I sort of accidentally played through all of Limbo the other day. It wasn’t an accident that I played it, but that I spent all of multiple hours actually going through the whole game in one sitting. I had never seen any part of the game to a substantial degree, and had only screen screenshots like the one provided.
All that being said, I played it in an unusual setting (especially regarding the fact that I usually play things for the first time alone at my computer in the morning): That is to say I played it before dinner with a lot of family watching and, Limbo being a puzzle game, playing vicariously with me. So I didn’t get to immerse myself as much as I would have liked, but it was still a lot of fun.
I expected this game to be dark and a little too creepy for some audiences, but it really wasn’t. There’s a giant spider early on, and sort of midway through you see people that are hanged, but that’s about it. You only ever see silhouettes, so nothing is ever that graphic. Since it’s also a story driven, indie puzzle game, it’s also very simple. It’s a side scroller and the only buttons you have (apart from movement) are jump and ‘interact’, meaning grab this or press that button.
There’s a reason this game got so big. It’s very well done. Obviously it makes very good use of lighting (since everything is all silhouettes), but it also uses the environment effectively to tell you where you are, what you should be doing, and what’s going on. There’s no dialogue, and the soundtrack is very minimalist: all open tones and sort of creepy sounds that I would hesitate to even refer to as ‘music’. It’s mostly just great ambiance.
So, the environment I played the game in didn’t allow me to pick up on any story. I openly admit I have virtually no idea what was going on, and the few things I did catch I won’t mention because spoilers. It’s a very short game. Go play or watch it yourself! It’s certainly an experience. It’s surprisingly not scary. There are some parts that get you a little anxious (like when you’re running away from the giant spider) but death has no consequence. It just takes you back to where you died and you gotta do it again, but better.
I watched a playthrough of the game ‘Inside’ a few months ago. It’s very similar, atmospherically if not visually. It’s a side scroller puzzle game, and it’s the same thing, really, only it looks different and the ending ‘goes to the other end of the spectrum’, so to speak than the one in Limbo. Because of that, I’d recommend Limbo more. It has a very neutral ending that is sort of up to your interpretation, and even if you didn’t understand what was going on in the story, you can be satisfied with how the game finishes.
It’s a great game with simple puzzles that can stump you for a good few minutes in some parts, but it’s never too complicated.