LIMBO, A PROPER PORT

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This is not exactly news, but I may as well point people who do not know about Limbo to check out this excellent game. Earlier this year (around June-July) it has finally appeared on Steam for Linux in a decent version using SDL. The game was first introduced for Linux several years ago as part of one Humble Bundle pack. However, at that time, it was basically running through a WINE-kind of layer (CrossWeaver) and unfortunately it meant some really poor performance on lower end machines. Now, the port released this year has been done by Icculus (Ryan Gordon, the angel of Linux porting) and it’s rock solid. Even if you have an Intel-based laptop, it should run just fine (I have a i5/Intel-HD 3000 laptop and it runs perfectly in native resolution, i.e. 1378*768).

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The game itself remind me an awful lot of Another World, a game I loved in my teenage years. Both games do not use any text at all to tell their story – everything is told visually as you progress through the levels and events. You play the role of a little kid who has just awaken, lying down in the middle of the forest. You do not know how you came to be here in the first place, but just like in Another World, you are set to explore your surroundings. And there too, you will find it is an hostile place, full of strange encounters. You will be confronted with giant creatures, parasites trying to control your mind, and other kids set on trying to kill you (for no apparent reason at first).

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As the title suggests, the world is very grim and dark – there are no colors used and everything is in shades of grey and white. The mechanics are extremely simple, you have about 2 keys/buttons to use on top of the directional arrows (or you can use a gamepad if you prefer) and this makes the game very approachable even to non-gamers. Limbo is very effective at making sure you keep playing, since it keeps bringing new elements constantly. You rarely find yourself doing the same thing over and over again, new challenges, puzzles and encounters keep coming and will keep your wondering “what’s going to happen next?”.

The game is relatively short, as in, it won’t take 15 hours to finish, but it’s priced very competitively on Steam (the only place where you can buy it for Linux for now) and honestly I cannot say it’s not worth it.


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