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 (41 reviews) - 87% of the 41 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (3,064 reviews) - 90% of the 3,064 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

8 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 (41 reviews)
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1,804 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
An interesting concept, incorporating shadows into the gameplay.

Graphically beautifull, stunning music and good voice acting.

The puzzles got me stumped a few times, but really enoyed it.

Despite it being short, it is worth the buy. Sometimes abit glitchy though.

On steam, there is no game that has such concepts - yet.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
10/10 domestic violence in a abusive relationship. best game ever. would have ♥♥♥♥♥♥ childhood flashbacks again.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
315 of 325 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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,
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89 of 92 people (97%) found this review helpful
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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92 of 97 people (95%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
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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112 of 125 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 19, 2013
Contrast is a mixture of dark noir atmosphere and puzzle-platforming adventure. One of the real treats of the game is the music - perfect jazz and sexy voice of Kat Malenkaya (what a nice character name). The main theme reminds me of a song "I wish you love" from "Eye of the Beholder" and Jessica Rabbit's "Why don't you do right". It is so romantic, sensual and emotional. Dawn is a very interesting main character (now I want those striped leggings), but I want to know more about her, her mysterious story was not fully told. Contrast is a game full of beauty, the dialogs make you sympathize with characters, 1920's Paris, the lights, burlesque and the circus are absolutely gorgeous. There are couple dissapointments - the movements (jumps) are glitchy and the game is too short. Thats it. For me - it's definitely worth playing.
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273 of 356 people (77%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2014
There are so many cool ideas floating around Contrast without a vessel to carry them.

A puzzle platformer focused around shadows in a wondrous 1920's Paris, it showcases so much potential but fails to utilize it into something compelling. There's a sense developer Compulsion Games wanted to do a lot more with the concepts they introduce, but whether for time or budget reasons were forced to dial back and condense the experience, the results of which are often middling at best.

Contrast opens itself from the start with a desire to tell a dark, complicated story of a family split apart, with a husband in debt to some bad people, a mother who just wants the best for her child, and said child blissfully unaware of the trouble surrounding her as she just wants both her parents back. It's promising beginnings however are quickly cast aside for poorly written reunions, characters that seem to recognize the own stupidity of their actions yet follow them anyway, and a juxtaposition of science fiction elements that are all rushed and strung together as if the writer lost sight of the narrative halfway through and began grasping at straws to tie it all together.

Everything interesting about Contrast's plot, from its world of shadow people, impossible environmental deformation, and female led cast are underutilized and painfully unexplored. I wanted to know more about what was happening but all I ever got were a handful of documents left lying around which sketch out a scenario so haphazard and contrived that the story is worse off for including them. Compulsion went through the trouble of making a great environment for your character to explore, but stretched it too thin while simultaneously having nothing to discover if you want to deviate from the set path. It's a lifeless, sterile city that seems so mysterious from afar but ultimately has nothing to show you as you make your way through its barren streets as quickly as possible.

Contrast's main mechanical hook of being able to jump into shadows is on paper really neat and creates an immense about of possibilities for puzzle designs and world navigation, but like everything in Contrast it's underdeveloped and poorly implemented. The places you're able to shadow jump (for lack of a better term) are fairly minimal, and you spend more of your time walking around in the real world lifting boxes and trying to control your finicky character. When Contrast works it's tedious and does a lousy job explaining its mechanics, opting for style over engaging gameplay which gets lost under the mountain of technical issues.

Your character moves awkwardly as if it's a puppet trying to break free of its strings. I was constantly clipping on edges while attempting to platform onto places I needed to, and even simply entering shadow mode failed more often than not, sending me careening to my death as an obnoxious restart sound bite played for the umpteenth time. Audio, graphical, and performance issues round out the family of technical incompetency that more than anything sell home the fact that Contrast needed more time in the oven.

With how great the foundation of Contrast is, to see it come together in such a halfbaked manner is truly unfortunate. There's a very clear vision amid the mediocrity that the developer had much bigger plans than the neutered length allowed them to execute, which makes it so disappointing they weren't able to hold the game back from release until they could be better implemented. I hope this isn't the last I see of Compulsion, but I pray they're given a better time frame for future projects that allows them to capitalize on the potential they almost completely missed this time around.

You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
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73 of 83 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 6, 2015
This game is a piece of art, An art doesn't have to be lengthy, exciting and action packed. An art is what makes you feels something...

This game is short, The story is simple, but something in it makes me feel so attached to Didi and Dawn, Two girl in the shadowland with big romantic blue moon above noir street. This game makes me feel lonely and abit sad because the world you are in, nobody can see you, and you can only see their silhouette. Only person who can see you is Didi, a little girl who lives in both world.

Environment design and music is superb! the only thing that fraustrate me is that sometime you got shifted out of the shadow with no reason at all.

9/10 <3
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82 of 99 people (83%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 16, 2014
This game is so damn fantastic it's nearly impossible to describe! You are back into the 1920s in a mysterious shadow- and dreamlike world. You are playing as a pretty lady with long legs, who btw can shift into shadows, and you are helping out the girl Didi on her adventure around in this fantastic world. Her mother, Kat, is the star of Contrast's cabaret and is incredible sexy, but has a complicated relationship to her husband who always ends up in bad situations. Vincenzo, the famous Illuminist, plays a big part in the world, and has some amazing light and shadow tricks that amazes everybody.
Besides that, it's filled with a smooth and sultry jazz ambiance all around in the game. And who doesn't like jazz? Move into the shadows and join the adventure!
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74 of 87 people (85%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 1, 2014
Ok here is a game i have no problem in reccomending to anyone.
Great story,great graphic's,great voice over's and a fantastic script all go toward's making this game one that even though i have finished i will return to again and again as its play style is different enough and its story pulled me in to the point where i actually want to start from the begining right now.


The story is really mysterious as i was wondering who the main character was near enough all the way upto the ending (wont say as it will spoil the whole thing-but trust me i didnt think that she was who she was until the very ending),the whole atmosphere that this game create's puts you exactally where it aims to put you in the 1920's and really does do a good job with the music and graphic's which really make you beleive the game take's place in that time period.
"KAT'S" theme is a highlight and show's just how much an actual score can help a game to immerse you in the time period they are aiming for and the rest of the music and score in game follow's suit and all help's to create that illusion whilst playing.

Contrast Soundtrack: MAIN THEME - KAT'S SONG (ft Laura ...

The game play element of using the shadow's as stepping stone's and other mean's of progression work's really well and at time's some of the puzzle's involving the shadow's can get quite tricky (it's been done before in some vein or other,but never this well),if i have one complaint its just that sometime's you think you have made a jump or climb and you feel that the game is somehow stopping you-but beleive me on closer inspection its either you havent set the puzzle up right or you are just mis-timing your jump's (but it does feel like the game play mechanic's are not working at that point and are working against you but beleive me they are'nt).


Contrast shadow gameplay - PS4 - YouTube

Like i have said the story is really good and is really about the little girl DIDI and her journey and how DAWN (your character) helps her progress through the levels and eventually to the conclusion of the story,that is both a facinating journey and an alltogether well rounded and well put together peice of entertainment.
I will say that the game is rather on the short side and unless you enjoy it as much as i did then after you finish it will be another game that will gather dust as its a single player game and when you finish you FINISH,but if like me you enjoy a good story with great gameplay and are looking for something a little different then go spend some time with this game and believe me you wont be dissapointed.

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Recently Posted
1.7 hrs
Posted: October 18
one of the best plots I've seen in a videogame, atmosphere is great and perfectly designed... BUT, game mechanics aren't user friendly at all, and you'll end up doing the same frustrating step over and over, breaking the spell that the story would otherwise have been able to create
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100.3 hrs
Posted: October 16
Ive spent a great amount of time playing and replaying this game. Though I now know the answers and how to solve each puzzle the difficulty even going back to do it again stays the same. Your movement, your jump, and everything is ner the same twice. The story telling gripped me right away, as I explored the surrounding environment seeing exactly how this world was put together. Following Didi and Dawn was spectacular. Though at times I did feel like it was a bad idea I could always remember, Didi is a child, and she has a lot to still do in this world. It's okay to go off and have these adventures.

Spoiler ahead as far as Story.
My greatest Love from this game was all the learning, as we found out Didi's Dad was actually Vincenzo, breaking into his workshop to learn more. Then going into the tower and learning about our Main Leading Lady, Dawn. The posters, and items that hinted at more in the games background made me marvel at how they really built this as not just a puzzler. But a story with real background and intruigue. Though they have gone on to newer things, Like We Happy Few which I have yet to play. I someday hope to see more of Didi and Dawn, to see what more I can learn about these wonderfully deep characters.
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3.5 hrs
Posted: October 16
Short, clever, intriguing, and most importantly a unique experience.

The games store page hopefully says enough about the game play.
With the ability to jump into a shadow, you solve puzzles and get over obstacles by using and manipulating light sources.

I recommend this game because its one of those games that isn't very long, but when I finished it I was left with a very intense feeling of satisfaction.
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*Joseph Yozura*
2.0 hrs
Posted: October 15
best game i ever played. i love the songs alot
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4.9 hrs
Posted: October 13
This is a fantastic puzzle/platforming game that has some unique gameplay elements, a great story and wonderful voice acting. You play as Dawn, who goes around helping a young child named Didi fix various things in an attempt to save her father from trouble and resolve some turmoil with her parents. You’ll also uncover some twists along the way.

The time period, art style and graphics are all very well done. It’s set in the 1920’s and it captures that vibe perfectly.

Gameplay is unique, well implemented and fun. You’re able to transition from 3d space to 2d shadows. If you switch to shadows, then that becomes the ground or “physical” part of the world and allows you to traverse areas that wouldn’t be accessible otherwise. Shadows in general is a massive part of this game. The story is told via silhouettes and you even have to solve some puzzles while a silhouette scene is going on by using their moving shadows as a way to reach higher areas. It’s really cool. The puzzles serve up a small challenge. Nothing hard, though. With a little bit of thought, you’ll be able to solve them.

Voice acting is terrific. Every character is unique and has their own personality.

This game is very short. I logged about 4 hours to complete it will all achievements.

The controls (I used a 360 controller) are decent. Character movement can be awkward at times and felt like they could use more polish.

+Great gameplay with shadows
+Engaging & interesting story
+Solid Music
+Terrific voice acting

+Short, about 4 hours
+Character movement sometimes awkward

8/10 Very good
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5.1 hrs
Posted: October 12
Product received for free
Contrast this is a game platform and puzzles with Noir ambiance. Developed by Compulsion Games and distributed by Focus Home Interactive. This being launched November 15, 2013.
The protagonist in the game is called Didi and control her friend Dawn imagine. Maybe count it sounds strange, but although we control another character is that Didi has its story developed throughout the plot.
The gameplay takes place across the various puzzles using the special power of his character, through the shadows. Manipulating some objects or even following the right time some shade.
In the course there are some collectible items which are varied and the only thing that sets the brightness is involving them, these same collectibles can help better develop the story. There are also lamps which must be found to continue the gameplay in certain parts.

Things that caught my attention in particular:
- The story can exercise certain weight on the player.
- The songs are a special touch, especially those that are accompanied vocally by Laura Ellis, other songs are only instrumental. It is two: Kat's Song and House On Fire.

This is a relatively short play, about 3 to 4 hours and may complete the game. His story though short, is really interesting and even shocking addressing family problems. Although I think the game is worth, I must stress that faced many bugs that can yes frustrate me. Things like invisible floor and ghosts areas (appears to be ground, but when he stepped on the character falls and dies) are constant throughout the game, jumping on objects that should not also happen. There are parts in the game that can move forward without following the right goal, not by decision of the player, but recurring errors in the game. Some falls are the checkpoint out of place, even if the fall occurred in the same place, and there times when the game crashed and advanced parts that I had not explored (mainly mean the theatrical part). Finally, there is another bug which I believe to be the most frustrating, I think not received certain achievements in the game even after going through the areas indicated. Finally, despite everything bad that happens can not say I did not like the course of the game, but unfortunately so many problems so make me give negative.
Not to be unfair, if not call the various problems you may face, a chance to play and if too frustrating use the refund.

For similar Steamified Reviews and Giveaways, please visit steamified . Also you're welcome to join in the fun in our Steamified group.
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5.7 hrs
Posted: October 10
In contrast you play as a little girls imaginary friend as you go through her broken mind as she struggles to understand her relationship with her real father who doesn't want her and her father figure. First of all I really liked the story, concept, and setting. My real issue is in the gameplay, which is horrible. The game explains almost nothing and fails to do it through the level design, and leads to a LOT of hair pulling moments, and can be VERRY tedious. The autosave system is terrible and you will see yourself being punnished for having to quit and look for a walkthrough to find out what exactly you need to do. Either buy this game with a great discount or look up a lets play it's fairly short I got to the last act and my brother started a new game and I had to restart and it took me a little over 4 hours total. THere's a lot of better platformers out there that far surpass this. Cannot reccomend this to anyone though the story is good so just youtube it it's not exactly worth a play but the story is pretty memorable.
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1.8 hrs
Posted: October 10
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1.8 hrs
Posted: October 10
Do you really need a cutsceen every 5 seconds?
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⚔ ElƵorro ⚔
9.3 hrs
Posted: October 9
A very well presented and unique "game noir".

I really like the story and style of this game! It's like it's been made by Tim Burton, Tom Waits, Jim Jarmush and Walt Disney.^^
Summed up, the story is about a little girl named Didi and her imaginary friend, Dawn.
You play Dawn, who can walk in the shadows and uses this ability to go to places where Didi can't go. All people, except of Didi, are seen only as shadows. Thus you sometimes experience pieces of the tale by climbing silhouettes of e.g. Didi's parents while fighting.
There are some - more or less difficult - brain twisters to solve...Most of them associated with swithing from
shadow to shadow or placing lights the right way, so that the shadow casted by the environment helps you to reach
the next location.

The grafics are fine, but could have been better. Especially the textures and antialiasing!

All in all this game is just the right game to play now and then or while another more time consuming one (For me Witcher 3).
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