Limbo’s been out a while now. But I still wanted to make my post and say this is one of the best independent games I have ever played. If you haven’t given it a try by now you are seriously missing out on something special.
Why is Limbo ‘Special’?
Limbo is a side scrolling platform game with simple gameplay and can be completed in a few hours. But don’t let it’s simplicity fool you, it is an artistic masterpiece. The game plays like an ambient horror story. The game mainly consists of puzzles which you have to solve to get from A to B. I admittedly have found myself stuck for a while at some of the points in the game, so as long as you don’t use a walkthrough Limbo can last a while.
Back on the atmosphere of the game, this is probably what made Limbo so popular. It’s dark, smooth and beautiful graphics make it stand out from any other independent game I have played. Whilst the graphics may look basic, I’ve jumped out of my chair when spiders suddenly crawl out of the shadows to kill me.
The storyline is simple, a boy has lost his sister and needs to travel through a dark, deserted land to find her. Along his way he will find giant monsters, killer spiders, mind controlling parasites and a ton of moving saws trying to slice and dice the poor kid.
The game has receiving crazy amounts of praise and stellar reviews. Quite rightly so, the only thing I can criticize Limbo for, which isn’t much of a criticism as all indie games have this problem, is that it’s just too short. I found myself dying to play more when I finished it.
If you think Limbo is awesome, keep an eye out for their new project ‘Inside’ which was announced at this year’s E3.
The Wild Bunch (1984)
I first played The Wild Bunch when I was a very young child. My aunt and uncle had a Sinclair Spectrum and at the time is was hosting the best games out there. I was particularly drawn to The Wild Bunch because of its Western Cowboy theme.
The basic aim of the game is your main character has been framed by a member of ‘The Wild Bunch’ a gang of outlaws. To clear your name you have to catch all five members of The Wild Bunch whilst avoiding the Sheriff or else he will arrest you and it will be game over.
The game has a simple outlay of five locations and you travel between them trying to find the members of The Wild Bunch. Each time you arrive at a location there is a one-in-five chance that the Sheriff will be there so getting a game over is really easy. Luckily you can get telegraphs in each location to tip you off about where the Sheriff is travelling to but with money being hard to come by in the game you can not always rely on this option.
To make money in the game you can play poker in the Saloon or find treasure on your travels. I personally would recommend buying a horse and doing some travelling between nearby locations in order to hopefully find some gold before heading out to the mountains or the vast desert.
My favourite thing about old Spectrum games is that the graphics are incredibly limited. They run on the most advanced graphic card of all; your imagination. Whilst travelling between locations you have no pictures. Just text which outlines random events turn by turn. You can find a gold nugget in one turn, and be attacked by a vicious vulture on the next.
Then when you arrive at your location the aim of the game comes into play. You visit the saloon; and having taken down your notes about The Wild Bunch you manage to find them one by one in the local saloon. You have two options, challenge them to a gunfight or hopefully take them in with no conflict.
The game in incredibly challenging to finish, but because it is such an easy and enjoyable short game to play you find yourself constantly wanting to play again and foil the plans of the infamous Wild Bunch!