A couple years ago I reviewed Limbo on The Future Machine. While I applauded the game's art-style, I reacted very negatively to the trial-and-error gameplay, as well as the fact that it was universally embraced by the art-seeking gaming community despite what I perceived to be a variety of design-choice flaws.
Upon revisiting Limbo, I'm happy to tell you that I was wrong.
If you have not played Limbo, I highly recommend purchasing it as it is certainly one of the best games Xbox Live Arcade has to offer.
While I originally thought Limbo's blatant vagaries and shadowy look revealed more style than substance, and that the death-promising platforming negated a basic video game tenet (thought shall have fun!), upon further reflection and a second play-through, I found myself wide-smiled and positively jubilant. And it isn't often I get to use the word jubilant.
Though nothing is explicit in this game, I believe Limbo to be one of the best game-stories I have ever experienced. The designers behind this game do not assume you are stupid. They assume you are intelligent and the result is a work of true excellence. There is no walkthrough or tutorial, which more effectively transports you into the world of the little boy you inhabit. Players awaken in a grim and beautiful forest without any understanding of the protagonist's identity or quest. In order to comprehend the story the player must pay close attention to a variety of subtle details that paint an epic, and moving tale of love and loss. With this in mind I was much more forgiving of the inevitable recurrent deaths, and my frustrations subsided with ease as I simply took pleasure in the smoothness of the controls and the beauty of the world.
I don't want to spoil this game for anyone who hasn't played it, hence the lack of detail in this re-review. I will write that I have rarely experienced a sense of dread and terror when watching a film or playing a video game quite like I have with Limbo.
So, if you have the time and the Microsoft Points, and want to experience something that is both good art and a good game, give Limbo a try.