Korean indie developers ProjectMoon, the studio behind off-the-wall hits like Lobotomy Corporation and Library of Ruina, has released a new, equally esoteric and inscrutable game called Limbus Company. It's a mobile-style game that uses a twist on their delightful chaining combat mechanics from Library of Ruina, given depth with a match-3-esque interface and a variety of RPG interactions to optimize. It's also set in the same strange, surreal-to-absurd, purgatorial anime city that the first two games are set in—immediately after the fall of the Lobotomy Corporation, in fact.
It's a quick and dirty little turn-based combat game, but serves up bites of strange, voice-acted journeys through a supernatural city alongside those fights. As you match moves for each character in a round of combat they go up against enemies, and by matching your attacks to their defenses and vulnerabilities you empower those attacks even further—figure out how to match enough stuff in one round and you get rewarded with the wild jangling of coins and some extremely long combo animations.
And, to be clear, it's entirely free-to-play. Which means something you either hate or don't mind comes up here: Yeah, it has Gacha mechanics to get variants of the characters you can employ. It didn't feel very intrusive to me, and this is a studio I intrinsically trust based on their past performance, but it's all early days yet.
You're Dante, who has a clock for a head, riding on a bus named Mephistopheles driven by a little lady named Charon, and if this is all sounding extremely over-the-top anime madness well that's the kind of bus this is, friend. I hope you knew that before getting on. Your crew is twelve weirdos with chequered pasts inside the city who all act like riding on a murderbus named after the devil and killing everyone who tries to stop them is both normal, fun, and just another day at the office. (The offices of, duh, Limbus Company.)
They bicker and disagree like plucky students in a delightfully visual-novel-y way, and they're all named after literary characters—Gregor, who turns into a cockroach; Don Quixote, who makes bad decisions; Heathcliff, no, not the cat, the one from Bronte. You get the gist.
The heck is a limbus, you ask? Limbus is a fancy word derived from Latin that means the edge or border of something. So you're Limbus Company, working around the edges of a fallen district in this strange city, whose motto is "Face the sin, save the E.G.O."
Yeah I don't really know what that means yet, either, but I have figured out that the bus is powered by human suffering. You can find Limbus Company on Steam, where it's free to play, or check out limbuscompany.com. You can find a whole series of tutorials on ProjectMoon's YouTube.