So I’ve been playing LIMBO by Playdead for a while now, off and on.
Coming into it, the Color of the game (using Costikyan vocabulary here) stands out tremendously. Being in complete grey scale, and playing greatly for the foreground and background of the environment, Playdead very easily sucks us into the dark and eerie mood of the Limbo world they have created. However, is there even a story to this game? All I know is I wake up in a creepy grey scale wonderland full of buzzsaws and monster spiders and crazy brain slugs with a light sensitivity. Despite the fact that I know there is an underlying story present (something about rescuing a little sister? I think I saw her once?) the game designers don’t introduce their narrative at all. However, is this a bad thing?
Perhaps not. The very dark yet childish art of the game, mixed with incredibly amusing and well crafted puzzles and obstacles seem to push the player forward regardless. The story comes in later, as one discovers the game experience more. Perhaps this is even the point? That the confusion the player feels at the beginning mirrors that of our young boy protagonist?
Regardless, I am no narratologist, and so I will just state that the gameplay supports itself. The somewhat old-school puzzle platforming of this indie title is very refreshing, even when its gory deaths leave you feeling a bit dirty.