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 (62 reviews) - 95% of the 62 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (2,984 reviews) - 90% of the 2,984 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 (62 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (2,984 reviews)
Recently Posted
[Insert Name Here]
( 2.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
Contrast is a great buy.

I got it on sale and only heard of it because of my interest of We Happy Few.

Contrast has a wonderful atmosphere with an unquie and interesting story hidden behind the collectibles.

This games tells the story of a little girl who only wants her family together, and you help her as a shadow shifting acrobat in any calamaties she gets into,

This game is great, and i have 100% it in under 3 hours, so I dont think i could recommend it at the full 15$, but if its ever on sale it is a must buy.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[LUE] TormakSaber
( 4.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
A short (~4 hours, with all collectibles) romp through 1920's vaudeville culture that tells the story of a broken family trying to pick up the pieces of shattered dreams, and a little girl trying to make the best of everything, in spite of it. The game is short, to the point, and entertaining, though slippery and squirrelly controls at some parts give a bit of frustration to some of the more precise platforming moments. Puzzles are mostly simple and serve just to break up the platofrming flow, which is nothing super timed or intense. There is no combat in the game whatsoever, despite what the trailers obtusely hint at. It is pure platforming. The game is very linear, with side treks purely for collecting objects that lend a bit of backstory to the events that occur in the game.

Everything in the game comes together to emphasize the environmental aspects, pushing the circus and performance aspects with heavy jazz and lounge singer themes, and it all comes together wonderfully. Some story bits at the end seem to have been left intentionally vague and up to interpretation, and it causes a bit of heas scratching as to how things "actually work", but it's nothing that detracts from the actual experience.

An easy recommendation for almost anyone.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ix
( 3.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
A pretty game, with a clever conceit.

It all feels very staged, though. the levels by and large feel like checklists, as if the designers sat down and wrote out what you would do in each platforming section without adapting for how the mechanic plays. The exception is the section at the end of the lighthouse, where the game actually begins to flow together nicely.

The game is riddled with weird collision behavior. In one instance [during the clocktower] I was able to move a light cart in such a way that it could not be moved again, which would have been a soft lock except for some climbable scenery and abuse of the dash mechanic.

Shorter than many games, but probably about the right length, given that the shadow platforming mechanic seems to not have a lot of depth to it.
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Epic
( 3.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
It will take you a couple of hours to finish the game yet it's worth playing it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SilverWolf15
( 5.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
This is a fun little game great music good puzzles wile the story is a bit meh its still interesting.Worth a buy!
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N.W.O
( 2.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
this game is a piece of art
great game concept
great gameplay
great music
10/10
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Sunny Elephant
( 6.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
Dawn's Discovery

Recommended When Cheap

Contrast was a fun game, I enjoyed playing it and exploring the world. I had no issues or glitches with Contrast, apparently some people have, but my reivew, is of course based on my experiences with the game. Now Contrast was a good game, I enjoyed it a lot, but with a $15 price for a game that took me under 3 hours to 100% I don't think it is worth most people's money but when purchased cheap it is a worthwhile pickup. Contrast is more of a puzzle game than a platformer, the wasn't much platforming at all, and the few moments of platforming there were very easy to get through. The puzzles in Contrast were intriguing and somewhat difficult, whether it was moving objects through walls as shadows, or projecting light in the correct areas to allow yourself to reach new places I found it very enjoyable. I liked the soundtrack, specifically the song that plays on the main menu. The graphics are nothing Special, but they are not bad. Contrast doesn't really have any replay value, unless you are feeling another run, which hurts it as such a short game.

In 3 hours of Contrast I beat the game, got 100% of the achievements, all while taking breaks to start new recordings, and get water. Contrast is a short, but good game that I would recommend when cheaper on Steam.
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iElyse
( 6.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
This game is worth every cent. The art, the soundtrack, the story - it's all great. The lack of complexity in the puzzles is about the only downside in my opinion. But everything else makes it totally worth it.
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Jake
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
Just finished Contrast and overall the game is really great, but there is always the 'but' word, but it has some bugs and that's really annoying, it's like Bioshock: Infinite and Limbo had a kid and his friend was Mr. Bug. I really enjoyed the puzzles and the gameplay but the atmosphere... it was kind of empty with all the shadow stuff. The game is really short that's a pitty. The idea of the game is awesome, mix the 3D and the 2D world+puzzles and that you can instantly go to the shadow world that was amazing, that's why I give this game 8/10
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anotherwhitebird
( 5.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 28
This game is truly unique, and absolutely stunning, both visually and story-wise, but WAY too short for full price. I wandered quite a lot, have an incredible knack for getting lost, suck at platformers*, and got most of the collectibles all in 5 hours. I was completely thrown by the ending, not because of how it ended, but because it ended so abruptly.

I feel like it was only about half finished when they realized they had a deadline so instead of compromising on ANY aspect of gameplay, they decided to leave the ending as a Sopranos-esque sharp cutoff. I can respect that a hell of a lot more than rushing through and releasing a clunky mess of a game full of bugs.


*During the play, a shameful number of times - ".... unfortunately, she impaled herself on the bamboo. Wait, no, that's not what happened!"

8/10 ADORED the game, but wish there was more of it. Immediate purchase when on sale, though!
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
This game throws you a curve ball, and it is awesome! The game itself is shocking short but for its small size it throws a sucker punch ending. In truth it only took my a couple hours to get through this game and get a majority of it's collectibles but in my opinion, this game is worth the money you spend on it.
It has a unique and artistic style on how they approach the characters and maps, not including the extremely unique way of game play.
I have seen and played regular games that focus on realism and games such as Limo that focus on shadows, but I have never played a game that focuses on both!
I give this game a 9 out of 10 and recommend others play it.
On a side note, if you play it you should attempt to find a majority of the collectibles because it helps with the backstory of the plot but it is not needed.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 19
Flawed, but interesting. The animations are dated, the levels pretty lifeless and the primary mechanic isn't used to its full potential, but there was a sequence or two I thought was interesting and I think games like this are important and should be experienced.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 21
I did kind of like it but it's a very short game. The story bit is OK enough but the ending gets spoiled later in the game. Also I felt there was not enought gameplay with all the cut scenes interrupting it constantly. I also often had weird glitches with the character just randomly poping out of shadows. I felt it all rather ruined the quite promising platforming experience.

All in all I guess I could reccommend it but do get it on a sale.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
There is a lot to like about this game. It has an interesting story, and the 'noir' atmospheric setting works well with the game and it's main mechanic - being able to enter and move using shadows and light.

The puzzles are fun and strike a good balance of difficulty, while the collectibles / achievements are not too obnoxious to find and add a little replay-ability - I was able to find most collectibles during my first play through without hunting around too much.

The story is also interesting and keeps everything moving along nicely.

However, there are a couple of criticisms. Firstly, what some might see as a fault is the short length of the game. It only takes around 3 hours to fully complete (including achievements) although some might play faster than others.

Also, although I didn't experience any glitches, the puzzles where you have to carry objects while sometimes interesting do slow the pace of the game down a bit.

My biggest criticism is the abrupt ending. Without spoiling it, I will say that the game ends quite suddenly and while I knew the end was coming I was expecting there to be some explanation for how / why events were playing out.

Overall I would recommend this game, despite the criticisms it is fun, but I would only really buy this game during a sale as I don't think it is worth the price without any discounts.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Contrast is a 4 hours game (maybe 5 or more, if you like to wander around like me) and despite being too short for my like, it's very enjoyable. The story is simple and you won't spend more than 15 - 20 minutes in a puzzle, plus beautiful aesthetics that make up for the only negative aspect I found: sometimes you shift out of the shadows even if you didn't want to, so you will die a lot of times or just start again.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
Dawn's Discovery

Recommended When Cheap

Contrast was a fun game, I enjoyed playing it and exploring the world. I had no issues or glitches with Contrast, apparently some people have, but my reivew, is of course based on my experiences with the game. Now Contrast was a good game, I enjoyed it a lot, but with a $15 price for a game that took me under 3 hours to 100% I don't think it is worth most people's money but when purchased cheap it is a worthwhile pickup. Contrast is more of a puzzle game than a platformer, the wasn't much platforming at all, and the few moments of platforming there were very easy to get through. The puzzles in Contrast were intriguing and somewhat difficult, whether it was moving objects through walls as shadows, or projecting light in the correct areas to allow yourself to reach new places I found it very enjoyable. I liked the soundtrack, specifically the song that plays on the main menu. The graphics are nothing Special, but they are not bad. Contrast doesn't really have any replay value, unless you are feeling another run, which hurts it as such a short game.

In 3 hours of Contrast I beat the game, got 100% of the achievements, all while taking breaks to start new recordings, and get water. Contrast is a short, but good game that I would recommend when cheaper on Steam.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
A short (~4 hours, with all collectibles) romp through 1920's vaudeville culture that tells the story of a broken family trying to pick up the pieces of shattered dreams, and a little girl trying to make the best of everything, in spite of it. The game is short, to the point, and entertaining, though slippery and squirrelly controls at some parts give a bit of frustration to some of the more precise platforming moments. Puzzles are mostly simple and serve just to break up the platofrming flow, which is nothing super timed or intense. There is no combat in the game whatsoever, despite what the trailers obtusely hint at. It is pure platforming. The game is very linear, with side treks purely for collecting objects that lend a bit of backstory to the events that occur in the game.

Everything in the game comes together to emphasize the environmental aspects, pushing the circus and performance aspects with heavy jazz and lounge singer themes, and it all comes together wonderfully. Some story bits at the end seem to have been left intentionally vague and up to interpretation, and it causes a bit of heas scratching as to how things "actually work", but it's nothing that detracts from the actual experience.

An easy recommendation for almost anyone.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
313 of 323 people (97%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
Just finished playing the game; about 4 hours to complete. All achievements and collectables unlocked.

This game was an absolute pleasure to play. It's a short indie game telling a mature story of a young girl and her broken family trying to come back together as they make painful choices, solve difficult situations, and all the while unraveling a mysterious tale of science & intrigue closer to the heart than expected.

I understand this may not be for everyone... but the deciding factor I believe we should all consider is this is a very affordable, small-team, indie game worth experiencing. That said, the amount of storytelling I experienced was amazing.

If it is worth anything, I have a background in animation as a storyboard artist... I am especially keen to stories that feel "thought through" from start to finish, and not merely trying to get to certain moments or even the climactic finale just for the sake of it. This story has scenes from the whole way through that truly made my wife & I get pretty darn sad. Stay for the end...

The difficulty is quite easy, and that may throw some people off... in my opinion however I enjoy story over challenge, so making all the collectibles glaringly obvious throughout only made me focus on their content and how it intertwined with the story rather than the pursuit. This is very subjective, so those looking for a hard time may be turned off. I've read here & there some having troubles with the shadow puzzles; this again is a tough one, as I got through all of them pretty easy... the most I spent was maybe 20-25 minutes on the last act's few big ones... still, the visuals and little rewards you are given with wonderful voice acting or visual design was well worth it.

Speaking of voices, the acting was tremendous. We especially enjoyed the voice of Didi, as child voice overs can sometimes be a hit or miss.

Visually the game is an absolute joy to experience. Didi and Dawn are interesting, and I even grew to love the wonderful silhouettes of the characters around them. The soundtrack is very well thought out and you can clearly see the sound & visuals were designed hand in hand to compliment each other.

I know reviews can be a subjective mess for some, but I hope this helps in whatever way it can! I'm a pretty level-headed, patient man who really appreciates good art & story. If this isn't your cup of tea, I again remind you it was a fifteen dollar purchase that definitely wouldn't make you regret the experience.

I'm not a hardcore "anti-big publisher / developer" gamer, but I do want to say, humbly, that games like this make me so hopeful and excited about indie games. They provide an intimacy and patience in story I don't see often enough in the AAA titles.

Very best regards,
DDCP
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89 of 92 people (97%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
Contrast is a puzzle-based platformer in Art Deco style with an enjoyable unique mechanism.
Playing the role of the invisible friend of a little girl, you explore climbing and jumping the 3D (in real) and 2D (in shadows) world of the 1920s. The story is mature but nothing too special, and reminds me partially of the game Papo & Yo.

The jump- and puzzleparts could be challenging, especially towards the end of the game, but they are never unfair. Graphics and voice-acting are nice an suitable - the soundtrack is really fabulous (especially the maintheme).
There are some minor bugs and glitches, but they are not distracting, but controls and camera are sometimes a bit clumsy.

Overall Contrast is a solid and good title - and especially on sale, you should grap it.
- I think it is not a must-have title but a nice-to-have-played game.

Personal Rating 80/100

+ The great soundtrack
+ Flair of the 1920's

- A bit too short (5-6h for 100%)
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91 of 96 people (95%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 29, 2015
Contrast is a curious combination of pros and cons...

The game has an amazing soundtrack that you can feel at the title screen, even before you do anything. It will be the first thing you will notice.

The second one is it great visual and art from the 1920s. Every character and level are beautiful and the light and shadows effects are pretty nice.

Them you get to know the story and, what a good plot it has, you will enjoy it even more when you get the collectibles and find the hidden pieces of information in the levels.

The problems start when you actually have to make that jump, mixing the 3D and 2D gameplay the game brings. The controls doesn't respond very well and, I must warning you, you will fall to your death many times...

There is only one thing that annoyed me more than fall a dozen times in a row, and her name is Didi. You have to do everything she says all the time, I mean, you must take care of her but Dawn could think a little for her own, it won't hurt.

There are only one or two moments that Didi actually helps you and, after that she is your boss and you must just do what she says. That was the negative point for me.

Contrast is a pretty short game, in about 4 hours you will achieve 100% on it. After all that I still recommend it for the experience, story and the great visual and sound it has, but not at full price, buy it on a special sale.
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