Limbo (XBLA)


By: Morgan Bates    On: Xbox 360
Published: Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 8:00 AM
 
 
 
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Welcome to Limbo, a monochrome place where Spiders are over ten feet tall and love to impale small children with their legs. According to Catholic theology, Limbo is the edge of hell. From what we can tell based on early reports and developer interviews, the story revolves around the main protagonist rescuing his sister from Limbo.

Unfortunately the story isn't explained in-game; the closest it comes is when the boy comes across a little girl. That's where the game ends. Playdead has left whatever happens next to our imaginations - a little dialog at the start or end would have worked to explain who the unnamed protagonist/this girl are, and why they are in Limbo if they got out at the end.

Untold story aside, Limbo has a unique monochrome visual style - making it the first Xbox 360 game you can appreciate on a black and white TV. Said style has its advantages and disadvantages. On the upside, buttons are clearly marked by being white against the black background. On the downside, it makes telling things apart difficult the first time through - one thing that looks like skin piercing spikes may just be a lock of grass, and vice versa.

Over your journey through Limbo you will encounter giant spiders, hostile natives, and mind controlling worms, along with a variety of traps to fall victim to including buzz saws and electrified surfaces. Overcoming these obstacles requires a mix of quick thinking and timing. Mind controlling worms won't kill you, but they will take control of your movement and move you in a direction (typically toward a pit) that may lead to your demise if you aren't quick on your feet. Spiders have to be taken out with a bear trap; these play out like boss battles but you'll only have a few Spider encounters. One of these will see you tied up.

Due to the Limbo's puzzles requiring a combination of precise timing, flicking switches, and luck, you will die. A lot. That said, it's very entertaining to see your little boy get ripped to shreds by a saw blade, electrocuted - or worse. These gruesome deaths are inherently censored by the visual style but the sight of a black figure being chopped into little pieces is satisfying.

Despite the difficulty, the unique puzzles will keep you playing - if only to see what the game will throw at you next. As you progress, the puzzles go from simple pushing blocks, to physics puzzles which incorporate gravity manipulation. Ultimately a lot of the puzzles are trial and error affairs, trying one thing after another until you find the blindingly obvious solution is just part of the fun.

Overall, while Limbo's back-story is strangely absent, it can stand on the unique visual style and deceptively difficult platforming/puzzle gameplay alone. Should you take that walk through Limbo, be prepared to be tested on your platforming skills because timing is everything and some imaginative puzzle design that will have you hooked until the end.


The Score

Limbo
"Wait, how does this work? Oh, clever..."
8.0
Great
Rating: PG   Difficulty: Hard   Learning Curve: 15 Min

 

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Comments (27)

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stealyourbike
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 9:03 AM Posted by stealyourbike
It would be nice if you guys could tell us how many points a game costs when writing XBLA reviews. Sure, I could just boot up my Xbox and find out, but I would appreciate it if I didn't have to.
 
 
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Munkah
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 10:06 AM Posted by Munkah NZGamer.com VIP
20 July 2010, 09:03 AM Reply to stealyourbike
It would be nice if you guys could tell us how many points a game costs when writing XBLA reviews. Sure, I could just boot up my Xbox and find out, but I would appreciate it if I didn't have to.
I think it's 1200 points and it comes out tomorrow or tonight.
 
 
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stealyourbike
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 10:24 AM Posted by stealyourbike
And, correct me if I'm wrong here, did the reviewer just tell us what happens at the end of the game?
 
 
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Munkah
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 10:34 AM Posted by Munkah NZGamer.com VIP
He sure did.
 
 
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stealyourbike
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 12:11 PM Posted by stealyourbike
Why would he do that?
 
 
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Munkah
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 12:24 PM Posted by Munkah NZGamer.com VIP
20 July 2010, 12:11 PM Reply to stealyourbike
Why would he do that?
To make a point.
 
 
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stealyourbike
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 12:29 PM Posted by stealyourbike
What would that point be?
 
 
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stealyourbike
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 12:33 PM Posted by stealyourbike
That the game ends to no particular effect? I think I get it. But still, the end of a game should be strictly off limits when reviewing a game.
 
 
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Munkah
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 12:37 PM Posted by Munkah NZGamer.com VIP
20 July 2010, 12:33 PM Reply to stealyourbike
That the game ends to no particular effect? I think I get it. But still, the end of a game should be strictly off limits when reviewing a game.
It doesn't matter if the game has no story to spoil.
 
 
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stealyourbike
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 12:58 PM Posted by stealyourbike
So if a reviewer is not entirely satisfied with the story/conclusion of a game then they are completely justified in giving the readers specific details of the end of a game?
 
 
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djkicks
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 1:09 PM Posted by djkicks NZGamer.com VIP
Morg you killed the story!!! Ruined it for everyone!! :P
 
 
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Munkah
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 2:51 PM Posted by Munkah NZGamer.com VIP
20 July 2010, 01:09 PM Reply to djkicks
Morg you killed the story!!! Ruined it for everyone!! :P
Want to know who dies in FF7?
 
 
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nimrod76
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 3:30 PM Posted by nimrod76 NZGamer.com VIP
Boo not coming to PS3 :(

Dang it, looks really interesting would liked to have played.
 
 
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Munkah
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 3:52 PM Posted by Munkah NZGamer.com VIP
20 July 2010, 03:30 PM Reply to nimrod76
Boo not coming to PS3 :(

Dang it, looks really interesting would liked to have played.
I think it's only a timed exclusive.
 
 
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stealyourbike
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 5:25 PM Posted by stealyourbike
If a reviewer is not entirely satisfied with the story/conclusion of a game then they should not feel justified in giving the readers specific details of the end of a game.

Just to make my point. Without spoilers.
 
 
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PandaJenkins
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 6:34 PM Posted by PandaJenkins NZGamer.com VIP
20 July 2010, 03:52 PM Reply to Munkah
I think it's only a timed exclusive.
Possibly is. Will be for awhile anyway, part of Microsofts big arcade lineup so yea...
 
 
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stealyourbike
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 7:03 PM Posted by stealyourbike
Really? I get the thumbs down for that statement? If you think I'm wrong, then tell me why you think I'm wrong. If a reviewer has a point to make about a game's story, then they should do so without revealing the end of a story. I can see that in this particular case that it may not amount to much, given that the story is supposedly close to non-existent, but my statement stands. Unless someone can convince me otherwise.
 
 
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nimrod76
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 7:25 PM Posted by nimrod76 NZGamer.com VIP
20 July 2010, 03:52 PM Reply to Munkah
I think it's only a timed exclusive.
I have had a look around and Playdead have stated it will not be coming to PS3 or PC :(
 
 
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Riot Pig
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 9:04 PM Posted by Riot Pig NZGamer.com VIP
This is one game that should still look awesome on my aging HD CRT TV. :-D
 
 
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Munkah
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 9:19 PM Posted by Munkah NZGamer.com VIP
20 July 2010, 09:04 PM Reply to Riot Pig
This is one game that should still look awesome on my aging HD CRT TV. :-D
lol'd. Seriously, this would look fine on a B&W TV! It doesn't need HD or even colour.
 
 
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Munkah
On Tuesday 20 Jul 2010 9:37 PM Posted by Munkah NZGamer.com VIP
20 July 2010, 09:19 PM Reply to Munkah
lol'd. Seriously, this would look fine on a B&W TV! It doesn't need HD or even colour.
Pity B&W TVs were too old to have composite inputs. In theory it would look ok though!
 
 
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RealmEnder
On Saturday 24 Jul 2010 6:06 PM Posted by RealmEnder
Just played the demo. Loved it! Amazing visual style. Will definitely get the full game.
 
 
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RealmEnder
On Wednesday 4 Aug 2010 10:44 PM Posted by RealmEnder
I finished the full game. It's quite short but amazingly atmospheric and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Perfect for an XBLA game. Hope there will be a sequel.
 
 
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arnies
On Thursday 9 Sep 2010 1:25 PM Posted by arnies NZGamer.com VIP
How does 7+8+7+6 = 8 :/
 
 
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Munkah
On Sunday 17 Oct 2010 8:47 AM Posted by Munkah NZGamer.com VIP
9 September 2010, 01:25 PM Reply to arnies
How does 7+8+7+6 = 8 :/
It isn't an average.
 
 
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rebolta
On Monday 8 Nov 2010 4:04 PM Posted by rebolta
Man I am stoked I reead the comments first. Hmmm should I find out the ending to a game that has me too puzzled to bother finishing it??? Hell, why not!
 
 
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rebolta
On Monday 8 Nov 2010 4:06 PM Posted by rebolta
Really? Wow at least it didnt motivate me to kill valuable Fable 3 time with Limbo.
 
 
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