Game by: Playdead

Game for: Pre-teens and up

Our Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review by: Mom

Limbo is a creepy black-and-grey platformer puzzle style game from Playdead. Although it’s a few years old, it’s still one of my favorite puzzle solving games, and I’ve played through it a couple of times. The thing I love about Limbo visually is its utter simplicity. The game is played through a series of atmospheric scenes that are dimly lit, and in shadow.

While games like Little Nightmares (see my review of this single player horror game here) depend heavily on lighting and color to guide your character along, Limbo takes visual simplicity even further by placing the puzzle solving on a 2D platform and removing all color from the game.

This quick side scroller relies on your ability to solve problems using physics and quick-thinking to survive. In my opinion, the minimalist design adds to the intrigue as you’re forced to get creative within the confines of the two-dimensional world.

If big horror titles and are too much for you, but you like a bit of creepiness in your video games, then Limbo might be the game for you. It’s beautiful atmosphere and simple adventure will keep you pushing through the trouble that lies ahead.

You can find Limbo for the Nintendo Switch on Amazon here.

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Little Nightmares

Game by: Tarsier Studios

Game for: Teens and Up

Our Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review by: Mom

Available on: Microsoft Windows (PC), PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One

Little Nightmares is a platformer style puzzle solving game that Dad got me because I enjoyed the Limbo video game so thoroughly (you can see my review of Limbo here).

Unfortunately, when I first had it added to my Steam library, my ancient computer took a nosedive, and although it ran the game there was so much lag that I was having a hard time getting through the rooms and monsters. I played my first six hours of the game with the graphics turned as far down as possible, but still had such a problem with lag that I gave up. A person can only get caught and neck-snapped by chefs so many times.

Yes, I said neck snapped. Or suffocated, maybe. The intensely dark art design in this game sparks the darkest images of your imagination.

After I upgraded to a new Dell laptop, I gave Little Nightmares another try. I’m glad I did. Little Nightmares was a great horror style game for me. It isn’t overtly graphic, the game doesn’t depend on jump-scares to get the “horror” designation, and the slow pace and dark ambiance make the game pleasing to look at while you’re trying not to die.

I will admit, although I love puzzle games, I don’t like getting stumped to the point of frustration. There were a few points in the game where I simply couldn’t figure out what to do next, and rather than hit my head against the keyboard trying to figure it out, I referenced the Prima Games Little Nightmares Walkthrough and Guide.

The one thing I didn’t love was that the game wasn’t long enough, so I was glad that I had all the extra downloadable content to work through after Little Nightmares found its end. Adding The Depths, The Hideaway, and The Residence to my Steam library nearly doubled my playtime and kept me enthralled in the story of this delightfully creepy game.

Tarsier Studios took their storytelling a fresh direction by making the entire game without dialogue, relying on lighting, music and sound effects to move you through the plot. It’s clear that your character wants to escape the horrible child-farm she lives in, and it’s not difficult to piece together why, one scene at a time.

In fact, this immersive story style makes the game linger in the back of your mind long after you walk away from the screen, which is an emotional effect that I love coming from a cinematic video game.

As I mentioned before, my biggest complaint about the game is that I would have liked the core game to be longer. It took me about six hours to play through, and I’m not the most savvy gamer.

If you decide to try Little Nightmares yourself, make sure to grab the Secrets of the Maw Expansion Pass. Once you get involved in this story, you’re going to want it to last as long as possible.

I played Little Nightmares on my laptop through the Steam store. But you can find this game on just about all the current consoles here.

Want to see more? Check out some of our other articles and reviews below.

Melissa & Doug USA Map Wooden Puzzle

Amazon Product Name (APN): Melissa & Doug Wooden USA Map Puzzle, Wipe-Clean Surface, Teaches Geography & Shapes, 45 Pieces

Our Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review by: Robby

I play with this puzzle all the time! I like building the USA Map and learning where all the states go. It’s cool because it shows pictures of things about each state. It’s funny because the puzzle has 45 pieces. But there’s 50 states! That’s because the tiny states like Rhode Island and Connecticut are added to bigger puzzle pieces, so you don’t have teeny tiny puzzle pieces that would make it hard to play.

It’s hard to remember where all the pieces go when they’re out of the puzzle. We use the Melissa & Doug USA Map to help us learn about the U.S.A. in school. Did you know that Alaska is actually much bigger than Texas? Why don’t they print it that way on the maps? I don’t know!

I think this puzzle is really good for kids 5 and up, because that’s when I got the puzzle to learn about the U.S.A. If you want to get this puzzle for your kids, you can find it on here.

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