I was recently introduced to an Xbox 360 game called Limbo.  At first I was skeptical. I hardly play video games these days, I just don’t feel like I have any time for it. My friend insisted I at least try the free demo on his xbox, and with that he turned it on and handed me the controller. As soon as the start up screen came on I knew I was in for something different: The game is in black and white! I love black and white! Beautiful, contrasty, flickery shades of it everywhere. This alone was enough to hook me before I started worrying about things like gameplay. I mean, I’m nearly obsessed with monochrome. I watch old movies, and develop rolls of Tri-X in my kitchen. Even though I shoot raw files I sometimes set my picture style to monochrome, just so I can instantly visualize everything in black and white. You get the idea…

The surprises didn’t stop there: the game is also a side-scroller. You know, like super mario bros. Two-dimensional. I’m 31 years old, and most of my favorite games of all time (like Donkey Kong) were made like this. Another major difference is that limbo has very little audio. There is no music to speak of, and the only sounds you’ll hear for the most part are from interacting with the actual environment. You’re basically running through a silent film. 1922’s scariest horror film “Nosferatu” comes to mind. I’m not much of a game reviewer so I’m not going to even try, but basically you play a little boy who is searching for his sister in limbo. There is a whole lot of over-sized forest to trudge through, a giant, scary spider, and tons of goliath industrial innards to hop around on. The part I like the best about this game is that it’s not just a pretty face. You are presented with obstacle after obstacle of physics and logic-based puzzles to solve before you are allowed to proceed to the next screen. The game makes you think, and I love that. Limbo is beautiful. It’s creepy, tough, and should definitely appeal to photo-nerds.