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February 27, 2013

Limbo GUEST REVIEW




EDITOR'S NOTE: Daniel's back with another review, this time of Limbo, a short but sweet little puzzle game. Take it away, Daniel:

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Limbo is a 2010 platform/puzzle game released for the Xbox 360 initially, then later for PS3 and PC.

REVIEWING STYLE:

--Green is for mild content.

--Blue is for moderate or very brief intense content, provided that it isn't too graphic.

--Orange is for intense content.

--Red is for very graphic or prolonged intense content.

Areas of Concern:

  
Violence:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

You wouldn’t think a simple black-and-white, side-scrolling game could have graphic violence, but this one definitely proves it can. Your character can be maimed, dismembered, beheaded, impaled, crushed and more. The most disturbing thing about this violence is that it happens to a young boy.

--The main antagonist is a huge, scary spider that will frequently impale the boy to death with his legs. The boy turns the table eventually by systematically pulling each of its limbs off with gross sound effects and goo spraying, and he uses the limbless body to solve a puzzle.

--Bear traps pop up frequently and can make a big mess if the boy steps on them. (A mess of blood and gore kind) They are also used in one puzzle to remove an animal carcass from a rope.

--In a few instances, glowing worms attach themselves to the boy’s head, forcing him to walk in one direction. They can be killed by walking into light, but it’s pretty creepy.

NOTE: There is a filter in the menu where you can turn off any gore/graphic deaths. The screen simply blacks out instead of showing it.

Sex/Nudity:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

None.
Language:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

None.
Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy  

None.
Spiritual Content: 

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

As the title of the game suggests, your character is in a world very similar to Limbo, or “the edge of hell.” Aside from the title, though, there are no overt spiritual references.

Morality:

Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

The morality of the main character is pretty much unknown, as he doesn’t speak and the environment doesn’t hint toward any.

Scary Stuff: (By the Editor)

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

--There is a giant hairy spider in this game which chases you around. 'NUFF SAID!

Thoughts & Impressions:


What it’s about: 

Limbo is a basic puzzle/platform game that distinguishes itself mainly in two areas:

1.    It has black, white and grey-scale graphics, with an emphasis on silhouettes.
2.    It has no music or spoken word, with most of the sounds coming from sound effects.

The story involves a young boy who wakes up in the middle of a forest. Why is he there? What does he have to do? It’s pretty vague, but the only option is to keep moving forward by solving various puzzles and combating various enemies.

The gameplay is very easy to pick up, while some of the puzzles are very difficult. The platforming is also easy at first, but gradually gets more difficult. As the developers of the game said, it’s a “trial and death” game.

Quality Conclusion:

Limbo is quite unlike any game I’ve played. It does have simple platforming elements and puzzles just like many games, but the eery atmosphere and the fact it revolves around a child is a unique experience.

From the start of the game, you notice the unique grey-scale art style and lack of music. It’s unnerving at first, especially when you hear various creepy-crawlers and other sounds as you progress. But I grew used to it and actually appreciated it. 

The platforming is simple, but can be difficult to pull off. Plan on dying a LOT. As for the puzzles, they’re simple at first, but grow into some serious mind-benders. 

During a couple particularly hard ones later in the game, I had to actually stop playing for a few days to wrap my head around them. But once you solve them, it’s very gratifying.

The game is pretty short, but difficult puzzles/platforming can extend this. 

The ending is definitely worth any time you invest in it, as it’s one of those “aha!” moments that leaves you sitting there for a couple minutes contemplating what just happened.

In short, Limbo is a creepy psychological game that has very inventive puzzles and platforming and is definitely worth trying out.



As you’ve probably deduced, the main moral issues with Limbo mainly involve violence, specifically the deaths of the main young boy character.

The first time you die is definitely shocking, as you’ll probably see various body parts and squirts of blood (though through a black silhouette), or an impalement. Each time the boy dies, the lights go out in his eyes and you have to try again.

And you will die. Many, many times. While the graphics aren’t as bad as some games out there due to the lack of color, it’s definitely disturbing. How will you feel about it? That’s up to you. I wasn’t sure how I should react to this stuff being done to a child, and that feeling stayed with me throughout the game. 

Thankfully, there is a gore filter, as mentioned earlier. But the atmosphere and other disturbing content is still there. It’s up to parents of course, but I’d recommend mid-teens and up for the game with the filter, and older teens and up (or young adults) without it.

Verdict: 16+

MODERATE CAUTION

(For scary situations and intense violence involving a child.)

END OF REVIEW

So what do you think? Leave a comment below detailing your thoughts on this game, and the way it treats violence towards children.

I (Kyle) will be back next week with another review, as will Daniel in the near future. 

See ya!

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