CONTRAST is a puzzle/platform game where you can move between a fantastic 3D world and a mysterious shadowy universe in 2D in the blink of an eye. Delve into a dreamlike and surreal 1920s world, inspired by the performance art world of vaudeville and film noir, and cradled by a smooth and sultry jazz ambiance.
User reviews: Very Positive (2,233 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 15, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"Showed at PAX Prime 2013 - Become your own shadow in this 1920s vaudeville adventure."
Read the full review here.

Reviews

“The interaction is stellar”
IGN

“It’s as if Limbo and Bioshock Infinite had a baby while watching Pan’s Labyrinth”
VENTUREBEAT

Collector's Edition


Files will be downloaded in you Steam folder - check the access path in the system requirements.

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About This Game

CONTRAST is a puzzle/platform game where you can move between a fantastic 3D world and a mysterious shadowy universe in 2D in the blink of an eye. Delve into a dreamlike and surreal 1920s world, inspired by the performance art world of vaudeville and film noir, and cradled by a smooth and sultry jazz ambiance.

In this universe, where the boundaries between showmanship, magic, intrigue and deception are blurred, you play Dawn, the imaginary friend of a young girl named Didi. You have the power to slip from the 3D dreamscape into the parallel 2D shadow world bound to it. Cast light on a shadowy story by manipulating light sources in the 3D world to distort, enlarge or stretch the 2D shadow world. Manipulating and shifting between light and shadow will be the key elements that you will need to use to solve our world of shadow-based puzzles and help progress Didi's story!

Key Features
  • Shift between the physical 3D world and the 2D shadow world, at any lit wall surface
  • Create unique shadow landscapes by manipulating light sources and real world objects, and use this ability to solve mind-bending puzzles
  • Experience a new story and world, exploring adult themes through a child’s eyes
  • Immerse yourself in a lush vaudevillian world of cabaret singers, circus performers, and magic

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: WINDOWS XP SP2/WINDOWS VISTA SP1/WINDOWS 7/WINDOWS 8
    • Processor: AMD/INTEL DUAL-CORE 2.3 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512MB VRAM, COMPATIBLE DIRECTX 9.0C AND SHADER MODEL 3.0, AMD RADEON X2600 XT/NVIDIA GEFORCE 7900 GTX
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DIRECTX 9 COMPATIBLE
    • Additional Notes: The Original Soundtrack and the Programme (Artwork, Dev. Diary) will be placed in your CONTRAST folder in the Steam Directory: ...\Steam\SteamApps\common\Contrast\CONTRAST_Programme-OST
Helpful customer reviews
53 of 84 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 6
Great premise, potential to be amazing but ultimately falls short.

Puzzles are to simple, It setups for a great story but doesn't do much with it.

The shadow mechanic has potential for very complex puzzles with moving light sources, but boils down to pulling a lever
to rotate machines on a fixed path until a path opens.

Also very short, I completed the story, found all the collectables and got 100% on my first playthrough in only 4 hours
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 13
We follow the story of a young girl called Didi, viewed from the perspective of Dawn, her imaginary friend. Didi’s parents have a troubled relationship to stay the least. Her father is constantly falling in with the wrong crowd, while her mother is struggling to make a name for herself as a singer. Didi takes it upon herself to mend their marriage, with a lot of help from Dawn. No one else can see her, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t exist, as she has the ability to switch from the 3D real world into the 2D shadows.
It is a really interesting mechanic that has you relearning what you know about puzzle games, much in the same way that Portal did back in 2007, but sadly not to the same extent. There are some very clever puzzles to be solved here, but they are just not up to the same quality as Valve’s finest. Most of the game you will be moving physical objects around, or shining lights on them to create shadows. You can then run up to a flat surface and shift into it, and platform across the shadows as if they were physical objects.
There isn’t a great deal of variety though. In general if you can interact with something, you will know it needs to be used to solve the puzzle in some way. You gain a dash ability, which enables you to smash through real world objects, and more importantly to travel through solid shadows blocking your path, but other than that you will just be jumping. You can grab ledges and pull yourself up, but the game is very picky about which ledges you are allowed to grab. The platforming itself isn’t as precise as I would like it to be. Being able to clamber over the shadows of people as they are having a conversation looks really cool, but I was constantly slipping off or getting caught on little edges.
The first time I loaded the game up, I was about to hit New Game, as you would expect. But then I stopped. The song that was playing over the menu was so good, that I sat there and listened to the whole thing before beginning my playthrough. It wasn’t long after that I was supposed to follow Didi to the next area, but instead I stuck around in the Ghost Note, a cabaret club, to catch the end of a song through the closed backstage door. The soundtrack in collaboration with Laura Ellis is superb, I just wish there were more of it later in the game. And that goes for the actual gameplay too.
Visually it looks pretty good, with an obvious emphasis on contrast between light and shadow. Although the overall tone of the game is dark, there are some nice splashes of colour, and some really bright areas. The only character models in the game are that of Didi and Dawn, the rest of the characters are depicted only in shadow, a device used by much of the noir fiction that Contrast is based on. There are plenty of clichés from that era that the game falls back on, but it is never too cheesy. Despite the youth of the character that the story revolves around, the narrative is quite grown up, and definitely becomes more complex as it progresses. I got a very Bioshock Infinite vibe from it, although the storytelling and the world are not as in depth.
The games premise is one of the most original I've seen in recent times, but it’s just not quite fleshed out enough. I would still recommend playing it to see the clever ways in which you can interact with the environments, and the story is good enough to keep you interested throughout. I hope the ideas and themes can be perpetuated into a new game in the future.
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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 16
Contrast has to be one of my all time favourite games. The puzzles are very unique, making you think outside the box.
Working with shadows and lights, makes for a very different atmosphere and way of thinking. I am just absolutely in love with this game.
The only downside is the story line isn't as full as it could have been. But I know the developers were low on funds and time and had to cut a MASSIVE part of their plans out. Looking forward to their upcoming game :)
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20 of 32 people (63%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 5
Who would love a game that mixes the atmosphere of Mateusz Skutniks Submachine, Film Noir, The Prestige and Art Nouveau, wraps it up in a neat story, and built a platform puzzler around it with innovative gameplay? Hands? Everybody?

Thought so.

But you'd be wrong. No matter how much this game pushes all the right buttons in atmosphere story telling and art, the gameplay itself is so lacking that it manages to make a mediocre, maybe even downright bad game with all these wonderful ideas and this amazing artwork. The innovative gameplay soon becomes a gimmicky, and the only times it becomes really challenging, it is because you're struggling with the controls.

The engine and gameplay glitches are jarring enough to make you lose immersion - at one point I managed to get the camera inside the protagonists head; her eyes sure look freaky from the inside. All the stunning backdrops in the world, and the artwork, again, do deserve the highest praise, do not a game make.

The plot is mediocre. It more an outline for a stroy than a story. It could be completely told in maybe three paragraphs. While the reveal at the end is nice - I was surprised, though all the hints were there - it just doesn't have enough flesh on its bones to be really much of a story line at all.

I wanted to love this game so badly, but in the end, the mechanics are so lacking, the game is so glitchy, and the plot is so much of a sketch rathery than a story I can't in good concience recommend this game. Development team, please, make a better game next time, becaue I'd love to play it.
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25 of 42 people (60%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
The game fills like a project abandoned half-way.
There are interesting concepts and ideas in Contrast, but, there is quite a few important buts.
• For a puzzle game it is way too easy.
• The controls and camera are poorly calibrated
• The game is short, only 3 hours of gameplay
Everything about this game feels as if the developers had plans, but did not finish them.

Overall score 5/10

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