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APP REVIEW: Limbo

Limbo: perfect game for Halloween night (or any other night actually)!

Limbo, by Playdead, is probably one of my favorite games of all time. When I heard that there was going to be a port for iOS, I was very excited, but at the same time a little nervous. It wasn’t the visual style, the sound, or the atmosphere, that I felt wouldn’t translate; it was the controls.

That’s not to say that reflex-based games don’t work on iOS, it’s that they have to set up a certain way to get the same type of responsive feedback that a player would expect from a keyboard or a controller. After playing the game for a while, I was happy to put the fears to rest. To control the boy, you can swipe in any direction, and the boy will move. Actions such as grabbing a lever or jumping, are done with your right hand; swiping in an upwards direction, will get the boy to jump, and holding your thumb on the screen will get the boy to grab an object.

The story of Limbo isn’t all that obvious, and to this day, it’s still up for interpretation. The game involves a boy who is looking for his sister. There are no weapons or random characters to help you on your search; you’re on your own from beginning to end. The environment is presented in a monochromatic, slightly grainy, film noir style. You could make the argument that this is supposed to be a horror game with some sort of death awaiting you around every corner; however, I view it as a game that’s more than that.

In order to solve the games many puzzles and traps, you need to be able to think quickly. The checkpoint system is pretty forgiving, even after making a mistake you won’t have to travel very far to try again. Much like Super Meat Boy, or Braid, Limbo’s gameplay is very much trial and error, which at times can be frustrating. However, it’s very rewarding when a puzzle is solved or when a trap is avoided. The game is a little short, and very linear, which may be a downside to some. In all honesty, I don’t feel this is a game that would benefit by having multiple paths or being a longer game.

This is one of the finest games ever released in the App Store, and even if you’ve played Limbo before, you need to experience the game in your hands. I can’t really explain it, but there’s something that’s just so inexplicably cool about it. The game looks and sounds amazing and the world you’re thrown into is so dark and mysterious, and is just begging to have all of its secrets uncovered.

If you somehow missed out on Limbo three years ago, take a chance on it. This game is a classic.

Limbo is available on the App Store for 4.99.

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