It’s already been well established that Playdead’s Inside and Limbo have received enough critical acclaim to guarantee their success. Nothing solidifies the impact of these games more like a port to everyone’s favorite new console: Nintendo Switch. The Switch has gained major traction since its launch a couple years ago and now everyone and their dog is clamoring for ports and remasters for this persistent console. Being the latest hot titles added to the list of ports, both Inside and Limbo have now found themselves in the palm of everyone’s hand. Because both these games have been out for a while on other consoles (and because Inside has been established as Limbo’s spiritual successor), we’ll be taking a look at these games together in one piece with major emphasis on what we’ll see differently from the Switch versions. Each can be purchased separately on the Nintendo eShop.
For the uninitiated, both Inside and Limbo take place in dark universes where it seems adults are monstrous creatures greedy for power and children must fend for themselves to uncover hidden truths. Using your wits, you must maneuver your child protagonists through a dark and gritty world full of traps and hazards (and spiders) threatening your life. Both these games provide an excellent addition to the puzzle platforming genre and display fluid side scrolling action with buttery frame rates and physics that will blow your mind. Limbo, being the first game published of the two, drops players in an unknown world with unparalleled puzzle action. I’ve had great respect for Limbo because, even in 2011, it still makes use of the excellent puzzle design to create seamless transitions between areas. Puzzles in Limbo keep players guessing up until the very end. Inside took an excellent formula and created a much smoother gameplay experience with enhanced physics and beautifully detailed character design that is far removed from Limbo’s grainy monochromatic visual elements. Through much trial and error, players can overcome these puzzles to solve the mysteries behind these quests.
Having played both these games on PlayStation 4 and now the Switch, gameplay hasn’t changed at all. No new button mapping has been introduced and players who also double dip on this title will find it to be a smooth transition from one console to the other. Frame rates, load times and image quality remain the same with no discernible differences. I did prefer to play these games in hand-held mode on my Switch, but docked mode also provides the same quality. When you have near perfect games like these, there isn’t much that needs to be changed.
The biggest difference we see between consoles is the major use of the Switch’s HD Rumble feature. Playing Limbo with the Rumble feature brings players closer to the action as every step your protagonist takes can be felt. Hard falls and even obtaining damage will cause the Joy-Cons to alert you to your surroundings. There are differences, however, in how the Rumble is used in each game. While Limbo makes liberal use of the HD Rumble feature where players can feel every step, Inside is more conservative with the feature. While playing Inside, players may not feel every step, but they will feel every hard fall. I felt a sense of panic during the underwater moments in Inside as the Rumble feature alerts you to your character’s dwindling air supply as he gasps for a breath.
Inside’s more conservative use of the feature is a drawback, however, since it was hard to stop thinking of other possible ways to use it. While running from vicious dogs, why not have the Joy-Cons rumble out ragged breathing? Or while hiding from threats, the Rumble could act as your rapidly beating heart. The use of the HD Rumble brings something unique to these versions of the games in fitting ways. While Inside should have made even more use of the feature like Limbo did, the closeness felt with your character as you slog through harsh environments is appreciated.
The Switch’s ability to go portable suits both these games as well. Because they are easy to pick up and put back down, Limbo and Inside find a comfortable home on the console in a different way than previously seen. The Switch has seen great success with platforming titles like Cave Story, the Mega-Man Collection, Sonic Mania and others. It was a good decision to bring these two games to the already impressive library. These indie titles are, additionally, easy to play on the Switch as well. There is no touch pad functionally, however, or additional features with the Switch versions.
Both Limbo and Inside have benefited from moving to the Switch. Two great games like these provide quality gameplay with HD Rumble features anytime, anywhere. For those contemplating purchasing these titles for their Switch, the decision should be easy if you already have experience with them. For those looking for a serious, gritty adventure game, you can’t go wrong with either of these titles on your console. They play wonderfully on the Nintendo Switch with no major differences from what I played on the PlayStation 4. While the HD Rumble is nice, it doesn’t add anything important enough to be a game-changer. Both Inside and Limbo are each currently available for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.