Review – Limbo (Switch)

Limbo, just like Skyrim, is one of those widely acclaimed games released between 2009 and 2011 I hadn’t played back when they were first released. I took advantage of the game’s re-release on the Switch in order to redeem myself and finally understand the hype behind the title, since it’s considered one of the most important indie games ever created. I had already played Inside and enjoyed it a lot, so I was expecting something as good, if not better. I have to say that I still think Inside is a better title, but holy moly Limbo is an amazing little title.

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We all live in a somber submarine, somber submarine, somber submarine.

Limbo is an atmospheric platformer with a slight emphasis on puzzle-solving and a heavy emphasis on telling players a story without ever uttering a single word. Right from the getgo, you’ll have to guide the poor defenseless kid as far away as possible from where you start. You meet new characters, most of them completely hostile, some which are monsters, and so on. One of the unique things about Limbo is you learn everything you need to know from your surroundings as you progress.

Limbo also knows how to evoke a creepy and macabre atmosphere with phenomenal amounts of subtlety. This game is actually scary and uncomfortable. Dare I say, Limbo is actually one of the best horror games I’ve played in years. I never feel safe. I freak out everytime I see a spider. I run away in peril and feel a gigantic amount of relief whenever I notice the monsters have stopped chasing after me. Horror developers should learn a thing or two from Limbo‘s presentation: it’s scary but it’s also unbelievably elegant in its delivery.

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Stuff of my gosh darn nightmares.

The same can be said about Limbo‘s gameplay and level design. The game doesn’t give you any tutorials or points out your objectives, yet all of its puzzles, while not completely obvious, are easy to learn and solve. The level design is so well thought out that you’ll usually die once at a trap and immediately figure out what to do in order to succeed. Add in the fact that the controls are responsive and the physics are excellent; Limbo is extremely well-polished, devoid of glitches or framerate issues. The only big issue I can point out about it is its duration, as you can easily beat the game in less than four hours. There’s no new game plus mode and besides a few collectibles, there’s pretty much no reason to replay it. It’s completely worth one go though.

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What a lovely sight.

Limbo deserves all the praise. It’s one heck of an achievement in level design and a game that manages to explain a lot of its gameplay and its somber plot without uttering a single word. Despite being extremely short and pretty much devoid of replayability, it’s a cheap game and a great addition to your Switch library if you have never played it before.

Graphics: 9.0

Limbo manages to deliver beautiful and somber visuals despite its focus on black and white palletes.

Gameplay: 9.5

Just like its successor, Limbo‘s controls and physics are near perfect.

Sound: 7.0

The game is silent for the most part, with just a handful of sound effects here and there. Whenever a somber tune is played, however, it’s pretty effective.

Fun Factor: 7.5

Limbo features excellent level design and simple but effective puzzles. It’s a great experience… for one playthrough.

Final Verdict: 8.5

Reviewed on Switch.
Also available on: PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.

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