. It is popular opinion that both characters are dead, though no one is sure how they got that way. The boy’s overcoming of obstacles can be interpreted as a sort of spiritual cleansing in an effort to leave limbo and enter Heaven—but again, it’s all open to individual interpretation.

Most limbo game review writers agree that the main character is not very intimidating. He has no weapons or abilities beyond running and jumping. He is, however, quite resourceful and appears to have very little remorse about killing other kids. The final scene of the game is infamously ambiguous.

Additional Versions

Limbo is available across many different platforms. Differences between each version are relatively minor, according to a number of Limbo game review writers. Touch controls on iOS and Android phones may make the game a little harder, but it should be manageable with some practice.

Nintendo Switch offers the Limbo game for $9.99, as does Steam for PC. On Steam, you can bundle Limbo with one of Playdead’s other games, Inside, for a special price. You can also download a demo of the game there to be sure it works on your Mac.

The game’s original platform, Xbox Live, continues to offer the game for $9.99. In general, Limbo game reviews and user scores are very similar across all platforms. Not surprisingly, most Limbo game review writers note themes of violence and a lack of positive role models and representations.

Final Thoughts

Limbo is nothing short of perplexing and fascinating. It’s pretty incredible that this basic, 2-D game is so compelling and has generated so much buzz. With so much mystery and ambiguity, we could literally write a novel-length Limbo game review and still not unveil every intricacy and symbolism!

Here are the most important points to remember about the Limbo game:

  • Available on iOS, Android, and many other platforms.
  • Super ghoulish and disturbing—mind the T rating.
  • The mission of the game is simple and it’s easy to play.
  • It might give you nightmares.

Thank you for reading our Limbo game review! Have you played Limbo yet? We’re dying to hear about your experience. Tell us what you thought about the game’s design, and how you interpreted the storyline!

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