Ah, Limbo. You brought to the Xbox what many people had already been experiencing for a while on their PCs: artsy fartsy indie games with a distinct visual style. It was a sign of things to come for XBLA!
In a feature over at Edge, Playdead Studios talk about some of the inspirations in the making of Limbo, amongst other things. Arnt Jensen, the mind behind the game, says though his parents weren't farmers, "they had a small farm with a lot of animals for fun.” Except, he says he “always had this thing for small animals and parasites – I hated them, even as a child.”
As a kid, he'd end up wandering into the woods, much like the protagonist of Limbo braved the wilderness. He goes on to list more influences on the game, including "People like The Brothers Grimm, Astrid Lindgren and Tove Jansson [who wrote The Moomins] were responsible for a lot of my childhood memories. They dared to write about death in a much heavier way than people do today."
Given the harsh, unwelcoming world of Limbo, these influences shouldn't be surprising. But, there's other details in the feature that are amusing: like, did you know that Microsoft at one point was so uncomfortable with the little boy dying that they wanted to give him a mustache to seem older? Amazing.