Limbo (XBLA) Review

What really attracted me to Limbo initially was the unique art style the game brings to the Xbox 360. While its art style plays a huge part of the game, I was shocked to find a few things about Limbo that were completely unexpected.

Replay Value/Story: There is no story, so with that out of the way, is there any replay value? I would say if you like puzzles then you might like to run through the game one more time. The game is a puzzle platformer that brings a unique style and look to the Xbox 360. Frankly, games like these are expected on the PS3, so it’s great to see Xbox Live receive some unique exclusive games.

You are a small boy running around solving puzzles, fighting huge spiders, pushing boxes, occasional encountering trap setting enemies that seem to want to slow you down for some unexplained reason. The puzzles are always challenging, but not frustrating, I did find myself youtubing a few of the puzzles, such as the ‘elevator’ and ‘magnet’ puzzles.

After an hour into the game, it feels as you are running with no purpose. You might be running away, or running towards something, it’s definitely the only puzzle that cannot be solved in the game. Leaving me like “WTF”? more than once during my sitting.

Controls: The controls are very simple, you use only 2 buttons, the A and The B, the ‘B’ being your action, while A is your jump. Your small character can; hang, jump and grab onto ledges, cliffs, boxes and more. Overall, the controls were precise and comfortable.

Graphics: This is where the game shines. Limbo has a very unique art style; it is completely black and white and feels very Tim Burton mixed with a 1920’s horror film. While the game may look cute at first glance, the game is far from rated E for everyone. The game can be brutally violent and disturbing at times. I was completely caught off guard when my character gingerly walked through a path, and then got brutally smashed by a bear trap. Freaking awesome and unexpected moment!!! There are plenty of other ways to die in the game, some brutally worse than others. While blood is never exposed due to the lack of color, it would have been nice to see red as the third color, since there are tons of violent and unexpected deaths in the game.

Sound: The sound is that of an old 1920’s horror film as well. It has a scratchy sound to it, like that of an old Vinyl player. There is never a real suspense soundtrack during the game. No character voices will be heard through out the game.

Wishes or Changes: The biggest issue with the game is the lack of story, although it is a unique and challenging game, the lack of story leaves you confused. Never-the-less, the developers could have easily left the game without a story, so gamers can come up with their own take on it and leave it all to one’s imagination. A huge change is the price; at $15 the price seems a bit high for a 3-4 hour game. Limbo is easily a $10 title.

Final Verdict: Limbo delivers in unique style, but lacked in story. Limbo is definitely one of the most unique arcade games as far as art style goes on Xbox Live. If you like puzzle-platform games, this game might be right up your alley, if you tend to get bored by puzzles, you might want to try the demo on Xbox Live first.

3 Michelas out of 5 with an additional WTF award!

Limbo (Xbox Live Arcade)
Developer: Playdead

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Metacritic score: 90
MSRP: 1200 Microsoft Points

Check out Gameplay Video Below

  • My wife is loving this game.

    • Nice Rex! You should have her try the Lil Big Planet Limbo level.

  • Kosamus

    The unique art style is all that saves this game. I thought it was kinda boring.