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:
Recent:
Very Positive (65 reviews) - 90% of the 65 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (2,915 reviews) - 90% of the 2,915 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 15, 2013

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Reviews

“The interaction is stellar”
IGN

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

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
    • Storage: 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
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Very Positive (65 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (2,915 reviews)
Recently Posted
ZeroTacTiX
( 5.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 25
I was caught between upvoting and downvoting this game... The game, overall is great, the puzzles were so clever, the atmosphere and audio perfect... But the problem was in the technical side of the game. The platforming during puzzles were so annoying and the controls just don't feel right.. Doesn't matter if you're using a keyboard or a controller, the way your character controls in and out of shadows to solve puzzles is not smooth or how you would expect it to work. This issue alone made me hate the game at some parts, because it had a little too many annoying sequences. But once i completed the game with grinded teeth, I realized, it's worth it... Pick it up during sale... It's more of a game you'll remember for many years and admire it's brilliance, but just something that may temporarily annoy you while actually playing it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
calibratedvakarian
( 5.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 20
I'm actually sad the game is so short. It's a fun puzzle platformer with a great soundtrack and an interesting story. I would like to see more of it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Shredswithwheat
( 3.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 18
A very unique puzzle/platformer with a heavy focus on the story. Using "Link Between Worlds"-esque mechanics to switch between 3D and 2D environments, you set up platforms and climb your way up buildings using the shadows.

It's a rather short game that you can play through in only a couple of hours, but if you're a sucker for a story, it's well worth it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
croonster
( 7.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 18
Love. <3 Fascinating mechanic, great music, wonderful storyline with a little twist!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Pear
( 6.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 18
This game has an interesting plot and game play which makes me want to recommend it. However I also found the game play a little frustrating because I felt it was more about right timing than actual puzzles, which sometimes made it frustrating because in the frantic attempt to get things right I would accidentally click the mouse (to be shadow or not) or hit the keyboard in the wrong direction. At one point I was screaming in rage because I just couldn't get the timing right, and scared my boyfriend who's never seen me angry before. I felt that the ending left more questions than answers, but it was a nice story on a topic rarely covered by games: parenthood and childhood.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Tyene
( 4.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 16
A very nice, short puzzle-platformer. Graphics and animations, even when maxed, leave a little to be desired, the aesthetic of this game is great with an amazing soundtrack. Wish there had been more gameplay for the price, but it wasn't too bad considering I got this on sale, 100%ed the game in about an hour, but if you miss a few collection acheievements on your first playthrough it might take you considerably longer. The plot is fairly directed, but not so much as to feel as if you're stuck on rails, and both the characters and world are fairly interesting. Exploration of the world is rewarded with plenty of collectibles that give you a clearer picture of the story. Sounds corny, but it made me look at the shadows of the world more closely for a few days afterwards.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kuka
( 4.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 15
Great 2D-/3D-Gameplay mix! It got me frustrated on more than one occasion, but in a good way ;) It's a fun mix of jump'n run and solving riddles. The art style is simply amazing and I really liked the story - it blended the surreal world of the game with the everyday-life of a family.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
-A- LadyGrrimm
( 6.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 13
This is a very brief but interesting game. If you're looking for a quick, relaxing game, go for this. The puzzles are intriguing but not challenging. Both a good and bad thing. The story leaves you wanting more. Again, both a good and bad thing. By the end, I found myself thinking it was such an odd place to leave off at and I would have loved to have more gameplay.

Still, though, I truly enjoyed the game. It's attractive and interesting. Since this game is made by an independent team of developers and not some gigantic conglomerate publisher, I'm totally comfortable paying full price for this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[82nd]CSM.Irrad
( 1.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 11
Contrast is a great game. Some have commented negatively concering the lack of controls customization but I have had not issues with the stock controls even as a lefty. The game is fun, storyline is interesting, graphics are stunning and the environmnet is beautifully designed. I highly recommend this Indie game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Chocobomerc
( 3.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 9
good short puzzle game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Gaghskull
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 8
This game is a fun little puzzler. If you get it cheap, I say go for it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TRU±PlayMaker
( 8.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
Introduction
Contrast is a wonderfully designed, story-based platformer and adventure game that combines intriguing puzzles with 2d shadow elements. Unfortunately, the game suffers from quite a few jarring issues, and I'm only recommending it because of a pretty interesting story.

Gameplay
You're Dawn, the 'imaginary friend' of a little girl named Didi, and you'll go around with her discovering a pretty intriguing story involving Didi's parents. Now I won't reveal anything more about it, since the story is the best part about the game. So what about the actual gameplay? Well you usually have puzzles to solve involving shadows. Dawn can go into shadows, anywhere that light is blocked by an object, and she can move along a 2d environment whilst in the shadows. This is a very promising mechanic, but unfortunately it can feel rather clunky at times. To be honest, the idea was a very good one, but the execution was a little less satisfying. Puzzles were very creative, and never felt too difficult to solve at any point, but some interactions were rather slow and boring, turning the excitement from discovering a really cool puzzle into a boring waste of time. There were a lot of mini-cutscenes constantly interrupting gameplay which made the game feel a lot more laggy than it should.

But the gameplay was not all bad. It had some really fun moments, including a minigame where you played a shadow character inside of a story, moving light sources/objects around to manipulate shadows and even shadow dashing through some timed objects in order to reach a certain platform. There are many collectibles to get and they are divided by Acts. Each act has its own set of collectibles and achievements, so if you're interested in getting those, I'd suggest you follow a guide because this game has one glaring issue here. Bugged achievements.

After completing the game for the first time, I went to each specific chapter in order to get the required achievements/collectibles for those sections. However some of them took a couple tries to even work, and one refused to work no matter what I did. I had to start a completely new game and get all the collectibles in order to finally get the last achievement. And the bugs aren't limited to achievements or collectibles, oh no. There are a lot of glitchy areas in game which can cause you an immense amount of frustration depending on how hard the game is for you in the first place. I've managed to collect everything and complete the game, but others have had issues with various bugs, so be aware of this.

Visuals
Contrast shines with its unique, noir-film styled game. Every aspect of the game feels like something from an 80s film. Lowering the graphics to the lowest setting removes most of that look, but the characters will dress the same nonetheless. Environments are well designed, and actually rather beautiful...the interiors that is. The world that you're in, is empty, lifeless, and generally boring. It's unappealing to walk around anywhere outside, but the interiors feel like something you'd want to be in. Again I'm conflicted here.

Audio
Finally, something I can totally recommend without hesitation. The opening music is one of the best songs I've heard in a long time. The voice-acting is top-notch. Every aspect of the sound is golden and really sells the feeling of the game. I'm just sad we can't buy the soundtrack on Steam yet, because I'd happily buy that in a heartbeat.

Summary
Well this is an interesting game to say the least. It has really good ideas for gameplay, an amazing story, a unique visual style and creative puzzles as well. However my experience in the game has not been without its share of frustrations, and I think it is important to consider those issues as well. I'm going to recommend the game based on the story and music only. The world did not appeal to me whatsoever and the countless bugs/glitches really took me for a ride.

So now, if you as a buyer can appreciate the fine selling point this game has, and you are willing to deal with less than fluid gameplay, then you'll have an enjoyable experience playing Contrast. If not, this game probably isn't for you.

6.5/10 - Good ideas, flawed execution.

If you found this review helpful, please consider giving it a thumbs up. You can also find more reviews over at http://www.completingthebackloggroup.com/

Please also check out Completing the Backlog's Curator page here - follow for regular updates on reviews for other games!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
grind8
( 4.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 3
I really like this game. The story is nice and gives you some stuff to think about. Besides that, the atmosphere and the art style are amazing. When I played this game it felt like entering a new world, it's great.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheDawnCatcher
( 3.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 2
I found the end to be very satisfying, for the themes of the game. They could have made it a much more grandoise game and tackled the reasons why Didi was the only person in the 3D world able to interact with the people in the shadow world, but that would have dragged the game on much longer than the mechanics would have allowed. As it was, the story of the game and its characters were much more concerned with their domestic troubles and left the more mysterious aspects of the game to be found through gathering and reading the collectibles.

Dealing with the shadows as a based for 2D platforming was a very interesting and creative mechanic. Although there were some places in the game where I ended up confusing myself because I wasn't thinking about how the 3D could transfere into the 2D and back, it was overall very enjoyable. I also really liked the fact that the developers respected their audiences' intelligence and problem solving skills. They would introduce a concept in one part of the game in a way that seemed natural and non-intrusive and left it up to the player to remember that they could use that mechanic in the next section of the game.

The soundtrack was really nice and fit with the atmosphere of the game's setting, and although I noticed some clipping in the cutscenes' animation and the like, the art style was very nice and nothing distracted from the content of the game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
LonM
( 7.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 2
Contrast is an all-round great game with a nice story, style and gameplay. It is well deserving of the various awards that came its way.

The style of the game, from the graphics in the environment to the character and the music is reminiscent of a noir-cabaret-early 1900s style. It all plays very well together and creates a very immersive game. The story itself follows this style, starting off somewhat light hearted but quickly revealing darker undertones. The characters of the game are engaging [rather than just being 2-dimensional], which helps add to the atmosphere of the story. It is short, but that's probably a good thing. Leave people wanting more.

The gameplay is also very good. The puzzle aspect of interacting between 2 and 3 dimensions based on shadows is a pretty neat and unique way of creating a platformer. This, accompanied by the great level design [which reminds me of psychonauts], provides for some great jumping puzzles and various other platformer-style gameplay. The addition of using light to manipulate the environment, rather than light sources being static is a great idea to break the gameplay up.

I did have a few niggling remarks about the fact that sometimes you get kicked out of 2D play if the game thinks you are 'stuck' when you're not, but the lack of a permanent fail state [i.e. you fall out of the world, and you immediately respawn] helps to alleviate this.

So yes, this is a game worth playing. For fans of Noir stories and platformers alike.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
RAWRdoodlebug
( 4.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 1
Really great indie game, could be longer or have more to it. Kinda left you hanging.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sam Fissure
( 2.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 1
I cannot stand platformers, they aggravate me with the simplicity and reflex-rewarding repetition...

I love this game. Like seriously, Beautiful art, nice music, great theme to the grahics (you'll know it) I love the story, it draws you in, makes you care.
The Platforming?
I love the tricks, the little things that you can do in 3d to make a 2d world work...

This is pretty awesome. If I get the time I might finish this thing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
awaro42
( 5.8 hrs on record )
Posted: April 30
Fun game, great opening song, awesome concept. However, It's a little glitchy in the graphics and the story's very short (only about 5 hours). I wish the soundtrack carried through the whole story, but there's very little ambient sound throughout actual gameplay. All around, it's a fun way to spend a few hours, but I probably won't be playing it again...which is a shame; the concept is really quite wonderful.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dark_Sky
( 3.1 hrs on record )
Posted: April 30
I enjoyed this game a lot, but I really recommend getting when its on sale. The story is very interesting and whimisical in its own way, but this is definitely one of those games that could have benefited from a bit more content. I beat the game in just over 3 hours, but I did that while still taking the time to poke around in the corners and retrying the more difficult puzzles multiple times (during the shadow puppet show I would intentionally die so the narrator would have to interupt himself and mention how I died, that was probably a good 20 plus minutes right there). Someone good at platforming could probably clear it in less than 2. Also, the shadow jumping is not as smooth as the trailers imply, just a heads up. Several things they imply you can do in game aren't viable moves. Aside from that? I would definitely pick this game up for $5. The story is fun, the game play is interesting, and while short I did enjoy the game. Most of the other reviews touch on the things I liked and disliked so check them for more details.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
||BIA|| FitzChivalry
( 4.3 hrs on record )
Posted: April 29
FIrst thing you need to know: this is a very short game. Even taking it slow and going back for 100% achievements I only got about 4 hours out of it. On that basis alone you probably want to wait for it to go on a pretty major sale. In fact the length of the game is one of the main reasons I'm not recommending it. For a game to be so short I feel that it needs to make up for it by being either increadibly good or extremely original. Or very very cheap. I seem to be in the minority, but I don't think Contrast quite made up its length on any of these.

As far as the game itself; it was fairly good but there were a few things I felt let it down. The story was a little childish, naive, and predictable. While it delt with some darker topics, things turned positive way too quick to seem real or satisfying. The world in which the game was set was interesting and had some great ideas, but also suffered from a slight vagueness which I think was meant to be mysterious and intriguing but didn't ring true to me. Personally I'm used to my fictional worlds being a little more conrete and storylines a little less sickly sweet, but given the other ratings that seems to be a matter of taste.

The platforming integrated with the shadow mechanic which the game centres around was both novel and enjoyable if straitforward. The levels were fairly pretty, and the jaz theme throughout suited it very well, but they were also quite small and sparse. Honestly if it was longer (both for playtime and to stretch the conclusions to storylines) it could have been a very good game. As it is, it turned out fairly good but not something I'd recommend. Excepting on sale.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 4
Introduction
Contrast is a wonderfully designed, story-based platformer and adventure game that combines intriguing puzzles with 2d shadow elements. Unfortunately, the game suffers from quite a few jarring issues, and I'm only recommending it because of a pretty interesting story.

Gameplay
You're Dawn, the 'imaginary friend' of a little girl named Didi, and you'll go around with her discovering a pretty intriguing story involving Didi's parents. Now I won't reveal anything more about it, since the story is the best part about the game. So what about the actual gameplay? Well you usually have puzzles to solve involving shadows. Dawn can go into shadows, anywhere that light is blocked by an object, and she can move along a 2d environment whilst in the shadows. This is a very promising mechanic, but unfortunately it can feel rather clunky at times. To be honest, the idea was a very good one, but the execution was a little less satisfying. Puzzles were very creative, and never felt too difficult to solve at any point, but some interactions were rather slow and boring, turning the excitement from discovering a really cool puzzle into a boring waste of time. There were a lot of mini-cutscenes constantly interrupting gameplay which made the game feel a lot more laggy than it should.

But the gameplay was not all bad. It had some really fun moments, including a minigame where you played a shadow character inside of a story, moving light sources/objects around to manipulate shadows and even shadow dashing through some timed objects in order to reach a certain platform. There are many collectibles to get and they are divided by Acts. Each act has its own set of collectibles and achievements, so if you're interested in getting those, I'd suggest you follow a guide because this game has one glaring issue here. Bugged achievements.

After completing the game for the first time, I went to each specific chapter in order to get the required achievements/collectibles for those sections. However some of them took a couple tries to even work, and one refused to work no matter what I did. I had to start a completely new game and get all the collectibles in order to finally get the last achievement. And the bugs aren't limited to achievements or collectibles, oh no. There are a lot of glitchy areas in game which can cause you an immense amount of frustration depending on how hard the game is for you in the first place. I've managed to collect everything and complete the game, but others have had issues with various bugs, so be aware of this.

Visuals
Contrast shines with its unique, noir-film styled game. Every aspect of the game feels like something from an 80s film. Lowering the graphics to the lowest setting removes most of that look, but the characters will dress the same nonetheless. Environments are well designed, and actually rather beautiful...the interiors that is. The world that you're in, is empty, lifeless, and generally boring. It's unappealing to walk around anywhere outside, but the interiors feel like something you'd want to be in. Again I'm conflicted here.

Audio
Finally, something I can totally recommend without hesitation. The opening music is one of the best songs I've heard in a long time. The voice-acting is top-notch. Every aspect of the sound is golden and really sells the feeling of the game. I'm just sad we can't buy the soundtrack on Steam yet, because I'd happily buy that in a heartbeat.

Summary
Well this is an interesting game to say the least. It has really good ideas for gameplay, an amazing story, a unique visual style and creative puzzles as well. However my experience in the game has not been without its share of frustrations, and I think it is important to consider those issues as well. I'm going to recommend the game based on the story and music only. The world did not appeal to me whatsoever and the countless bugs/glitches really took me for a ride.

So now, if you as a buyer can appreciate the fine selling point this game has, and you are willing to deal with less than fluid gameplay, then you'll have an enjoyable experience playing Contrast. If not, this game probably isn't for you.

6.5/10 - Good ideas, flawed execution.

If you found this review helpful, please consider giving it a thumbs up. You can also find more reviews over at http://www.completingthebackloggroup.com/

Please also check out Completing the Backlog's Curator page here - follow for regular updates on reviews for other games!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 8
This game is a fun little puzzler. If you get it cheap, I say go for it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 26
What is it? Apart from the one feature that makes this game unique (Shadow-Shifting), Contrast is your basic 3D platforming game. The best way I can describe it would be for you to take the gameplay mechanics of Alice: Madness Returns and mix it with the atmosphere from that of the movie Barlesque. That's actually the perfect example of what we have here.

To start, there's some things this game does extremely well, the storyline for one, is fairly captivating. Contrast's story revolves not on the main character but actually a young girl who you accompany throughout the game. The emotion of the story takes hold of you from the very beginning, leaving for no disconnection for the 3 and a half hour journey.

The art style is very nice. It's almost a cel-shading effect, but the game lacks visual settings and options for use if anti-aliasing, fov, and other things that could have really enhanced the visual experience quite a bit. Still, not at all a bad looking game. Despite it lacking anything technically deep, there were times where I looked at a setting and said "Wow... this is simple but just so beautiful in that simple yet effective kind of way." After awhile, you learn the hard way that even though only some walls are fun to shift into to. Some others make you scratch your head and think "What was the point of this? Why am I able to shift on an object that causes me to spaz out" things of that nature. These small detection errors can cause puzzles to be frustrating at times but still, when it's done right, it works and it's fun.

There's some things this game does extremely well, the storyline for one, is fairly captivating. Contrast's story revolves not on the main character but actually a young girl who you accompany throughout the game. The emotion of the story takes hold of you from the very beginning, leaving for no disconnection for the 3 and a half hour journey.


Pros
  • Original concept
  • Great soundtrack
  • Cute story
  • Collectables & Secrets
  • Full controller support

Cons
  • Poor collision detection
  • Shadow glitches
  • Short campaign
  • Stiff controls
  • Too easy

Final Thoughts:
If you want to enjoy a decent but short game that you can finish in one sitting, if you loved American McGee's Alice games, or maybe you're just a fan of Steampunk things? Then you may just have a great appreciation for this one.

Rating (6.9 out of 10)

This review was written for and is published on the Lit Reviews [LR] curator page.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 17
As platformer it's a little bit too simple.
It introduces nice "shadow walking" mechanic, but puzzles could be more complex.

I absolutelly love visual side of this game and music.
Story is quite good.

Not worth full price but I definetelly recommend to buy it in discount or as a part of a bundle.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 12
Rating 7.5/10
Overview: 3D Platformer/Puzzle

The Good

+ Nice noir art style

+ Realistic lighting effects

+ The main gameplay mechanic allows you to transform into a shadow and platform on other shadows. By
manipulating real world objects you can create new shadows and reach new areas.

+ A good story that gets more detailed with each collectable you find

+ Easy achievements

+ Soundtrack

The Average:

The puzzles are a bit easy, I would have liked a bit more challenge given the cool gameplay
mechanic.


The Bad:

The game in incredibly short. I was able to complete the game in around 2 hours with very little effort.

Sometimes you will pop out of the shadows for no reason making platforming a frustrating experience.


Conclusion:

A fun if not short game. By the time the game starts finding its grove, its over
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 15
Disappointing for such a game that really could have been amazing. The general premise of the game, both story-wise (Didi and parents) and gimmick/mechanics-wise (using shadows to navigate and solve puzzles), was interesting enough for me to give the game a shot in the first place. I also enjoy the noir style and going back almost a century ago to a different type of world.

However, the game really let me down. There's just too many issues that all stack up against it, and the quality of the game seems to bounce back and forth as you play. The story starts off without much information, though I did get into it once I started picking up what was happening. But there are a lot of weird background details that are never explained at all, and nothing much seems to fit together. I also did not think there was much of a climax, and the ending of the game felt very cheap.

There is no real environment to the game, as the world is weirdly disconnected and with missing areas and emptiness. Basically, there is no "life" to it, is a better phrasing. You just go through hollow areas to get to the next mini-cutscene, and then solve a puzzle. While the visual art style of the game great, and some places look very beautiful, the lack of anything actually inhabiting the areas ruins it. And though the game's gimmick, as I mentioned before, is dealing with shadows, I didn't enjoy every character except you and Didi being shown as shadows. It just felt cheap and as if the developers didn't want to do that design. It only furthers the lack of "life" in the game. And the dialog and sound of the game also was nothing special. Nobody gave any performance that was great, and I think a good few scenes actually lacked any good emotion.

Then you have the mechanical problems, showing that the game wasn't fine-tuned or even tested that well. Your character's movement is pretty far from good, and I often found myself glitching around, especially when you are in the shadows. One of the things about the shadows is that if certain moving shadows are about you crush you, then the game pops you out of the shadows, which is understandable; however, I found myself popping out of the shadows at random points without anything touching me, causing me to fall down and making me start parts of puzzles over and over again.

When it comes to Didi, who you are following around, they were very lazy in her movement as well. I would often see her animations entirely stop, so she would "walk" without any motion. She doesn't move her mouth when talking, at least as far as I saw. And half the time you were supposed to find her somewhere, I would walk into the room or area and see her in "generic 3D model" form, standing in place with arms and legs rigidly stretched out as if someone is in the middle of editing her design.

And in terms of actually playing, it seemed like "Saving" didn't actually mean the game was saving, whenever it popped up. At least twice, I exited the game to stop playing after it had finished saving, and I came back each time to find that the game jumped back at least 10-15 minutes, so I would have to redo some section. For instance, it did this in one of the carnival areas after I completed it and then quit the game.

Finally, the length of the game - it is way too short, and with all of the issues, it all made it even worse. I don't know if the developer just didn't have enough money at the time, or they just chose not to clean things up or test enough, but the game is very lacking in pretty much every area. It could have been a really great game if they had put in more work.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 6
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DPKdgmqb9Q&index=21&list=PLp47VywvC3bE-bHp7tLvAk6CHnaTV9_le

Too long; didn't watch -- Contrast's shadow-jumping gameplay mechanic is fairly memorable, though much of the rest of the game feels a bit underbaked.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 20
A fun and different game that showed that you can tell a story in more ways than one, while inkluding some fun gameplay that lets the player think on both 3D and 2D perspectives in order to advance in the game.

I strongly recommend it if your into these kinds of games and just want a nice short game-experience.

-Keep in mind though that the game is relatively short but sweet in my opinion.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 28
Gorgeous, filled with noir atmosphere and shadow play. It is pretty short game, but I enjoyed every minute with it and it left me full with emotions.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 5
A good and enjoyable NOIR-like platformer game but a bit short in my opinion, you get to play with imaginary friend (female protagonist) of a little girl and help her to reunite her family (the plot twist in the end is really well done).
-graphically it's really nice and well done with the unreal engin, got that 1920s french noir feel.
-the gameplay is smooth and fresh, you have to solve puzzles by shifting between real 3d world and 2d shadow world but sometimes it gets on the nerves cause you gott be quick .
- no bugs or glitches and crashes , at least for me .
-you got 25 easy achievements and some cards to craft a nice badge
-the only thing that i disagree with is the price of the game , 14.99$ is a bit too much for a short game ( around 4 - 5h to finish) and asking 19.99$ for the Collector's Edition that contain the soundtrack and some infos about the game (except for the soundtrack , the artwork and infos are pretty much mehhhhh).
i recommend this game for puzzles loving gamers
8/10
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
15.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 10
I'm glad I didn't buy it at its full price, because even though there IS GOOD in it, the good is not enough to justify the cost.
The concept is stunning, great atmosphere, the soundrack makes me wanna drink tea while smoking my pipe wearing an early 20's nightgown and the shadow/real world switching is such a cool idea. Also, I'm in love with Dawn even thought not much is said about her.
BUT (and here comes the ugly part) how could they develop her character when they couldn't even properly tell the whole game story? Let me be clear: the story has a beginning and an ending (which I adore because I hate when they leave you puzzled) but it's told in such a rush you won't really find yourself connected with anyone. This game is short (or better: it would be but as I'm gonna explain next, it will gain longevity thanks to all the times you're gonna uncontrollably fail).
There is something really wrong with the controls, I played with a controller and Dawn's movements were very uncomfortable. I tried using mouse and keyboard and it was kinda better but still, weird physics. It's not very reactive and considering you have to jump a lot and switch while rushing and jumping, that's a big no no for me.
It got on my nerves, I fell so many times and had to run back and forth so much that I almost threw away the controller.
Gotta be honest, I insulted Dawn so much that if she were real, she would have come find me and punch me.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
20 of 20 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
11.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 7, 2015
Contrast is a very beautiful game, it has a unique and interesting art style, the music is top notch, and the game play is pretty unique with using light and shadow to travel. The story is pretty compelling as well, it has quite a few heavy subjects done in a way that seems genuine and not just thrown in for shock value... The game has a few somewhat open areas to play through in each Act, the game is comprised of 3 acts, each act will probably take about an hour or so. The puzzles are fairly simplistic, although that isn't really a bad thing.

The story centers around a little girl known as Didi, she has an imaginary friend named Dawn, often being left alone at night so her mother can preform Didi enlist the help of her friend Dawn to sneak around in a landscape which is set in 1920. Going along with Didi, the player (Dawn) will be introduced to numerous interesting characters shown only via their shadows.

The length of the game is rather short, I have 11 hours clocked in but over 8 of those hours were from idling cards while I slept. I played the game completely and got all the achievements in a little under 3 hours.

I'd recommend this game for the gameplay, interesting art style and compelling story. I personally found it well worth the price I paid, but if you are a stickler for games having a lot of meat and potatoes, I'd think you may be better off skipping out on this one. Fans of good games will enjoy this in spite of it's short length..
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 6
Contrast is a game with a solid idea and little substance to back it up.

The core shadow shifting mechanic is clever and well designed. Manipulating light sources to move shadows around is intuitive and adds some complexity to the puzzles. Transitioning in and out of shadow is fluid and also fits well with the rest of the platforming. That being said, the clunky physics will frequently and unexpectedly push you out of shadows, often times due to a poorly designed obstacle location.

The highlight of the game is clearly its fantastic art design. The surreal Parisian-noire tone is presented well, covering everything from the lighting to the architecture. Once you've accustomed yourself to the art design however, there isn't much more to the game. The story is charming but rather predictable, the environments are small and sparse, and the puzzles are short and straightforward (complicated only by the aforementioned shadow physics). Most irritating for me were the constant fade-to-black mini-cutscenes, which take away control from the player and ruin the game's pacing.

The pop culture geek in me got a kick from the various movie easter eggs (Casablanca! Back to the Future! Fight Club!), but otherwise I was left disappointed. The premise shows a lot of promise but I wish the developers had done more with it.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2015
Ended up getting this because the mechanics looked interesting and it turned out to be a great (and underrated) little gem. Your character is a woman with the ability to shift between the tangible world and the shadows. She watches over a little girl and her family while navigating a strange city in a parallel universe, where the inhabitants are shadows and your character is invisible to all but the little girl.

The game is a puzzle-platformer and your character must use the shadows cast by real objects (and people) to achieve her goals. This often involves moving light sources in such a way as to line up shadows just right to reach a ledge or time a jump over the shadows of moving people. The mechanics aren't perfect, but for the most part, the flow is smooth and fun.

The graphics are detailed and unique, with a moody, jazzy soundtrack and a very endearing storyline. Definitely recommend this.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 13
I only purchased this game because the little girl was named Didi and what I got in return was so much more. Beautiful music, stunning views and a gorgeous Player Character. The noir atmosphere made me want to listen to Jazz music, drink whisky and smoke a cigar or two. There were some moments in the game where the shadow mechanism made me salty as ♥♥♥♥ to the point where I wanted to swallow a grenade, but eventually I got passed it. The collectibles were fun and the witty achievements were cute, but the development of the overall story as whole won it over for me. I just wish it was longer and a little more in depth with the ending.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
Short Version:
---------------------
+ Nice visuals
+ Nice music
+ Unique game mechanics
+ Interresting puzzles
+ good story (not great, but ok)

- Short playtime
- Can get a bit frustrating if you have to try some things over and over again

[ Hint for german people: ~ Voice acting is english, subs are german ]

Recommended? Yes, but only if you can get it in a deal

Long Version:
-------------------
This games is something different... It's some kind of a puzzle game with a good story, nice visuals and great music. Didi wants to get her father back to her family and you have to help her. To do so, you have to fix some things and open the way where didi is not able to get through. The interresting thing here are the game mechanics. You have to move objects in front of lights sources to change the shadows on the walls. Then you can step into the walls so that you can move along these shadows. You have to take objects with you when you are a shadow on the wall, to bring them to the place where you need them. And so on. Thats quite unique and a pretty nice idea. It is really fun, to figure out which step you need to do next, to solve all these puzzles. BUT: I finished this game in about 3 hours with almost all the collectable items (I missed 2 Items somewhere) This is a bit short in my opinion and this is the reason why I would recommend, to buy this game if you can get it in a deal and not for the full price. So if you can get it for cheap and you wanna try something different and you like to solve puzzles then buy this game ;)
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 30
My Impression:
I heard about this game from watching the trailer of another game from the creators of this (We Happy Few). The artwork of Contrast depicts a Tim Burton movie with sex appeal; a seductive world of light and darkness. Contrast adds a unique feature that allows one to shift between the striking 3D fantasy world and the mysterious 2D shadowscape. I was intrigued...

Positive:
+ Amazing artwork accompanied with amazing voice acting
+ The story compliments the artwork with a jazzy soundtrack that is a pleasure to experience
+ Fun puzzles that are challenging but not impossible, fun for everyone
+ Shifting between 2D and 3D is a fun new feature introduced to platformers

Cons:
- Too Short
- Story seems rushed
- Awkward save features
- A little too linear

(a lot of the negative reviews are from 2013-2014 and complain about bugs, most if not all seem to be fixed)

I purchased this game in a bundle and really enjoy it. I don't think I would pay $14.99 for it because of the length of the game, but if you can get it in a sale or bundle, it's a must try. Simply put, Contrast is a simple, yet poetic game of shadows and light.

8/10
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 14
This is a game full of nice ideas and features a great little story delivered through clever platform and puzzle mechanics. Contrast also has a beautifully crafted film noir style 1920s world which is beyond beautiful and the soundtrack simply fits perfectly with the game and setting. The music captures 1920s cabart jazz and includes original tracks from Laura Ellis. Indeed checking out Cissie Redgwicks - Gimme That Swing (was used in the game trailer) is worth you time.

The story features a little girl called Didi and you play the role of her dimesion hopping imaginery friend called Dawn. However as Dawn you can only see the shadows and voices of the people Didi interacts with. But you will also see an adult world through the eyes of Didi as she tries to understand grown-up problems and tries desperately to get her parents back together. You will need to slip in and out of the shadows to complete objectives and you will often find the need to move light sources such as stage lamps or three-dimensional objects to cast the shadows, which Dawn can then navigate in 2D and progress with Didi. Controls are simple and intuitive and dying does not impose any penalties, (I played with 360 controller) experimentation is encouraged.

Definately worth the asking price. Now go buy it.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 22
A near perfect game. The concept of using shadows as part of a puzzle is a brilliant idea, that was a perfect fit to the story. The music and level design worked wonderfully together, giving a slight feeling of melancholy. The odd time, you could jump on a shadow if you got too close to the wall without being a shadow yourself, but apart from that a near perfect experience. Short but sweet. 9/10
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2015
Short and sweet!
The art and music in this game are just outstanding.

The puzzle's mechanics never cease to amaze you.
They are quite simple from the beginning until midgame and then they get really interesting and unique.

10/10.

I strongly recommend purchasing the Collector's Edition since the sountrack is superb.
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