Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 89 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 88 out of 89
  2. Negative: 0 out of 89
  1. 100
    Dark and disturbing is something that is a running theme throughout Limbo, it isn't a nice game, it isn't one that will leave a smile on your face but it is engrossing and it will have you suckered in from start to finish.
  2. If you like clever game design, intelligent horror, or well-realised artistry, you really have to play through Limbo. It's an immaculate production, as close to perfect as it gets, and it will stay with you for a very long time.
  3. Any image of Limbo is an excellent letter of entry to a world shrouded in a dense and endless haze of mystery that Playdead, as producer, has managed to stand with distinct notes of balance, pulling puzzle after puzzle in the middle of inevitable surprises.
  4. A haunting puzzler brimming with ideas, Limbo is easily the platform's greatest successor to Braid. [Oct 2010, p.118]
  5. Limbo is as close to perfect at what it does as a game can get. It's artistic without being pompous, difficult without being cheap, and violent without being gratuitous. It gets everything just right.
  6. It might not have the length or volume of content that other excellent titles like Mass Effect 2 or Red Dead Redemption have, but pound for pound, Limbo is the best game I have played all year.
  7. 100
    It's inevitable that Limbo will be compared to 2008's Braid, but I think this game's sum takeaway is more in line with Portal -- an intricate and internally consistent world that communicates itself through simple mechanics and a creative, minimalist structure on which to hang events that happen to a vulnerable protagonist.
  8. 100
    LIMBO keeps you sucked into its bleak, grim universe with unique puzzles, simple controls, and an approach to game design Playdead calls "trial and death" gaming for long enough to be effective, but certainly leaves some length to be desired.
  9. Limbo has a transportive quality that's hard to articulate. It so expertly realizes both its internal gameplay logic and its prevailing aesthetic that it almost creates a sort of reverie as you play, fully removing you from your physical environment and plopping you into this cold, mesmerizing other land. Though you'll find it's a tough place to survive, it might also be one you're in no hurry to leave behind. The game is a masterpiece.
  10. Limbo is a game about death that manages to invest the act of dying, at least in the context of gaming, with a rare impact – quite an achievement considering how often it happens.
  11. Limbo is genius. Freaky, weird genius. Disturbing, uncomfortable genius.
  12. 100
    Dark, disturbing, yet eerily beautiful, Limbo is a world that deserves to be explored.
  13. Blessed by its magnificent 2D, black and white visuals, Limbo immediately captures. But then, controller in hands, the player will quickly realize it also delivers major gameplay scenes. The journey may be a relatively short one (half a dozen hours top), but who cares : it's a unique, powerful one. You will forget reality and dive into an evanescent dream, deliciously tormented. Simple. Bewitching. Memorable. Thanks.
  14. Great entertainment for the player. Even with no music, a depressing game world and no weapons or tools to speak of, Limbo is a great game. The only draw back, and the reason that I am not saying that you should stop reading this now and go buy this game, is that the game is extremely short.
  15. 100
    Regardless of its brevity, price, or minor frustrations, this is one of the best games currently available on Xbox Live Arcade. It's also one of the most essential must-play experiences this generation.
  16. The lack of plot may turn some people off but the excellent puzzles and mood make this a must have for hard core gamers.
  17. The only possible flaw I can really find with it is that it is over relatively quickly - it took me about six hours to beat it. However, in that time, LIMBO delivered an incredible experience from beginning to end, had no filler, and provided more memorable moments in that short time than many games of a far greater length.
  18. A triumph for independent game development, which manages to transcend all that came before it without having to re-write the genre.
  19. Hardcore fans of Braid may complain that the puzzles aren't as difficult, but as a cohesive unit, the game is deeply engaging.
  20. The simplistic yet gorgeous art direction, the scant yet absolutely effective sound cues, the limited yet engrossing storytelling and the unsettling atmosphere all come together to build a full experience, one that will not be forgotten for quite some time.
  21. Don't be caught in limbo making a decision – buy this game as soon as it comes out on Xbox Live Arcade, and support this kind of creativity in the game industry. No matter what kind of gamer you are, you won't be disappointed.
  22. And really, what the team at Playdead has achieved here--in their very first game, no less--is just tremendous. [Oct 2010, p.72]
  23. Limbo shows that there is salvation for an industry stuck in sequel hell.
  24. Limbo is without question a visceral, virtuoso performance of the kind that grips a person from start to finish.
  25. 95
    In a realm where creativity can so often be found lacking, Limbo stands out as one of the greatest independent games you're likely to find.
  26. This makes the entire four hours seem like a 2D version of Portal, and that's a welcome experience on XBLA.
  27. It's a brilliant take on classic conventions, and the way in which it's presented only adds to its genius.
  28. Kudos to Playdead for developing what is not only the best Xbox LIVE arcade game this year, but quite possibly one of the best ever to grace the service.
  29. Its unique atmosphere, intelligent design and challenge for the player makes it one magnificent game in the Xbox 360 portfolio.
  30. 94
    Extraordinary. It's as if the word were invented for it.
  31. Simply put, Limbo is a remarkable gaming achievement, and stands out as this year's Braid.
  32. Limbo is by far the best Xbox Live Arcade title since last year's highly-lauded Braid, and one of the best Xbox 360 titles ever released, period.
  33. At approximately four hours in length it's not a long game at all, but while those four hours last they're magical, beautiful and really quite affecting.
  34. Before the silhouette platformer becomes a crowded subgenre, it's nice to have one game that sets the bar extremely high for the followers that are inevitably on the way. Limbo features a mix of platforming, puzzles, style, tension, and brutality that is a rare sight these days on XBLA or any platform these days.
  35. But the sometimes grisly, sometimes pacific sound design is never less than pitch-perfect, and stuck between worlds or not, Limbo's three hours of play time are concentrated, puzzle-gaming heaven.
  36. Limbo represents a confident step for indie games firmly into the realm of Art, just in case there were any doubters remaining out there.
  37. Jan 18, 2011
    90
    There is a wonderful minimalism about the whole experience, from start to finish, which includes the relatively abrupt ending after 3-4 hours of play.
  38. Jan 18, 2011
    90
    As one of the most unique puzzlers that I've played over the years, Limbo's chilling atmosphere is an example of an incredible gaming achievement.
  39. Playdead's debut title is a rare thing – a wholly realised place as well as a successfully realised game, and both Limbo and the Limbo inside it are one-of-a-kind places to be stuck in.
  40. A game that has very few humans, but a surplus of humanity.
  41. A haunting, tragic experience that no one should miss. Some of its dark luster is soured by a few of its bold design choices, but neither of which ruin its resounding accomplishment.
  42. Limbo does what few games of any genre can do, which is trial and error without any of the actual tedium. It's a puzzle game that is littered with ideas and an artistic eye, but more importantly it understands the frustrations of repetition and makes failure enjoyable.
  43. A videogame as intelligent and self-referential as it is macabre. [Issue#63, p.100]
  44. If there is a game we could call artistic Limbo it's this one. Flawless playability and visual style catch your eyes in the very beginning and keep you in mood until the (bitter) end. [Issue#195]
  45. Limbo is a game that cheerfully deals in oxymoron, its awful beauty framing macabre humour. But for all its disparate elements, for all the varied puzzles and shifts in tone, there lies a game of a single, unwavering vision.
  46. This summer goes in black and white. Limbo is an eerie, beautiful and challenging game that everybody should play.
  47. LIMBO's puzzles are as devious as the game is gorgeous, this game will have you planted in your seat from beginning to end. Not a long story by any means, but buying this stylish adventure should still be a no-brainer.
  48. Stunningly beautiful and hauntingly atmospheric, Limbo is a modern day masterpiece. The puzzles are balanced and intelligent, and the art direction is phenomenal. This is one of the classics you owe yourself to experience.
  49. 90
    Limbo is an incredible achievement. Very few games are as original, atmospheric, and consistently brilliant as Limbo.
  50. Truly one of the XBLA must-haves, Limbo sets its tent up alongside Braid but, at the same time, is more than original enough a proposition to stand entirely by itself. From the artistry of the setting to the pace and fiendishness of its puzzles, Limbo is a perfect example of what can be achieved when inspiration rather than monetisation is the prime motivator.
  51. Thoughtful puzzles and striking aesthetics make Limbo a cerebral adventure you must experience.
  52. A short but engrossing play that will remain with you long after you finish. [Aug 2010, p.110]
  53. But LIMBO is easily among the best XBLA titles of the year that anybody who plays it won't soon forget for its magnificent art design, tough puzzles and dismally sad story.
  54. I am encouraging everyone to get out there and get this game, not only will you be entertained but you'll never look at XBLA titles the same again.
  55. This game maybe shrouded with uncertainty, but what is for sure is that it's an arcade game worth bending over backwards for at the very least to experience the workings of its aesthetic genius.
  56. 90
    Limbo is a triumphant Xbox Live Arcade game that hits all the right emotional notes that make this a captivating game throughout.
  57. Twisted, sick, upsetting... Limbo is all these and one other: genius. Unmissable. [Oct 2010, p.75]
  58. Limbo is a fine example of how you can create a masterpiece, yet sell it through the Xbox Live arcade at a budget price. It may not be the longest game, but to capture the imagination of any player is something that is a rarity in gaming.
  59. If you're looking for a game that will stick with you-and maybe even pop up in your nightmares- LIMBO is waiting to consume you.
  60. Limbo is in no way a confusing or colourless waste of time. It's an exciting, part infuriatingly fun, part mind-blowing 2-D puzzle experience, leaving the player to discover everything alone
  61. Proving once and for all that two staples of videogaming – 2D and Platforming – are definitely not dead, and even proving that you don't need a garish palette of colours to convey a massive breadth of emotions, Limbo is technically polished, extremely playable and more than a little bit sick in the head in places, but as a 360 owner you owe it to yourself to get hold of this game.
  62. A great jump 'n' run game with fantastic physics and a simple, but very atmospheric graphics. All fans of old trial and error games like Abe's Oddworld or Heart of darkness will love Limbo.
  63. Simple and light as an idea, LIMBO runs away in a couple of hours, leaving traces blurred and steamy as the world it creates around the player. Easy to play, funny and intelligent, it shows how this industry can still live on simple ideas.
  64. Limbo is one of the best XBLA ever created. A simple gameplay meets a complex level design, for an instant classic with a terrific art direction.
  65. One of the most genuine Live Arcade titles around, Limbo has to be bought just for the great experience it offers, even if of short duration. If you appreciate originality and artistic freshness in a game, you have to try it.
  66. 90
    Limbo is without a doubt one of the best Xbox Live Arcade games and can be recommended to everyone. You'll reach the end in about four hours and that's pretty much the only down-point of this unique game.
  67. 90
    As a gaming experience, LIMBO succeeds by combining cerebral puzzles with physical 'twitch' actions, but what makes it more than just a cool, artsy indie title is the incredible world that PlayDead Studios has created.
  68. Limbo features but one seamless, monochromatic level with no music and no narrative… yet it manages, through creativity and art, to leave a lasting impression.
  69. Limbo is worth experiencing for the atmosphere alone, this little child´s world is an amazing place to get engaged. Aside of an obvious lack of complexity in its gameplay side this is one of the most artistic achievements you will see for years.
  70. 85
    After the first hour the initially artful storytelling falls flat. You no longer want to explore or experiment, and why should you? Limbo trains you that curiosity is punished.
  71. LIMBO is quite an amazing game. The setting is very captivating and really brings you into the story.
  72. Limbo is one-third a fantastic masterpiece and two-thirds a solid, if unexceptional, game.
  73. This is an inverted Faustian bargain--will you pay the high price to play the small slice of heaven that lingers in Limbo?
  74. A game that will guarantee entertainment through its design and simplicity.
  75. It's a game of quiet beauty, scattered liberally with ingenious design.
  76. A beautiful game, if just a bit too simple. [Sept 2010, p.92]
  77. Limbo lingers between heaven and hell. The beautifully laid out choreography of the experience rises to incredible heights, while it nails you down to your chair with its haunting atmosphere. It's a perfectly molded piece of art, that is shaping up to be one of the best titles of this year. While the art itself is timeless, the playtime is far from it. You'll be able to finish the game in mere hours, but luckily the game will stay with you long after.
  78. Limbo is a beautiful game with a very special art and audio direction. There are few games out there that offers this level of intelligently crafted puzzles and atmospheric environments. If different and challenging sounds good to you this is the game to buy.
  79. As much mood piece as video game, but the mix of stark atmosphere and clever puzzles is hard to resist.
  80. Despite its high price and its short length (1200 MS Points for approximately 4 hours, with very little re-playability, is not exactly the deal of the year!) Limbo is still a thrilling, breathtaking experience: simply let the darkness surround you!
  81. Limbo has its flaws, but it certainly doesn't prevent it from being a captivating, heartbreaking and memorable game.
  82. But in the end, there's something peculiar and odd about Limbo that keeps the attention of the player far longer than it should have. As I said, credit goes to PlayDead Studios – they've created a game that is fantastically weird and pleasant all in its own right.
  83. 80
    Overall, while Limbo's back-story is strangely absent, it can stand on the unique visual style and deceptively difficult platforming/puzzle gameplay alone.
  84. But that doesn't stop LIMBO being an entirely worthwhile experience, drenched in misery, pathos and loneliness. It's also really bloody scary.
  85. What the game doesn't skimp on is the variation in the puzzles - though primarily physics based brain teasers, the game features its fair share of mind-bending timed based and even AI exploiting challenges as well.
  86. With Limbo's gorgeous presentation and challenging puzzles its one of the best games on Xbox Live.
  87. For fans of puzzling games, Limbo can certainly help you with that head-scratching itch. However, for those with only a passing interest in the genre, Limbo's difficulty curve, its lack of gameplay direction and its depressed setting could prove a barrier to enjoyment.
  88. 75
    Still, while it stumbles to pull everything together, Limbo is short and certainly worth experiencing, if for nothing else, than to see this beautiful, two-tone world yourself.
  89. Limbo has brilliant details and some intelligent puzzles, but it has many things that will end up being boring as they're the same as always.
User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 392 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 55
  2. Negative: 4 out of 55
  1. Sep 14, 2010
    3
    If it weren't for the art direction, this game would have gained little attention. The general vibe is interestingly depressed and monotone, but the implication of the title: that the game somehow explores the concept of being in 'Liumbo' falls apart quickly. It is barely explored in the game itself, and at the halfway mark, the initial interest of being in a real / organic place replete with beats and animals preying on those trapped between worlds falls apart and the game descends into a generic clockwork maze. Filled with turning gears designed to expand the gameplay possibilities, they do not serve the theme or even truly expand the mechanics and show a distinct lack of inspiration and imagination for a game that only last a few hours. Worse, the base mechanics are floaty and imprecise, meaning the character is difficult and annoying to control: problems that were solved in the 90s on the SNES. Full Review »
  2. Sep 17, 2010
    5
    I believe this game is nothing more than hype with its users liking it because of the media induced hype. I completed the game and it wasn't anything special, very repetitive nothing more than 200 gamer-score. Although this game is unique I just haven't bought into the genre. Although this review is very negative this is just my opinion, try the demo, it shows the game for everything it is. Taking into account the price i believe this game is mediocre. Full Review »
  3. Aug 22, 2010
    10
    Without doubt one of the most beautiful games I have ever played, Limbo blurs the lines between video games and art. The puzzles are really devious too! But, way too short. I'm hoping they will create another Limbo game, as there are so many ideas here i'm sure they can greatly expand on this great little game. Full Review »