LITTLE BOY LOST
Indie game LIMBO proves that you can
achieve a lot with very little by Kim Richards
You’re a boy searching for his missing sister, navigating the murk of gloomy forests,
plunging through forbidding caves
and escaping an industrial complex
of whirring machines—all painted in
silhouette, flickering like an old film.
It’s amazing that such simplicity can
create such a successful nightmare.
Limbo’s monochrome presentation
and single sentence storyline form a
spare, deadly, lonely world. Large
sections of the game are silent,
sometimes punctuated by fractured,
urgent music, or scattered footsteps
racing into the distance.
From the moment the first giant
spider’s leg unfurls, you know you’re
in a world that doesn’t want you
there. Everything in Limbo is out to
harm you. It’s a meat grinder, coldly
snapping bear traps around your
fragile little frame, and the only
other humans are hostile, chasing
you away with spears and darts.
You’ll occasionally be reduced to a
weeping mess, defeated by a simple
puzzle that can only be overcome by
getting everything just so. I spent a
twenty minutes trying to run down
a railway track before a descending
mine cart hit a switch to electrify
the rails. Twenty damn minutes
watching my boy pulsate as his tiny
legs failed to make the last jump.
You’re going to die. A lot. But
finally realizing the infuriatingly
simple solutions and achieving
that damn jump will reward you
with Portal-sized feelings of smugness and relief. Despite Limbo’s relatively short playtime (3-5
hours), you simply cannot
miss out on this darkly
evocative game. ■
Simple, yet striking visuals create
a gorgeously lonely experience.
Dragging this corpse
into the trap will
free the rope.
◆ Price $10 ◆ Release Out now ◆ Publisher Playdead ◆ Developer Playdead
◆ Multiplayer None ◆ Link limbogame.org ◆ ESRB T
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