So I finally finished Limbo. My feelings are a bit uncertain.

Gameplay-wise it’s very well crafted. Given some puzzle it’s usually fairly clear what your overall goal is – you just need to figure out how to make that happen, from fairly simple elements (reversing gravity, a bear trap, some crates). The puzzles also feel like a part of the natural environment, not just something arbitray thrown in your way.

As for ambience and atmosphere tho… I dunno. The setting is basically a monochrome hell, a broken world containing little but lurking monsters and a few murderous survivors. Any sort of hope, or effort to survive feel futile in the cloak of damp, soul-sucking greyness. I get that this is quite deliberate – the game is called Limbo after all. But it’s almost too effective in setting the scene – it’s really a bit depressing. The style has plenty of merit, just not sure I want an entire game’s worth of it? Towards the end I found it a bit of a slog.

That’s just my subjective reaction tho, so I’m not going to call this any sort of “review.” Interesting to contrast tho with NightSky. Which is another game of silhouttes and physics puzzles. That one tho is somehow peaceful and restful. And it has some colours, those of late evening. And your “character” is more abstract, just a sphere and there’s no sort of death except for falling off the screen.

Anyways. I sometimes think we should keep more of an eye on indie games, particularly as many of them reference old-school gaming styles. Hipster physics platformers for one, of course. But also we’ve recently seen Legend of Grimrock, a tribute to RPGs like Dungeon Master, which mixes modern graphcs with that old style of flat square dungeon layouts.

Whether or not we’ll get into reviewing indie games, I dunno. Our review schedule is stately enough as it is. But still, if anyone has recommendations for particularly good ones with an old-school style, let me know!