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Limbo, Inside: Game Reviews

Updated on May 19, 2017

Limbo

No, this is not about the fun party game, Limbo is a puzzle-platform video game. The player takes control of an unnamed boy, and controls him through dangerous environments in this 2D sidescroller in search for his sister. There is no bright colors to be found here, just black and white, while lighting, film grain effects, and minimal ambient sounds are used to create a very eerie atmosphere. In the beginning of the game, the boy wakes up in the middle of a forest on the "edge of hell".

During his exploring, he encounters few human character who either attack him, run away, or are dead. At one point, he encounters a female character but is prevented from reaching her. Eventually, he comes across a crumbling city, though after completion of the final puzzle, he is thrown through glass and back into the forest. After walking a short distance, he encounters the girl again and the game abruptly ends.

The dark visuals not only give the game a haunting atmosphere, but it also hides numerous environmental and physical hazards such as bear traps and monsters. Among these hazards are glowing worms, which attach themselves to the boy's head and force him to travel in one direction until they are killed. The game's second half features mechanical puzzles and traps using machinery, electromagnets, and gravity. The game developers call Limbo a "trial and death" game, since most traps aren't apparent until activated, which often kills the boy. Some deaths are animated with images of the boy's dismemberment or beheading, although an optional gore filter blacks out the screen instead of showing these deaths. Game achievements include finding hidden insect eggs and completing the game with five or fewer deaths.

A charming, dark, gruesome game at times. Keep the boy alive and be cautious going through the world of Limbo.

Inside

Being the spiritual successor to Limbo, Inside is both similar and different to Limbo. The player controls a young boy in a dystopic world, solving environmental puzzles while avoiding death in a 2.5D sidescrolling fashion. Unlike Limbo, there is some colors such as the boy's red shirt, as well as highlighting parts of the environment with light. The game is very dark in nature and silent, with only occasional musical cues. The controls for the boy include walking, running, swimming, climbing and using objects to overcome obstacles and progress in the game.

Later, the boy gains the ability to control bodies to complete certain puzzles using a special helmet. At various points in the game, the player may discover hidden rooms containing glowing orbs. If all orbs are deactivated during the play through, the player can unlock the game's alternate ending. The boy can die in various ways as well, such as being shot with a tranquilizer, mutilated by dogs, ensnared by security machines, blown apart by shockwaves, or drowning. Aside from those threats, there is also the threat of being caught by the uniformed officers. The player must either avoid the officers or outrun them, being caught results in restarting from the last checkpoint. Also note, none of the humans have faces, including the boy.

Unlike Limbo, Inside has more environments to go through such as a forest, a city, farmland, and a laboratory. The lab is what houses a blob creature only known as the Huddle, which the boy is sucked into.

I personally have noticed imagery similar to the movie Schindler's List, from the black and white coloring, and the little boy's red shirt. This game is very amazing and really sucks you in and keeps you guessing as to what the story is behind this world.

Theories and Questions

Both of these games have brought up many theories and questions. Inside has some of the most questions towards it though, like what happened to the world and why are people being experimented on. The endings in both games also raise quite a few questions. Why end it suddenly? What are all these creatures and are they real?

The point of the Huddle? There are theories about that, one being that the Huddle is what controls the boy to come free it. There is also the theory of the boy being controlled by scientists. As for Limbo, the story and ending is never really brought up, leaving it a mystery for the players to interpret how they wish. Either way, both games are fantastic.

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