Limbo - Best new Android, iOS apps of July 2013

Tools

1. Limbo (Developed by Playdead)
Available for: iOS
Price: $4.99

If the renowned animators the Brothers Quay were to translate their phantasmagoric aesthetic to mobile gaming, the end result might look eerily similar to the shadowy, surreal Limbo, one of the most haunting and visually arresting games ever to arrive on iOS.

The hero of Limbo is a nameless young boy who suddenly wakes up in a mysterious forest. The game follows the boy's search for his lost sister, a death-defying quest that forces the character to a run a gauntlet of obstacles, traps and puzzles. Limbo reveals its secrets slowly and judiciously, favoring mood and atmosphere over conventional narrative progression--even so, the gameplay is challenging and often unforgiving, allowing the boy no margin for error, and the specter of violence looms larger with each successive level.

Limbo doesn't look like anything else in the App Store: Its color palette is limited exclusively to black, white and gray, with the characters depicted as silhouettes against Expressionist-inspired backgrounds. The sound design is equally minimalist, eschewing music in favor of environmental noises that accentuate the game's palpable sense of foreboding. Limbo's relentless darkness may alienate some gamers, but those who fall under its spell will fall hard.