Impressions: Limbo

Limbo isn’t a fun game.  Well, yes it is.  It is fun in places.  But, in some places, the game is damn near horrible.  It is a puzzle game, you see.  You are trying to go somewhere and meet someone.  Are you looking for your little sister?  Is she a girl you have a crush on?  No clue. You just have to keep moving right.  Right, right, right.  And damn anything that gets in your way.  Ban-saws, Lord-of-the-fly-type dudes trying to kill you, big boxes, little boxes you can’t get at, gravity, electric signs, spikes, everything you can think of that wants you not to make it to the final right, to the last edge of the screen, to this little girl that is playing with flowers.
Limbo is gorgeous.  All black and white, with the white being the light and tons of gray, allowing you to live in this strange world that is both beautiful and deeply disturbing.  Even though the game is simple, it is horrible to look at when you mess up a puzzle.  This game is strangely graphic, making you cringe when your character gets cut in half or falls on to spikes.  There is also a scene where you have to pull the arm off a spider in order to solve a puzzle.  It is a moment where you don’t want to even touch it, but you have to and it made me scream like a little girl.  The game has a certain ability to make you feel for this little boy. You want him to survive, and you want to be smart enough to help him do it.
But make no mistake, this game hates you.  This game will also make you feel stupid.  But when you figure the puzzles out, like that you have to manipulate gravity to get a box so that you can get another box so you can get over a ledge to hit a switch, you feel great.  That game falls apart when you have to do things that the game thinks you should be able to, but you struggle with because of the games physics.  Jumping isn’t perfect.  Often time, I felt that I was lucky that I made a jump, not that I learned any real skill.  Tons of games have that issue, so that’s nothing big.  I just felt that the game was creatively made, creatively fleshed out and creatively designed with creative music, creative puzzles and creative art.  But the game doesn’t allow you to be creative in solving the puzzles.  There is just one way, and you better figure it out.  Is the game worth $15?  That’s debatable.  It is worth the time, and I’m looking forward to playing it again with more of an open mind.
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