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It's all here in black and fright.

Byline: Inside and Limbo Nintendo Switch

IN 2010, developers Playdead released Limbo - the tale of a young boy on the 'edge of hell' who sets out alone in search of his sister.

Facing danger in many forms, the boy soldiers on as the forest gives way to a crumbling city, and an ending that is hard to forget.

Limbo was a monochromatic masterpiece, deeply disturbing and with exquisitely grotesque set pieces that put it head and shoulders above the competition.

It went on to be the third biggest selling game on Xbox Live Arcade that year, raking in $7.5m and garnering Danish studio Playdead a host of richly deserved awards.

In 2016, the independent studio finally released what it calls Limbo's spiritual sequel - Inside.

And while Xbox and PC gamers have already had the chance to experience both games, Switch owners can now get in on the action with these beautiful ports.

While there are instant similarities between the pair - Inside begins with a young boy running through a dark woodland - the little splashes of colour, the human figures and mysterious vans let you know this is going to be a very different journey.

In gameplay terms, it's a fairly simple journey in that you can move left or right, and jump, pull, push or swim.

But the simplistic controls belie the true nature of the adventure you're about to undertake.

The bleak, almost silent, environments are hauntingly beautiful, with our young hero traipsing through rain-sodden fields littered with the corpses of dead pigs, crawling through crumbling buildings, diving underwater and mimicking his way past security guards.

Environments that create a tense, oppressive and, at times, terrifying atmosphere.

The trick to surviving your time in this stunning dystopia is by solving the puzzles laid out before you. They may not be the trickiest you've ever encountered, but you get a smug sense of achievement when you figure them out.

And you'd better do it quickly, as failure to complete puzzles on time often leads to you being caught by hunters, drowning or being eaten by hungry dogs - to name but a few of the vile and inventive ways for the boy to meet his demise.

And that's where frustration can set in.

As with Limbo, you often figure out how to solve a puzzle by dying a grim death - which sees you respawn at the beginning of the sequence.

More than a little irksome. This process, much as I found with Limbo, disrupts the flow of the tale unfolding before you.

The attention to detail is breathtaking - a slight mist on the horizon, lazily drifting dust fairies exposed in shafts of sunlight, debris sinking slowly to the bottom of the lake - all come together to create one of the most atmospheric games I've played in a long time.

Inside and Limbo are relatively short games, but they more than deserve your attention - especially if you've never had the chance to play them before.

HHHHH BUY IT: PS17.99 for Inside (Limbo, PS8.99) from nintendo.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

Inside is a gloomy, frightening place but it is well worth delving into the darkness

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 28, 2018
Words:525
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