Top Three Differences Between Limbo and Inside
In addition to the code for our Inside review, Playdead also sent us a review for coverage of Limbo, their first 2.5D platformer that came to the Switch at the same time as Inside.
At first glance, Limbo and Inside seem quite similar. They’re both dark side-scrolling games with puzzles to solve and enough ambiguity to keep fans speculating and theorizing. However, they actually do have a few key differences that distinguish them, and a fan of one won’t necessarily love the other. Let’s take a look at three important differences between Limbo and Inside.
This is the simplest difference and also the one you’ll notice first. Both opt for similar approaches in their graphical styles, but Limbo is the more minimalist of the two. Limbo is pretty monochrome and features only a few background details, while Inside adds more color and fuller backgrounds.
Puzzles and Death
When it comes to the basic gameplay, Limbo and Inside are pretty similar. Both have platforming and puzzles to solve, and both include situations where your nameless character can die some pretty brutal deaths. These situations are much more common in Limbo, however. Most of Inside’s puzzles can be solved easily once you work out the solution, and its most lethal encounters often require stealth. Limbo is significantly more difficult, with puzzles that quick timing and a fair amount of trial-and-error. You might die many times while trying to progress, and Limbo revels in its dark, gruesome deaths.
Both of these games also have ambiguous narratives, but once again, they handle it in different ways. Limbo’s eShop description is merely, “Uncertain of his sister’s fate, a boy enter’s LIMBO.” Meanwhile, Inside’s description reads, “Hunted and alone, a boy finds himself drawn into the center of a dark project.”
Neither of those is particularly clear, and since these games don’t include dialogue or traditional storytelling, you have to piece together their narratives as you go. Limbo feels symbolic and otherworldly – especially since you’re supposed to be in limbo – with theories that mainly deal with the ending. Inside feels more story-driven, but never in a way that gives the players all the answers. When you look at all the pieces of Limbo, you can draw your own conclusions about what it means; Inside feels like playing through a strange, twisting dream with questions that build the further you go.
If you enjoy minimalist, ambiguous platformers, either Limbo or Inside (or both) might catch your fancy, but they have many differences despite their surface similarities. Which of these games do you prefer?