I thoroughly loved Limbo and what they did with the game. The presentation and ramp of mechanics is extremely beneficial to any game and Limbo presented an excellent representation.
Skill ramping was smooth throughout the game. The player was able to experiment with each new technique (jumping, switching gravity) with remarkably little danger. Limbo then began presenting the player with more dangerous and more complex systems that wove all the mechanics together.
Not only were the mechanics well-presented but the wow moments are also memorable. The player was constantly surprised with traps and enemies that startled the player. All of these events were also designed to be after check points so that the player wasn’t punished for not “knowing” that the trap was there. Some might say this was a Bad Designer No Twinkie issue, presenting a way to fail through trial and error, but I saw it as a crafted experience that reinforced the premise of the world. Namely that danger lurked around every corner, and the life of the little boy was extremely fragile… and full of blood.
I have one Feature Creep for Limbo. If I was given the opportunity to go back and re-release the game I would add more “evil children” elements that we saw early on in the game. Those other boys made the world feel abundantly alive, but they seemed to disappear later on. They were utterly frightening, and when I first saw them I was thoroughly entertained; the children told a rich Robinson Crusoe-esque story without ever saying a word.
Once I got past the initial events, the world became a lot more dead and sterile. There were all these objects within the world, and occasionally a wasp or something, but there wasn’t any sign of habitation. Nothing in the latter part of the game seemed to live in the world, even though there were houses and switches and factories all ready for some characters.