Let's begin this review with a spoiler.... 'YOUR GOING TO DIE!!!'
Also let me next begin to decalre to all those that have played this game and have an opinion as to it's meaning, you are all WRONG!
Sorry it had to be said, i'm merely trumping the hundreds of opinions circulating around as to the games true meaning with each one of them contradicting the opionions of the one before. So I thought i might as well get in on the act. It's understandable really why there are so many idea's floating around, as the game was purposefully designed to be vague. Other than the word 'Hotel', no other written or spoken word is mentioned in the entire game. The game and it's contributing story is entirely acted out in visuals and it's many, many, many death scenes.
This has even led many gamers to dismiss that there is any hidden meaning at all behind this game and that it is just a game, but for those that have done a bit of research on the matter and watched some interviews, will no doubt soon discover that the Lead Developer behind this game Jensen openly admits that there was a clear indistinct meaning behind all the inspirations discovered in the game and was kind of personally shocked how close the fans had got to that original concept. He has never admitted openly that anyone has it correct and now with all the millions of guess framework layed out, it is very unlikely that he will ever do so, as that is a further added attraction to the game.
So let me personally dispell a few of the erroneous down right wrong idea's floating around and give you some more things to think about. Personally I don't think this information will ruin anything, but rather enhance the beauty of this game for you.
The biggest clue to the game is it's title 'LIMBO'. Limbo is a doctrinal place made up by the Catholic Church. There is no mention of it in the Bible, yet there are many rules about it as set out by the Churches traditional theology. Basically in a nutshell it is a waiting place which some people go to before they are called into Heaven or Hell.
The other things that you need to keep in mind is that there are several different Limbo's. There is the Limbo of the patriarchs (Abraham, Moses etc) and Limbo of Infants. This game's main character is a young un-named boy who for the purpose of this review we will call him 'Mr Bright Eyes' and his sister. There are several other children in this Limbo too. So evidently common sense dictates that we are in the Limbo for infants.
Do all children go to Limbo? No... Only those that are not baptised. Evidently Mr Bright Eyes and his sister, neither of them are baptised. You also have to be dead to enter into Limbo, comatose states do not count as Limbo.
The next big clue about this game is when it was released which was in 2010. For several years just prior to this there was quite a lot of hot debate as to the teaching of this doctrine and the need of some clarification on it. One of the biggest questions raised which caused a great ruckus was if it was possible to be 'tested' while in Limbo?
Eventually after many arguements back and forth it was determined that it was possible to be tested within Limbo and from there your fate could be further decided. Let me give you a hypothetical situation where testing in Limbo might be required....
There is a young boy who for one reason or another gets angry and pushes his sister out of a tree house the fall which basically nearly kills her/ or does in fact kill her. He then feels remorse for what he has done and goes off to find help. On his way he is bitten by a poisonous spider. As the kid continues in his frantic search for help, the poison rushes through his system and kills him before he is able to get any help. In this following hypothetical situation the boy would be tested in Limbo as to his sincerity.
Sounds an awful lot like the game doesn't it...
One more thing you need to keep in mind about Limbo is that two people can have a completely different experience in exactly the same place, at exactly the same time. For instance a Cruel boy in Limbo will not have the same experience as a sweet girl does have in Limbo. The Catholic church has never really defined how this is possible other than stating that there must be some type of 'barriers' in Limbo.
So while Mr Bright Eyes gets to play with saw blades and brain bugs, his sister gets to play with butterflies and all things sweet. Therefore any crashing at the end of the game could be attributed to breaking through that barrier which seperates a good kid from a bad kid. Since both brother and sister are in Limbo they are both dead, but which one died first? It seems little sis did. He is aware of her and where she is and is looking for her evidently he already knows she is dead, while on the contrary little sis has no idea that her brother is in limbo too and is startled when she eventually finds this out.
It is a bittersweet game from start to finish and though it only takes 55 minutes in a perfect run or thereabouts, with the constant deaths and respawn system you will be at it for days. As you journey through it, concentrated on the backgrounds and the places that you are and think about the hidden meaning. It is quite fun to do so. Did Mr Bright Eyes get out of limbo and enter heaven. Well it all depends on how much money his parents gave to the church though. Maybe we will find out in Limbo 2...