CONTRAST is a puzzle/platform game where you can move between a fantastic 3D world and a mysterious shadowy universe in 2D in the blink of an eye. Delve into a dreamlike and surreal 1920s world, inspired by the performance art world of vaudeville and film noir, and cradled by a smooth and sultry jazz ambiance.
User reviews: Very Positive (2,525 reviews) - 90% of the 2,525 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 15, 2013

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Packages that include this game

Buy Focus Selection Pack (2015)

Includes 21 items: Farming Simulator 2013 Titanium Edition, Wargame: Red Dragon, Bound By Flame, Mars: War Logs, Styx: Master of Shadows, Space Run, Etherium, Pro Cycling Manager 2015, Cities XXL, Contrast, Faery - Legends of Avalon, Final Exam, Blood Bowl: Chaos Edition, Of Orcs And Men, Game of Thrones, Another World – 20th Anniversary Edition, Runaway, A Road Adventure, Runaway, The Dream of The Turtle, Runaway: A Twist of Fate, Yesterday, R.A.W. Realms of Ancient War

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Recommended By Curators

"Black and white, or somewhere in between? We played Contrast for The Patch Game Club."
Read the full review here.


“The interaction is stellar”

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

Collector's Edition

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

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About This Game

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

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

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

System Requirements

    • 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
Helpful customer reviews
63 of 65 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 29
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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33 of 37 people (89%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 13
We follow the story of a young girl called Didi, viewed from the perspective of Dawn, her imaginary friend. Didi’s parents have a troubled relationship to stay the least. Her father is constantly falling in with the wrong crowd, while her mother is struggling to make a name for herself as a singer. Didi takes it upon herself to mend their marriage, with a lot of help from Dawn. No one else can see her, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t exist, as she has the ability to switch from the 3D real world into the 2D shadows.
It is a really interesting mechanic that has you relearning what you know about puzzle games, much in the same way that Portal did back in 2007, but sadly not to the same extent. There are some very clever puzzles to be solved here, but they are just not up to the same quality as Valve’s finest. Most of the game you will be moving physical objects around, or shining lights on them to create shadows. You can then run up to a flat surface and shift into it, and platform across the shadows as if they were physical objects.
There isn’t a great deal of variety though. In general if you can interact with something, you will know it needs to be used to solve the puzzle in some way. You gain a dash ability, which enables you to smash through real world objects, and more importantly to travel through solid shadows blocking your path, but other than that you will just be jumping. You can grab ledges and pull yourself up, but the game is very picky about which ledges you are allowed to grab. The platforming itself isn’t as precise as I would like it to be. Being able to clamber over the shadows of people as they are having a conversation looks really cool, but I was constantly slipping off or getting caught on little edges.
The first time I loaded the game up, I was about to hit New Game, as you would expect. But then I stopped. The song that was playing over the menu was so good, that I sat there and listened to the whole thing before beginning my playthrough. It wasn’t long after that I was supposed to follow Didi to the next area, but instead I stuck around in the Ghost Note, a cabaret club, to catch the end of a song through the closed backstage door. The soundtrack in collaboration with Laura Ellis is superb, I just wish there were more of it later in the game. And that goes for the actual gameplay too.
Visually it looks pretty good, with an obvious emphasis on contrast between light and shadow. Although the overall tone of the game is dark, there are some nice splashes of colour, and some really bright areas. The only character models in the game are that of Didi and Dawn, the rest of the characters are depicted only in shadow, a device used by much of the noir fiction that Contrast is based on. There are plenty of clichés from that era that the game falls back on, but it is never too cheesy. Despite the youth of the character that the story revolves around, the narrative is quite grown up, and definitely becomes more complex as it progresses. I got a very Bioshock Infinite vibe from it, although the storytelling and the world are not as in depth.
The games premise is one of the most original I've seen in recent times, but it’s just not quite fleshed out enough. I would still recommend playing it to see the clever ways in which you can interact with the environments, and the story is good enough to keep you interested throughout. I hope the ideas and themes can be perpetuated into a new game in the future.
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25 of 29 people (86%) found this review helpful
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 16
Contrast has to be one of my all time favourite games. The puzzles are very unique, making you think outside the box.
Working with shadows and lights, makes for a very different atmosphere and way of thinking. I am just absolutely in love with this game.
The only downside is the story line isn't as full as it could have been. But I know the developers were low on funds and time and had to cut a MASSIVE part of their plans out. Looking forward to their upcoming game :)
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 14
Contrast is a puzzle game with a mix of 2D and 3D platforming. It tells the story of a young girl named Didi who is cought up in the middle of a broken relationship of her parents. It's thick with noir atmosphere.

But you play as Dawn, a mysterious woman who can transform herself to a shadow and run on the walls whenever there is light. This is when the 3D gameplay changes to 2D. You can use same abilities in the 2D and the 3D world. Which aren't much, movenent, jump, interact and dash. There is no combat in this game, but on one scene you need to use your wits to overcome an enemy.

The world and the characters look great, although the world is really empty. You can only see Dawn and Didi in this world. While others are shown only by silhouttes and this only happens in small cutscenes and other storytelling parts during the actual gameplay. The Jazzy soundtrack is really great whenever you get to hear it. Voice acting is top notch, highlight for me was Adam Jensen from Deus Ex: HR (Elias Toufexis) narrating a children's story!

The problem with the game is that it feels unfinished. Odd hit detection, impresice controls, glitches and abrupt ending. Furthermore it's really short, but even with its current lenght it mostly needed improvements on other areas. Some of the story is also explained with the collectibles only, so if you want to get the whole story you need to collect those.

Fun little game that clearly needed few months more developement time before publishing.

[Score: 79]
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 10
"Shadows talks, didn't see the people walks"

May be let the shadows to represent most of the characters is not a good idea. First few minutes find it special, after that it just become dry and plain.

- Good direction of design to show a 1920s world
- Great soundtrack and vocal
- Interesting graphic for interacting real landscape, lights and shadow
- Puzzles are unique
- First half of story is attractive

- Have good mysterious story beginning but ends up with rush and waste
- Checkpoint in later game insufficient, once fallen or exit the game needs to redo previous 15 min solved task
- Some shadow platform moving puzzle is pure "Trial and Error" experiment, which is tedious
- Only 2 real world characters (and one is mute) is too weak for the story line
- Neglect the Trial and Error time, the whole game is short and around 3 hours to complete

Get it on big sales only, it's fun to try but not very fun to complete it

Score: 6.5/10
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