Quick Look – LIMBO (#PlatforMonth)

Here I am, sneaking in my thoughts on LIMBO on the next-to-the-last day of the month, when I actually played the game on the very first day. I kept thinking I would go back to it, and play some more. I didn’t quit because I was frustrated (thanks to keeping a walkthrough open on my phone while I played) but clearly, I also didn’t find the game compelling enough to return to.

Maybe it’s just that as I get older, it gets harder for me to get invested in games outside of my preferred genres. I’m still a huge fan of pure puzzle games, and I keep trying to convince myself that puzzle-platformers are adjacent enough I should be able to play and enjoy them. I think the key difference – for me – is that puzzle games almost always give you all the information you need about how the game works, even the ones which keep adding mechanics to increase the difficulty as you go. Puzzle platformers often rely on the mechanic of having to figure out how the game works as part of the puzzle part. You have to fail in order learn, and I’m not a big fan of forced failure.

I did think the art style was amazing; it’s truly impressive what can be done with a grayscale color palette. Otherwise, I was pretty lukewarm on the whole experience. I gave the game a little less than an hour, and in that time I made it just shy of the 1/4 mark. I just … I wasn’t having fun. The puzzley bits I managed to figure out myself felt super obvious and easy, and the ones I needed to consult a walkthrough for felt, in comparison, to be needlessly obscure.

And sometimes, games just don’t hit for me. This is a well-loved game, and I’m certainly not going to try to say that the more than 25,000 people who gave it a good review on Steam are wrong. It just wasn’t the right game for me at this point in time. Will I try again? I may. There was enough that intrigued me that I might blitz through the entirety of the game when I’m in a different state of mind.

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