I played Limbo at E3. There was one demo unit setup on the Xbox stand as part of an XBLA showcase. I picked up the controller and was instantly absorbed in one of the most atmospheric games I've seen in some time.
Limbo is a side-scrolling adventure presented entirely in silhouette. It looks gorgeous.
But what I most enjoyed was how little it explained. There was no tutorial. There was no instruction as to how to move or jump or interact with the world. There were no clues as to what to do or hints when I got stuck. Limbo wanted me to explore, experiment and work everything out for myself.
About two minutes into my play time, I did get stuck. I'd crossed a lake via boat but couldn't see any way to progress on the far shore. There was a small cliff on the beach and I couldn't jump high enough to clamber over it. I spent another minute or so flailing around.
Knowing I was pressed for time, I turned to the developer who'd been watching me. He was already smiling when I told him I was stuck. He was already chuckling when I asked him what I needed to do. He wouldn't tell me.
I was surprised by the response. But I also immediately admired it. To tell me how to negotiate this section would defeat the whole point of the game. I can dig that.
A minute or so later, I'd worked it out. I'd negotiated that cliff and continued to explore.
I've just downloaded the full version of Limbo, which launches this coming Wednesday on XBLA, and I can't wait to get stuck all over again.
What are you playing this weekend?