Limbo is like a cross between The Unfinished Swan and Dark Souls. It plays and feels a lot like a little kids story book, in this case Limbo is the entirely opposite of The Unfinished Swan though. Instead of light and cheerful it is dark and it will brutally kill you again and again and again and again and so on until you want to hide in a corner and cry. I didn’t realize how dark until I watched a guy drown himself then used his body as a stepping stone. In this respect it is like Dark Souls, you will die a lot because there is little to no way to avoid something you have no idea is coming. Much like unfair Mario there is no way you can predict what you can’t see; is that a black bear trap hidden in the black grass? Is that a giant spider hidden behind that tree? There is no way to know… until it tears you apart. While this may sound frustrating though it is actually rather interesting and even a little exciting because it offers surprises at every turn that don’t just amount to the simple jump scare, the laziest of horror clichés that should only work once if you know where it is. Of course Limbo falls into this problem as well early on where one run through is enough to avoid most traps if you can remember them well enough. Of course some traps are rather tricky and require more skill than simple avoidance.
My main hang up with this game is that it wants to have a story but beyond the title and the mysterious appearance of a girl a couple of times there is little to nothing to go on. The ending I assume was left wide open either for the sake of wild interpretation or in case a sequel is ever in the works. I also have trouble with the transition of setting, not that it has to be in an order like grass world, water world, fire world and so on but for what is supposed to be limbo it seems to be making things up as it goes. First we start in the forbidden forest, then raiders of the lost ark, and then it’s any random crap motel ever and ends with what feels like the clock ending of the great mouse detective or the castle of Cagliostro. It is rather haphazard but it still works well and since the point of the game is on survival is doesn’t seem to matter much. Puzzles are intuitive and interesting when they are not trying to kill you and you can feel good about yourself after you complete them. It is a rather short game though when you think about it and can easily be done in a single sitting even the first time if you can complete the puzzles fast enough. Although there was one part I spent longer than I thought I would because I was just fumbling through the dark for twenty minutes, again the opposite of the do not use paint trophy in The Unfinished Swan. I’ve included my first play through below with my witty commentary for your enjoyment and suggest everyone get this game while it is free.