Imagine waking up in a dark and strange world with no exact idea of how you got there, or where to go. That’s essentially the setting for Limbo, which is an atmospheric puzzle platformer, which has been around since 2010, but has now made the transition to iOS. The main thing to know about Limbo, is that it isn’t just a game, but an all encompassing experience with surprises in each new section. The game is shrouded in mystery thanks to a monochromatic world with blackness overlaying the scene. You end up advancing through the forest, caves, machinery, and back out into nature all with creepiness at a high level.
There’s an eerie sense of doom hanging over you at all times, with just your character’s glowing eyes shining through. The atmosphere is a definite highlight as the developers have done a great job in immersing you in this bleak world. All of it accentuates the puzzles involved as most will end up in a few deaths to get just right. You continually come across new challenges, and sometimes you need to just experiment to find the correct method to advance. Since it’s part platformer, you have to pull off some intricate action sequences, after figuring out what you’re supposed to do. There’s simply a whole lot of challenge involved as you leap through trees, maneuver spinning gears, jump between ropes, change water levels, and battle a huge spider.
The best part is that you never know what to expect, and it builds an anticipation to drive you through the entirety of the game. Nothing guides you forward, and instead you have to figure it out, which is established from the beginning of waking your character into this world. The iOS version in particular offers a great touch control scheme which is just based on dragging in the direction you want to move, swiping up to jump, and using two fingers to drag items. It’s a great to have that direct touch control, and speaking of iOS, the experience is unrivaled when playing on the iPad in the dark. Also, since there’s such a high degree of challenge, the game incorporates intelligent checkpoints so that you can always go right back to where you died.
Limbo ($4.99, Universal) is a benefit to the entire App Store that is a spectacular experience to take part in making it a must buy.