Flashback Friday – #1 – Limbo

Each Friday, we’re going to review some of our favourite games from days gone by, because sometimes it’s just nice to go back and revisit them.

For week 1, we’re starting with one of my most favourite indie games, Limbo.

Released in July 2010, and developed by Playdead, Limbo is a beautiful side-scrolling, puzzle-platform game.
Now I’m the sort of person that generally really enjoys games that involve shooting various types of aliens, so this was a bit of a departure for me. The slightly creepy box art, however, was enough to convince me this game deserved a play.

Strictly speaking, Limbo doesn’t fall into the horror game category, it is, however, quite creepy.
There’s a giant terrifying spider that tries to stab you. Then it chases you and tries to kill you. And then it chases you and tries to kill you again.
It is challenging, there are electrified platforms so your timing has to be just right to make the jumps without getting fried. There is zero gravity, and more perfect timing is needed so you don’t get squashed and shredded by a saw.
The puzzle element is strong – there is so much problem solving that needs to be done in order to progress to the next chapter, and the solutions are not always obvious, you need to do a lot of thinking.

Despite that, the basic story, made up of 24 chapters, can be completed in a couple of hours, and even if you do the extra puzzles and pick up the achievements, you can easily do the whole thing in one evening sitting (we should know, we did it).
The extra puzzles, for the acheivements, massively range in difficulty, from really simple to basically impossible – here’s a free one, at the very beginning of the game, turn and run the other way, and you get the “Wrong Way” achievement. You’re welcome.
I’m missing two achievements, and to get one of them I have to complete the whole game, dying 5 times or less. That is not an easy feat. And on the Xbox you only get 5 gamer points. I’d like more than 5 points for achieving that.

This may look like a cute, animated game – and it is – but it’s not for the faint of heart. The various ways you can die are pretty gruesome, you can get impaled, have your head chopped off by bear traps, get stabbed by a giant terrifying spider. The list goes on.
The game is oddly beautiful though. It’s entirely black, white and shades of grey. The sounds are minimal, there’s the sound of the grass as you run through it, mechanical sounds of moving saws and platforms, dull thuds as the giant terrifying spider tries to stab you, again. Unlike other games, which use music to create atmosphere – there’s always fight music, when there are enemies around, and that makes me a little nervous sometimes – Limbo uses the complete lack of music to create a very tense, very creepy atmosphere.
The look is almost dreamlike in quality, with a slight fog over your vision.

Limbo won 5 awards, including Game of the Year, Adventure Game of the Year and Best Independent Game, and received 11 nominations, and it’s easy to see why.
It’s challenging, endlessly re-playable, tense and very, very pretty. It’s a game I am still constantly telling people about, even though I first played it about 7 years ago.
If you haven’t played it already, I highly, thoroughly recommend you give it a go. You can get it on the PlayStation and Xbox stores for about £7.99, and it is easily worth every last penny.

– Written By Jade
Find me on Xbox – littleXstitches
and on PlayStation – littlestitches28

Tell us in the comments about the older games that you still love and endlessly replay, we’re always looking for suggestions for other games to pick up! We’ve got a few older games that we haven’t got round to playing – we still haven’t played Mass Effect 1, we’re only 10 years late to that party!

 

 

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