LIMBO – Entering the Indie Gaming Universe

Although LIMBO was recommended to me by various sources during the time of its release, I could only , finally play the game when the iOS version for the iPad came out. I must say the experience was such that it made me regret the fact that I didn’t play the game earlier. With the Xbox One version just out, I thought I should share my views on this wonderful piece of art.

It has long being argued by some that – “video games reduce your imagination power”, this is not true irrespective of the game you play, but the Art-style alone of this game proves the statement completely wrong, the mystery that surrounds the main theme and story again lets your imagination run wild. The dark setting, premise and feel of the game’s atmosphere literally forces you to think beyond what is presented to you.

The Sweet Surprises

Now I should better present to you the point that exited me the most while playing this game, ‘the sweet surprises’  as I like to call them.

I know it might seem a bit difficult to understand what ‘sweet surprises’ in a game that looks like that are, and I hope I will be able to explain them to you without spoiling anything in the main game.

The Official Demo of the game showcases this concept of mine very beautifully. First you will have to engage your mind and solve a well thought out puzzle scenario, using standard platforming and minimal controls (the main mechanism of the game) and when you are ready for more of the game, the demo will cleverly end in an unexpected way, with a sweet little surprise. I simply love it when this type of  little details work in games, they might seem linear and scripted but they do make the journey rather more exiting.

In LIMBO, these surprises may seem scripted but they are maintained throughout the game with well executed consistency. Plus the sweet surprise can be anything ranging from a new mechanic or a small detail that might reveal the past or future of the story.

The Art of Storytelling

LIMBO showcases what the future of gaming holds, from silly but entertaining passtimes and puzzles; games have evolved into a medium of storytelling. Granted that Movies and Books are in more peoples hearts than video games but the interactive medium holds so much more potential merely because it delivers experiences rather than stories. Games at many times also succeed in placing the player right in the boots of the protagonist making the experience even more everlasting.

People always say – you learn form experience, you learn by making mistakes, you learn when you go through it yourself, etc-etc and that is were games truly succeed as a medium of storytelling, It helps you learn. You are not just watching, you are experiencing, – You are learning.

Independent Development

It is also great to see that this comes from a indie game, the triple-A games always held potential, but failed to take risks and try something new. The development team behind LIMBO clearly was not afraid to innovate, it is something that excites me most towards the indie gaming universe – ‘their ability to innovate without the fear of failure’.

This game was actually my entry ticket to indie games yet I regret that I did not play indie games before. Independently developed games do not have either the budget nor the resources to create the immerse worlds that triple-A games succeed in doing. They depend on innovate game-play mechanics and storytelling to make their game stand out rather than huge open-world sandboxes or “Real HD” graphics.

Most of the time these mechanics in indie games do not work out as well as the ones in triple-A titles or the storytelling fashion is not comfortable or immersive but when these games do succeed in innovating, evidently – You get a Masterpiece




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