Limbo is creepy and surreal, but it's also a great game [Android Game of the Week]

Limbo (Image credit: Jordan Palmer / Android Central)

I love platformers. From metroidvanias to side-scrolling action RPGs, there's a lot to love in this classic gaming genre. In the spirit of platforming goodness, it's my pleasure to introduce our Android Game of the Week for this final week before Christmas: Limbo.

You've probably heard about it, and it features in both our best Android platformers and best Android games roundups. It's a delightfully creepy game, full of shadowy surrealism that leaves you wanting more. There are definitely good reasons why this game is liked.

Limbo is over ten years old now, which is almost impossible to believe. It tells the story of a young boy who ventures into limbo to find out what happened to his sister. His journey is fraught with danger as he wakes up in a dark forest, and you're left to figure out the context as you push forward.

It's more accurate to label Limbo as a puzzle-platformer since it features plenty of puzzles to challenge you. Death is a common thing in this game, but it avoids typical frustrations by loading you back before the trap that killed you. There is no starting over as you would in rogue-like or having the world respawn everything in the case of a Souls-like. While some deaths might feel cheap at times, I never got frustrated. Instead, I learned from my mistakes and pressed on.

The "plot" here is told via environmental storytelling. You've got nothing but the visuals, soundscape, and gameplay to tell you what's going on, and I absolutely love that. I like lore-heavy games, don't get me wrong, but it's fun to either figure things out for yourself via contextual clues or just be left wondering what's up with no explanation given. Limbo doesn't hand you anything. There are no cutscenes or loading screen hints to give you any idea about what's going on.

All these years later, I'm still amazed by the ending.

When you sit down and really think about what's happening in this game, you realize it's really disturbing. Our boy hero dies frequently and often in gruesome or horrifying ways. That triggers a momentary visceral response without the game being overly violent. Even so, you and he press on into the depths of limbo itself.

It's really non-stop, whether the game is surprising you or being downright weird. You'll encounter strange creatures and other lost souls in addition to the clever puzzles. Once you get to the end, though... wow. All these years later, I'm still amazed by it. I won't spoil anything for you; just go play Limbo!

There's also a free demo available if you want to try out the game before you buy. I hope you're thoroughly creeped out by this game, but that's all she wrote. Be sure you stop by our best Android games list, where Limbo has a proud spot, and check out previous Games of the Week! I'll see you all next week.

Jordan Palmer