Limbo (video game)

Limbo is a 2D side-scroller computer game of the Danish company Playdead Studios, which was initially only available on the Xbox Live Arcade platform. Release of the PlayStation 3 version was on July 20, 2011 in Europe, the PC version followed on August 2. In the first month after the publication in June 2010, the game was sold 300,000 times. The multimedia network IGN called Limbo in September 2010 as the third- best game for Xbox Live Arcade. Compared with other Xbox Live Arcade games to Limbo has sold well and won two titles at the Independent Games Festival. On 15 March 2012, was released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on Headup Games a collector's edition. In June 2012, Limbo was part of the Humble Indie Bundle V with also a playable also on Linux version.

The overall game environment is depicted achromatic, each element carries a Graustufenton. The gloomy surroundings and the background music effect a creepy atmosphere.

Gameplay and action

A nameless boy wakes up in a forest and does from there in search of his sister. During the game, the boy only few other people and animals that either attack him flee before him or who are already dead encounters.

There is no history and no plot. The games to the developers is: " Uncertain of his sister's fate, a boy Enters Limbo " ( " Unsure about the fate of his sister, a boy in the limbus occurs "). The end of the game is open and leaves room for interpretation.

In order to progress within the game world, the player must solve some puzzles and sudden dangers, such as bear traps dodge. Even problems that are based on physical events, such as electricity, gravity or magnetism, which were created using a physics engine specially developed, are part of the puzzle.

Pats the Nameless into a trap, so he dies. His most cruel death appears as a silhouette in a death animation. The player will now be set back to an earlier game time shortly before death. The developers of the video game placed some traps deliberately hidden, so that the player only after several attempts to bypass the trap.


In 2004, Arnt Jensen, now Director of Playdead Studios, already the visual concept for the game, which he recorded with the help of some sketches conceived. He was based on German Expressionism and the style of film noir. According to Jensen's concept of the protagonist of the game was allowed to speak only two additional actions in addition to the movement: move objects and jumping. With Visual Basic Jensen tried to implement his idea, but soon realized that he needed professional help. Because he enclosed a video of his designs to the proclaimed by his job description, Jensen's concept was well received in the Internet community. In this action, Jensen learned the developer Dino Patti, with whom he founded the company Playdead Studios.

During the collaboration, the duo found that more developers need to join the team. This project could realize Jensen and Patti, as they were given in addition to their own savings and Danish funding to finance. The development team consisted depending on the time of eight to 16 members. The team ignored around Arnt Jensen the advice of investors and therefore rejected the request to make Limbo as a multiplayer game. Because about 70 percent of the imaginary from the team game ideas did not fit into the game concept, these were discarded.

According to Jensen's concept of the player should get to know the game mechanics on your own. When subjects were, for example, think that you 'll only hard on the idea to draw a parked boat from the water, to use it as a platform, the developers designed a puzzle to demonstrate the movement mechanics to the player beforehand. Limbo was programmed with Microsoft Visual Studio.


Overall, Limbo came from critics of positive, even the simple control met with good feedback. For discontent caused some critics the fact that Limbo has too many points on which the player jumps back in the event of death ( respawn point). Critics also complained the relatively short season for a converted price of about 15 euros, with some magazines also spoke of an ideal playing time, such as Tom Hoggins in the Daily Telegraph.


  • Video Game Awards 2010 - Best Independent Game
  • Summer of Arcade 2010 - Winner
  • Apple Design Award 2012 - Mac Developer Showcase


  • GDC Awards 11 - 7 of 10 categories