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 (94 reviews) - 87% of the 94 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (3,061 reviews) - 90% of the 3,061 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 15, 2013

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July 21

Price Drop and Standalone DLC!

Hello everyone!

Ahead of the launch for We Happy Few we are excited to announce that we are permanently dropping the price on Contrast from US$14.99 to US$9.99 on all the platforms (Steam, Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3 and Nvidia SHIELD).

We are also (finally) offering the DLC as a standalone upgrade to Contrast for US$5.99 (Steam only), which contains:

Shadow Music
A Soundtrack to Contrast: Enjoy the digital version (MP3) of the 16-track original soundtrack, featuring the lovely Laura Ellis. Every track is featured in the game and highlights our unique world, atmosphere, and style.

Contrast Official Art Book
The Art Book explains the background to the game, including the conception and production the game, official art, unused concept images, and the story behind the music and sound. And pictures of all of us who worked on it. Look out for Sam, he’s really handsome. Also a bit deluded, but what can you do.

Contrast was our first game and we hold it close to our heart. If you didn’t get a chance to play it, it’s a good way to understand what led up to We Happy Few and to take a glimpse into the Compulsion world :)

Team Compulsion

7 comments Read more


“The interaction is stellar”

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

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

    • Processor: AMD/INTEL DUAL-CORE 2.3 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • 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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Very Positive (94 reviews)
Very Positive (3,061 reviews)
Recently Posted
( 3.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29
Although the game is short,it's still one of the best game I've ever played. Love the concept, the art, the environment, the puzzle, basically everything in it. But I got to say there are still some bugs need to be fixed.

(I've finished the game 3 times lol)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 3.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29
A very beautiful game, but very very broken in mechanics.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 2.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29
I love it when small indie studios know exactly what they're capable of and don't bite off more than they can chew, while still bringing innovative and fun ideas to the table. Compulsion Games's Contrast is a prime example of this, a game entirely based on one novel gameplay mechanic and an efficient story, short enough to never force the gameplay to become repetitive or the player's attention to slip. The real star, however, is the environment. The game has such a strong art design, that the game oozes atmosphere and the world seems to be full of life despite the fact that there are only 2 physical people walking around in it. The soundtrack is equally phenomenal.

Now I personally don't care about game length vs game price, however I did finish the game in under 3 hours, with all but one collectible found, and I spent quite some time having to tackle platforming sections over and over again due to somewhat clunky controls. Still, Contrast offers such a pleasant overall experience that I think it's totally worth buying.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 5.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 28
Great story.
Unique and fun gameplay.
Amazing soundtrack.

10/10 for me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 4.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 27
Short (finished in one sitting) but fantastic game. Good level and puzzle design, setting looks great, loved the story, soundtrack is amazing (if honey were a sound, it would be Laura Ellis' voice). If I had a complaint, it would that there isn't more game to be played (though short-and-sweet isn't really a drawback here).

If We Happy Few is *anywhere* near this good (and I'm certainly hearing good things), consider me sold.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 4.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 27
Unfortunately, this game is about four hours long; but the experience I was given in that time was great. Although this game is short, at least it isn't lany longer than it had to be, Better it be short & sweet than padded out with unnecessary content.
The story is very innocent and tugs at the heart-strings; unfortunately you only get to learn who you play as though the collectables. The art-style is great; it looks like something Tim Burton would approve of. As for the gameplay, the puzzles aren't too hard, but the shadow mechanics "break" far too often, so that's way more rage inducing than any puzzle in the game.

I reccomend getting this game at a discount given how short it is, but it's definately a must have in your library.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 5.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
scénario captivant, casse tête qui méritent leur nom, ce jeu vaut le coup d'y passer plusieures heures et de déchiffrer ses mystères!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 6.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
Product received for free
yup is a good game. controls are good, puzzles are not so hard but not so easy, game is kinda short and probably you will not play after finish it, still is a good place to enjoy a little of time :P
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 8.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 22
Film noir meets Tim Burton. Wonderful & short puzzle platformer, with the emphasis on the former. I don't generally like puzzle games nor platformers, so for me this was a surprise hit. I had the game idling for awhile, I think it took me some five hours to crawl through.

When it comes to camera, I'm not sure what people are complaining about as I had absolutely no trouble with it whatsoever. Game sometimes "suggests" ie defaults to awkward angles, but it's never forced ie you always have the ultimate control with the other analog stick. Played with controller, not sure how this would work with mouse & keyboard.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 8.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 21
For a game that revolves around light and shadow, Contrast does not preserve lighting fidelity at a distance well.

For a game that is very much on rails so that it can tell a particular story, Contrast's story is not terribly strong, with dangling questions left by both environment and dialogue.

While the puzzles are reasonably self-consistent, they are not very good as puzzles, and do not present much satisfying triumph.

I believe some players will find the story of a girl's relationship with her estranged father very moving; there's certainly something there. However, I was overall disappointed by this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
Contrast is a puzzle platformer game which is set in a noir athmosphere. The game is about shadows and you proceed in the game by utilizing light to cast different shape shadows to create walking ground. You are a person named Dawn and you're an invisble friend of a little girl called Didi. You aim to help her with her problems such as finding out what her parents are doing.

Contrast is running on Unreal Engine 3 so the performance is good and you can do some tweaking of things via the config file if you want to. It is somewhat annoying how you are being basically just funneled in the game majority of the time. Didi runs somewhere and you're supposed to follow her. Though, you do option to decline and instead hunt for some secrets and collectibles which help you with locked devices and tell more background to the story and kinda enlighten the events which are currently happening.

Game is really short. According to steam I finished this just in 3.6hrs. So I'm not really sure if I could recommend this at the retail price of 14,99€, since the experience doesn't last that long and there is no additional things to make it last longer, such as difficulty settings or some extra modes. I'd say.. get it if you can get it for atleast 50% off because the lenght really is short. Then again.. considering how the story goes.. It might not be bad thing that the game is so short because you can actually "buy" the story still. Maybe if it went on for longer, it would get tedious?

So final thoughts.. Get it from a discount, play with a pad or m+kb (I played it with a ms xbox360 pad and it worked well) and enjoy it.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
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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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
Contrast has a few neat ideas, but it never executes well enough for them to shine.

The story is paper thin. There's a hint of something interesting going on with parallel univeres, but it isn't explored at all. There's no flow to it, because you're stuck watching a (mostly skippable, tbf) cutscene every 10 minutes or so. The controls are haphazard, especially flipping in and out of shadows. You'll often fall out of the shadows and back into 3D for no apparent reason. It's also only 3-5 hours long.

There are a lot of sequence breaks, noclip glitches, and invisible platforms. If you're looking for something fun to speedrun, Contrast might worth a look for that.

Check it out if you catch it on sale, but it is in no way worth $15.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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.
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6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 18
Interesting premise, novel mechanics, and some of the most frustrating, most inconsistent controls I've ever encountered.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 5
I absolutely love this game! Unfortunately, looks like the creators had some time/budget issues while making it, but still it leaves you with a lot of good questions and thoughts. I really like the visual aspects, the colors and the universe they live in. You're gonna fall in love with Dawn and Didi, and you'll never look at shadows the same way again. It could be longer, though.

TIP - if you have issues with inverted Y axis, there is a solution here:
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 13
This is a beautiful game. The shadow mechanics are solid and precise, but not so exacting as to screw you over a couple of pixels. Occassionally it bumped me out of shadow mode because of graphically it couldn't decide if my model would fit. The story is compelling, but I 100% completed it in three hours. I think I will share it with friends, but it is not really repeatable. Keep that in mind if you are planning to buy it.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
scénario captivant, casse tête qui méritent leur nom, ce jeu vaut le coup d'y passer plusieures heures et de déchiffrer ses mystères!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 17
Lovely game and a great concept - felt a little muddled with starting some of the "episodes" but other than that, I liked it.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 14
A very nice puzzle 3d exploration/puzzle game.
While not long, the storyline is emotional and engaging.
The mechanics fit completely with the story, and the combination of 3d/2d with shadows is something I've never seen before. Most of the puzzles are fairly simple, but enjoyable nonetheless.
I did occasionally have trouble with being automatically shifted out of the shadows, which sometimes made puzzles annoying/repetitive to solve.

If the game looks interesting to you, I would recommend you buy it. It is a enjoyable experience, well worth trying out.
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