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Game review: Limbo
July 4, 2018 | 3:59 PM
by Times News Service
Limbo poster
 
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If you aren’t afraid of the dark, Limbo is a game that you will enjoy playing. If you are, Limbo will help banish your fears.

In a world where games — much like the environment we live in — get more and more complex, Limbo is a very welcome exception to the norm.

Created by Danish game studios Playdead, Limbo is a survival thriller (some might say horror) game rendered in black and white, and its minimalist lighting and grainy effect have received plenty of positive feedback. The game is available to download and play on the Xbox and PlayStation platforms, as well as on PCs and mobile phones.

Limbo seems to be a twisted take on the popular German folk tale, Hansel and Gretel, two little children who get lost in the forest. In this version of the game, which is set to eerie, haunting tunes to draw players further into Limbo’s macabre setting, an unnamed boy sees himself wake up in an unnamed forest, having been separated from his unnamed sister. Limbo’s setting may be vague and creepy, but its purpose is simple — a boy is on the search for his beloved sister, and will do whatever he needs to in order to find her.



The boy in question has to navigate this forest, which while tedious on its own, contains a series of dangerous and lethal traps that players might both knowingly and inadvertently spring. The AI, for all of its eerie music and haunting settings, is actually quite nice in its own creepy little way by providing players gruesomely detailed images of what would happen if this little boy (who actually looks quite adorable in-game) were to accidentally spring the traps.

These traps depend on the environment the boy is in. When he first embarks on his duty of finding his sister, the forest he’s in is home to all sorts of creatures, most of them not nice. Giant spiders, haunted oak trees, wolves and bears are just a few of the hurdles the boy will have to get past. Add to that glow-in-the-dark insects that attach themselves to the boy’s head and force him to move in only one direction until he can get rid of them, and obstacles planted by humans to ward off the dangers of the forest — such as bear traps — and this little fella is in for an adventure he is not going to forget.



But should he negotiate his way past these traps and out of the forest, he should find his way at last ... into the crumbling ruins of a city that has even worse to offer. Upon spotting the boy hopefully shuffling towards them, the few inhabitants that live in this city don’t offer help. They either run away, are unreachable, or, in a manner most thoughtful, attack the little guy.

This metropolis features traps of a most cunning and devious nature, and often employ electricity, electromagnets or lethal machinery, which, unlike the creatures in the forest, are practically undetectable until the wee boy steps onto them. You are allowed to restart from the nearest checkpoint, should he perish, which tends to happen quite often in-game.

While Limbo may seem like a game that has sucked out all the humanity from its dark world, it is the opposite that is true. The game has been designed to enable players to want to care for the boy. It is a symbol, that in the face of all the world’s darkness, it is our humanity that will see us through.

The Short and Skinny

Name: Limbo

Genre: Survival horror/adventure

Produced by: Playdead Studios

What it’s about: In a world not unlike our own, a little boy wakes up on his own, and sets out to find his sister. The journey he is about to depart on will change him forever

Where to buy: Steam, Microsoft Store, Amazon, GOG.com, Playdead website, Humble Bundle, PlayStation Store, Xbox Marketplace

Platforms: PC, Linux, iOS, Android, PlayStation One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

IGN Rating: 9/10



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