"Limbo is fun, no matter where you play"
I had heard good things about the console versions of Playdead's Limbo from many friends. I'd never had the pleasure of experiencing it myself until it popped up on my iPhone. I get to play this wherever I desire? Challenge accepted. I tap the icon, a Playdead Limbo loading screen appears, and shortly after that, a portrait of a tree, sky, grass, and a set of eyes are all outlined in black, white, and different shades of gray. No start menu, no options screen, no credits, nothing. You are straight into the game.
This clean introduction to the game is a running theme throughout the game. There are no on-screen buttons or directional pad. There is no Help or Save button. The most you get is a Pause option that will take you to the different chapters in the game. You are left on your own to figure out the controls, which is actually pretty satisfying. You can make any point on the screen become your D-pad. Flick up and your character, a black silhoutte of a boy, will jump. Hold your finger to the screen to have him grab onto an object to push or pull. Controls are simple, effective, and most of all, responsive.
Being that Limbo is a platform / puzzler, good controls are a key component. Gameplay consists of navigating a dark and mysterious land filled with bear-traps, swamps, giant spiders, murderous natives, and more. Each area challenges you to figure out how to move forward. Move this object there, pull this cord here to allow you to have enough time to make it there, how do I get myself over there? Each puzzle is unique and plays with your mind. With one misstep, you could face your doom. Speaking of, this game definitely makes you feel it. Each death is gruesome and gut wrenching. It's awesome.
The art style works really well with the feel of the game. Black, white, and gray. That is the palette for the experience. It's impressive the shapes and feelings that can be conjured using only those options. Monsters are more frightful when you can only see their silhouettes; a real sense of hopelessness is present at all times.
Limbo is devoid of any soundtrack except for the sounds of creaking wood or your body being torn apart or puzzles snapping together. The minimalist approach resounds with the clean format of the gameplay and graphics. It just fits so well.
The story isn't fully apparent until later stages of the game, but that doesn't keep you from enjoying the experience. You want to know what's going on and you want to follow the boy's journey all the way to the end. Limbo is a unique and fascinating experience I encourage everyone to have.
GameDynamo's Score for Limbo (Mobile)
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After beating The Legend of Zelda before he could walk, Truman moved onto bigger and better things, like critiquing video games on the internet and creating cat memes.
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