Written by Twisted Ideas
Halloween is right around the corner so now is as good as time as any to talk about a horror game (not a fun and cheery game that I was initially planning to this week…). Instead of talking about more recent popular horror games like Slender, Five Nights at Freddie’s or Outlast, let’s look at an older game with a little more involved gameplay. Limbo was originally released in 2010 for XBLA and praised for its art direction and gameplay. While it isn’t necessarily a horror game it does have a frightening tone.
Publishers: Microsoft Studios, Playdead
Platforms: Mac, PC, Playstation 3, Playstation Vita, Xbox 360
What is it?
You play as a young boy who (as the title suggest) is in Limbo. He awakens in a forest only seeing a young girl who disappears as he gets close. The only thing the boy can do is follow her but finds that where he is nowhere near normal. The only other people he means are trying to kill him. There are unnatural creatures and this travels through the forest takes him to strange factories and cities. The only thing the boy can do is travel, if not to find the girl then fight for his life.
Well, at least there aren’t spiders.
Limbo is presented in black, white and grey and revels in atmosphere. While the game isn’t traditionally horror, the game is completely unsettling. From what would seem to a visually pleasant yet dark look game turns out to be a nightmarish horror if ever to exists. The amount of suffering the boy faces if the dies is down right horrific and memorable.
Limbo is a puzzle platformer but does as much as possible not to feel like a puzzle game. The boy carefully observe his environment to make it past a world seemingly designed to kill him. Even simple jumps require precision only to be made by the skin of your teeth. This is a game about trial and error but you won’t accidentally stumble onto the solution. This is a game that is designed to be solved using logic, not dumb luck.
Why should you get it?
Limbo is an art game meant to engage discussion about the boy, where he is and why is he there. The game is unnerving, giving the feeling of complete dread and where death is even more terrifying than the world. The game is as long as it needs to be and easily fill an evening or a weekend of entertainment. The price has dropped since it’s initially release so if you’ve somehow missed Limbo you need to give this game a try.