Reviewed by Brett
Publisher – Playdead
Developer – Playdead
Music – Martin Stig Andersen
Category – Adventure, Puzzle, Platformer
Release Date – June 21, 2018
A Modern Masterpiece
Eight years since its original release on Xbox live arcade and following releases on near every other system, Playdead’s Limbo finally graces a Nintendo console. Thankfully it showed up on the Nintendo Switch and not before because its fantastic to play on the go and is a prime example of something you would want to pull up for everyone when showing off your system.
You might call me a big fan of Limbo. I played it on its original release day way back in 2010, I played it again in 2011 on Playstation 3, again on Playstation Vita in 2013, again on Playstation 4 in 2015 and finally, for probably not the last time, on the Nintendo Switch. Guess what. It is just a brilliant as it ever was. The first time I played Limbo i was amazed by everything about it and I am still amazed today around eight years later.
“Uncertain of his sister’s fate, a boy enters Limbo.”
That was the tagline for Limbo. The only clue to the story. The rest is left up to personal interpretation. You wake up in the forest not knowing where you are or why you are there. The only thing you really know is its dark and dangerous and pretty much everything is trying to kill you in one way or another. So you try against all odds to find a way out, to perhaps find your sister, you must keep pushing forward.
Limbo is a game that uses minimalism to its fullest advantage. As you will notice the game is presented in hues of black and white, for some games that may be a cop out but for Limbo its another layer that adds to its already astounding personality. The dark tones only help to add the the constant feeling of dread and the unknown. Whats around the next bend? What will surely try to kill me any second now? The tension is always at a peak.
The audio is also extremely impressive and is only ever an asset to the game. Music is subtle and hauntingly effective and sound effects are ambient and menacing. Martin Stig Andersen did one hell of a job making me feel every sound.
Limbo is your classic puzzle platformer. Controls are simple but silky smooth, the only actions you can do are jumping and pulling/pushing. Deceptively simple. Using your basic controls you will have to solve some truly head scratching environmental puzzles. Some will take a minute or two and some could potentially take an hour depending on your problem solving skills. Many are about timing and spacial awareness, having to flip switches and buttons to escape one area only to find yourself at the mercy of an even more baffling puzzle.
Throughout your sojourn you will find little hidden eggs. These are the hidden collectibles in Limbo that will unlock a secret stage, that is also hidden. Just trying to find those will take you a good long time. Unless you look up where to find them.
Limbo is an all around masterpiece. Its simple but still incredibly detailed visuals belie deep emotions. Its score and sound effects make you feel every second of gamplay. The controls are smoothed and shined to perfection. If you somehow have not played Limbo yet.
Now is the time.
Don’t deprive yourself of one of the greatest puzzle platformers ever made.
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