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 (1,990 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 15, 2013

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Contrast

Buy Contrast: Collector's Edition


Recommended By Curators

"Showed at PAX Prime 2013 - Become your own shadow in this 1920s vaudeville adventure."
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.

Steam Big Picture

Steam Greenlight

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
    • Hard Drive: 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
255 of 328 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
20 of 22 people (91%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
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
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
24 of 30 people (80%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2014
This game got a lot of love in it's production. Sweet graphics. Smooth controls. High production value music. A nice story to boot.

If you enjoy platformers on any level. Noir, France, Burlesque, imaginary friends.. any of those asthetics. Or even just a really well made game. You have to buy this.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
17 of 21 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 28
Gone Home, take some lessons here. This is how you intersperse a 'deep' storyline (I'm using this here both sarcastically and seriously) with some engaging and creative gameplay. Not just walking around and picking up ♥♥♥♥.

Contrast brings a rather unique, at least for its time, concept of manipulating shadows as a platforming mechanic. The character cast and tropes they embody, and how that plays with each other is something I've yet to see in a game.

This game is not without cons though. I felt the shadow mechanic could've been explored alot further, which ties in to my next point. It can be finished in 2-3 hours, more if you do all the extra collecting/slight exploration. The game is way too short to justify its full $15 price point. Get it on sale at $5 or less for maximum value. But do get it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014
The game has nice visuals, good story, perfect (as for me) music, and... hollow gameplay.
Still i would recommend this game to mark visual, sound, and story designers.

Гра дуже добре виглядає, має гарне опвідання, чудову як на мене музику, але взагалі порожній геймплей...
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 25
This is a whimsical game taking place in a 1940's noir dream world. The art is gorgeous and the story is about a little girl's quest to find her family. The game consists mostly of platform puzzles that use a mix of the real world and shadows.

My only complaints are that some of the puzzles were a little too difficult and some of the shadow puzzles were just buggy. Other than that, its a super fun and and I highly recommend it! :D
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Cool story and nice idea of gameplay, switching from 2d to 3d, from real world to the world of shadows.,
The camera angles are screwed up and it gets frustrating when solving puzzles because of this. However is a nice experience, just pick it on a sale.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 6
Great premise, potential to be amazing but ultimately falls short.

Puzzles are to simple, It setups for a great story but doesn't do much with it.

The shadow mechanic has potential for very complex puzzles with moving light sources, but boils down to pulling a lever
to rotate machines on a fixed path until a path opens.

Also very short, I completed the story, found all the collectables and got 100% on my first playthrough in only 4 hours
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2014
Time for another Timeraider Reviews :P (SMALL SPOILERS INSIDE, NONE STORY-RELATED THOUGH) (30-11-2014)

So.. Contrast. Lets first get some things and negative points out of the way:

The game is very short. About 3-4 hours, 4-5 if you want to get all the collectibles.

I bought it during a 75% off sale, thus i cant judge well if it would be worth the full price. I would advice to wait for a sale .. like 50%-75% off :D Do keep in mind.. this is only based my normal 1 euro = 1 hour of gametime, nothing else.

Though it plays fine with a keyboard and mouse and has not a single problem while using those devices, as always i would advice playing a platformer with a controller. (Game has amazing controller support btw, even switching from keyboard to controller in the middle of a tutorial text, the line will change the keys the text redirects you to)

Now the good things:

The music is amazing. The jazzy style with some sweet vocals now and then made me finish this game quicker then expected due to being able to play longer without getting bored.

The atmosphere in the game is the other big part. It feels as if you got trown back into the past.. back to the time of the blues, gangsters and burlesque. Alot of the game being darker colored with not that much massively bright colored objects make it an amazing experience.

Now the platforming. When i started playing i felt trown back into another one of my favorite games in the past years.. Alice: Madness Returns. A 3D world from third-personview with platform elements while getting you further into the story in between. Even though Contrast doesnt hold any combat, the platforming parts are quite active... it doesnt just stop with moving platforms..nooooo.. because Contrast has something else.. shadows.
You are able to go into the light reflecting on walls etc. and go inside of your own shadow, allowing you to go alot further then just walking on physical objects. Combine this with being able to dash and be able to become a shadow even when mid-air makes for some exciting puzzles. Its not THAT hard but i can see some people taking their time at some puzzles for sure.

The story is great. Because your own personage stays on the background, you get fully emerged in the story of the child you are taking care of. Lets just say it has some nice twists and emotions (Not as emotional as Brothers: A tale of two sons (of which im not afraid to admit is the only game in history that literally made me shed a tear for a sec) with a good plot (though it might be slightly confusing for some ;D). I wont spoil anything of the story so enough about that!

Now the conclusion. Great game, nice controls, gameplay and atmosphere feel amazing and suck you in. Not supermemorable game that will change your life entirely but still a very very well-made game.
I would rate this game 7.5-8/10.
Not sure if i would pay full price since im a cheapass :P but at least worth looking into and certainly worth buying with any discount.

Its on 75% discount till 2 December (2014) btw.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 12, 2014
Contrast was really a beautiful experience. Glad to have discover this great game with the Focus Creative week sale.
The graphics are extremely pleasant and will bring you back to the 20's nostalgy, with a beautiful mix of influences, from the Vaudeville to the parisian streets abundant with Art Nouveau and Art Deco building, passing to the Film Noir.

The Gameplay is addictive and original; (I suggest to use a controller for a better experience) permitting you to pass from the physical, 3D world to the shadowy's in 2D.
The OST is astonishing and will please for sure to every Blues/Swing/Dixieland/Jazz Manouche fans and emphasize your immersion in this unique world.

The game, sadly, is super short... It would have deserved a longer story! But in the end, you'll definitely love it!
Contrast fut vraiment une belle expérience. Ravie d'avoir pu découvrir ce superbe jeu durant la semaine Focus Creative.
Les graphismes sont extrêmement plaisants et vous ramèneront dans la nostalgie des années 20, le tout avec un merveileux mélange d'influences, du Vaudeville aux rues parisiennes foisonnantes de bâtiments style Art Nouveau et Art Déco, en passant par les classiques du Film Noir.

Le Gameplay est addictif et original (je conseille d'utiliser une manette pour plus de plaisir) vous permettant le passage entre le monde physique en 3D et le monde des ombres en 2D.
L'OST est étonnante et plaira à tous les fans de Blues/Swing/Dixieland/Jazz Manouche qui se respèctent, tout en amplifiant votre immersion dans cet univers unique.

Le jeu, malheureusement, souffre d'une durée de vie trop courte... L'histoire aurait mérité quelques heures de plus! En fin de compte, c'est un jeu que vous apprécierez à coup sûr!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2014
I bought this game a long time ago, but I haven't played it then. Few days ago I finally decided to check it out and the game charmed me. It has really amazing cabaret/noir style atmoshpere and awesome matching music. Gameplay itself is pretty innovative too. You need to switch between 3D and 2D mode platformer. It is very interesting that in the 2D mode, you can move only on the "shadows" on the walls and flat objects. Shadows can be created by yourself through interaction with various objects in 3D mode. You need to use appropriate arrangement of their relation to one another and to light sources, so in the result you can move on them in the 2D mode.

The biggest downside is the length of the game - finishing it in almost 100% takes only 3-4h. Also, the "puzzles" are fairly simple. It's a pity that the authors failed to further develop the aforementioned theme, because the game had great potential. Nevertheless, I sincerely recommend Contrast, especially in some more accessible price.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
This is an amazing and short game!
I absolutley love the story and the Characters!
Controlls are easy to use and Graphics are amazing, its a very nice game and I can recommend it for anybody! But you should get it when it is on Sale. I completed the Story in 3.5 hours and therefor its a bit overpriced!

I hope there will be more games like this or even a second part as its ending leaves some questions open.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 18, 2014
I really, really enjoyed this game. The concept is very unique and the story is pretty strong throughout the game. Reminded me of PS2 era games. Puzzles are well thought out if a little too tricky at times. I think this is a highly underated game and definetly worth playing if you enjoy puzzle games, or looking for a unique indie game experience.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
The game fills like a project abandoned half-way.
There are interesting concepts and ideas in Contrast, but, there is quite a few important buts.
• For a puzzle game it is way too easy.
• The controls and camera are poorly calibrated
• The game is short, only 3 hours of gameplay
Everything about this game feels as if the developers had plans, but did not finish them.

Overall score 5/10

For more reviews join
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 12, 2014
For a 3D platformer the games controls are, to say the least, lackluster. There's a jump, a dash, and the ability to merge onto walls that have light on them. Aside, from these there's the ability to dash in the air and that's really it, unlike most other 3D platformers you don't really have a progression with more abilities added on or building on concepts. Luckily, it doesn't have the same issue as many other 3D platformers in that the camera doesn't fight against you a lot, though there are still moments of it.
If you like to go fast, the dash is slightly faster than the walking speed so you'll probably end up just spamming the button to move around (With the exception of going down slopes as the time it takes to fall after each dash on the slope is often longer than just walking down.).

The puzzles are often very easy, almost as if this game was designed for children. With the final level being an exception. In that chapter, instead of being too easy the puzzles are then made to be super vague and it seems like this portion was rushed as it lacks in polish compared to the rest of the game.
As a bit of a side note, I managed to bruteforce my way through most jumping puzzles by abusing the dash in the game (You can dash as you unmerge from a wall and this lead to dashing while merged on a wall then unmerging and dashing.)

By contrast, the story is very mature with a lot of talk about divorce, murder, and the like (Spoiler: There's even a scene where the little girl's mother attempts to kill her husband.). So that assures me that this game isn't meant for children.

Like it's been said, this game can be 100% in a very short time. I beat the game with around 80% completion in about an hour and a half. It then took about another half hour to tie up the other achievements I missed. So you will not be getting a whole lot of time out of this game.

I'd say there's one thing that makes this game fall short and that's it's lack of freedom and lack of replayability.
Now let me explain what I mean by lack of freedom, the game feels like it might be an open world, or even Banjo Kazooie or Mario 64-esque hub world with stages, at first, but you soon realize it's a linear story with chapters and many many invisible walls. In the first area if you explore you can find the secret room with the donator names and I was hoping there would be more secrets like this as the game went on, but no that's the only really optional area in the game. Aside from that there are the lumes(?) spread around in the world and a completionist would want to go an collect those, but you only need about half of the lumes in a given area to proceed. This brings forth the question, why are there so many when you need so few?
Onto the lack of replayability, the whole reason to play this game is for the story. The gameplay is decent, but what is going to keep people playing is the story of the game. Once you know the story there's no reason to come back to it.
I was going to go back and try a speedrun of the game, but the amount of cutscenes and unskippable dialouge killed it for me. I'm certain there's plenty of ways to break the game, skip event triggers, and the like, but I don't want to put that much work into a game that, frankly, I don't like that much.

Edit: If you disagree with me, please feel free to comment on the review and discuss it. I'm more than open to take debate on why people think this game is good. I wanted to love the game, but it just wasn't there for me.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 23 people (57%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2014
Horrible playing, amazing concept and story


I really really wanted to like this game. But it just... is not that good. The concept, the art style, jumping between to worlds seems amazing and in fact really is but on the other hand playing is totally frustrating sometimes.

Thing is you start this extremely weird looking game and be like "oh god this looks awesome" and after some time you discover that you can switch between 2 worlds and you go "that is AMAZING". But after that you really play it and it is just HORRIBLE. Every 5 minutes you get into the moment when you know what to do, how to get there but the game is somehow broken and you just cant do it. Massive bugs and awful checkpoint system make it a bad game.

When you 10 times fall from the ledge and the girl tells you for 11th time to "hahah i know what to do..." and repeat that same monolog she already did 10 times.. you just wanna throw a brick in her face.

Contrast has looked sooo amazing at the store page so I've bought it in sale for like 5 € and I would really regret buying this game if it was at the full price. I have had to convince myself to give the game another shot to finish the story but it was for the purpose of finishing the game and not enjoying. There is a little chance for you to enjoy the game but for me it was just a horrible experience which is a shame because i mostly love these arty, weirdo games.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2014
Contrast is a nice puzzle game with an amazing atmohphere, a good storyline and great music.
I need to say the gameplay/the control (technical side) was kinda frustrating. But i loved playing it.
A fantastic point is that you can switch between the "world of shadows" 2D and the "world of lights" 3D.
Its a new game genre, like a combination of Limbo, Alice: madness returns and BioShock.
It took me 4-5h to complete, which is too short but still:

A Game worth playing... don´t miss this one. :D
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
Late 2014, local bar in the middle of who cares USA.

I was sitting at the bar alone, like usual, watching as groups of people all around me were having fun and drinking. Some were catching up with old friends like Half-Life 2 and remembering the good old days; others were becoming well aquainted with the new guy in town, his name was Far Cry 4 and he was busy wowing people left and right with his fantastic adventures. Yet in between seeing someone introducing themselves to Octodad with hysterical laughter and another person meeting Bioshock Infinite for the first time, a young lady caught my eye. She seemed different, almost as if there was a charm to her existence that pierced the heavens with her classy look; it's as if she had just arrived in town, yet I could have sworn I met her before.

I asked someone sitting at the bar next to me who she was. The response was worse than what I had expected, "Oh that's Contrast, lovely girl; I heard she's pretty cheap too but I wouldn't risk the missus finding out so I don't know personally." What a dissapointment, I must've seen her standing on the side of the road one day; and to think, for a $15.00 I could've gotten to know her better, but I was a taken man myself. I place heavy emphasis on the WAS. My night wasn't getting any better, I was lonely, depressed, I needed to feel something again and I figured she would be the one.

I walked up to her and introduced myself, she hardley seemed interested in what I thought of her, yet her artistic nature spoke volumes to me. "What's a classy platformer like you doing in a bar like this?" She turned away from me, almost as if she was preparing for the onslaught of abuse I had planned for her. "Do you like platformers?" her voice was shaking, she felt the judgement of the whole bar raining down on her as we talked. I leaned in close, grabbed her shoulders and whispered, "I love platformers." She turned back around, her face was stone cold but I could see into her eyes, they were filled with happiness and ecstasy; I must've been the nicest person she's met in years because she said, "for you it will be $3.00." Now I may not be a detective, but from the way her eyes rolled towards the ground, I could tell she already regretted dropping the price for me. That didn't stop me from accepting the offer, but I did feel like I should give her more anyways, just so she feels better about herself.

We head back to my place, this couch has seen much action but this was a rare exception. How could someone of this beauty and elegance possibly put up with her lifestyle. Just before I turned off the lights, I touched her back and brought her close, I could hear her breathing intensify. But she didn't bring me in closer, she pushed me away; she answered my confusion with a question of her own, "can I sing for you first?"


"Most clients love it when I sing to them before... we get down to business."

A little confused, I figured it would be best if she was as comfortable as possible before we began, so I gave her permission. (Listen to this: As she started singing, I got mesmerized. Her story was strong and to the point, she has been hurt, perhaps that's what lead her down this road; her voice was beautiful, the song was perfectly put together, slow, smooth and reflected what to expect from this game.

Contrast is one of a very small group of games where I feel the artistic vision is met to my satisfaction and doesn't appear to be trying too hard or too little to get across what it wants to portray. You view the situations that happen throughout the story both through the eyes or an innocent child and your own personal observations, giving the game a sort of dual perspective that leave the second part entirely up to your own observations. There is a plot twist as well that leads to a revelation I couldn't even fathom feeling for myself, leaving my reaction up to what the child felt when everything was revealed to her. The bond you have with the child as you play all while being a silent observer of the story made me feel different from other games, almost like another game I played recently and would love to play again (not going to mention it here).

Other than the story, the gameplay and graphics seem to compliment eachother really well. The game takes place in a Noir styled France stuck in a sort of purgatory where people can switch between either being a shadow or manifesting themselves in an actaul human form. I know, that sound weird, but the shadow swapping leads to some really cool ideas when it comes to the puzzle sections. You will occasionally have to think while moving objects in the third dimension in order to create and modify shadows in the second dimension in order to reach new areas. It can be tricky at times yet feels very satisfying when you succeed at some of the trickier puzzles.

Yet, at the end of the day, the time I spent with the lovely lady was short lived. 2.9 hours on record is a bummer considering I actually went out of my way to collect as many of the hidden collectibles as I could find and still beat the game short of 3 hours. The world is very interesting, the gameplay is challenging (despite the controls feeling a little off) and the story is realistic and a little troubling, but in a good way. At the end of the day, I would recommend her to anyone who likes puzzle platformers, just be sure treat her the same was I did, or she's not worth your time.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 20
This is a game I was interested on since it was in GreenLight, and one of the few games I've pre-purchased (afair it might be the only one). I finished it a long time ago, but my first pre-review was not complete so here I go:

Contrast is beautiful (very beautiful) at both graphics and OST (as long as you like jazz music), original in its gameplay and not too long but neither too short (though an additional chapter would have been welcome).

The negative point I would mention would be about some few - very few - animations and textures that could have been improved, however being an indie and, afaik, the first game of the studio, I think these little sins can be forgiven.

But the main thing I really don't like, though is not about the game itself, is that even having pre-purchased it and existing no special edition at that moment, now I find that there is and that contains the OST (which I'd like to own), but with no option at all to upgrade to... imho this is not a very nice way to reward the ones that believed in the game (and no, iTunes is not an option to me).
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 10
Contrast is one of those games that's unique and memorable at the same time, as it drags you into a shadow world in the 1920s Paris in the role of Dawn, young Didi's best friend who possesses the ability of shifting between the 3D material world and the 2D shadow world, making Contrast one of most ideas-filled titles of this year. Didi is also the only person who can see Dawn, but the actions you perform around the city will have an impact on the real world that is seen as shadows from Dawn's eyes as well. Even though Dawn is an interesting character on her own that you'd definitely become interested in as the game goes, this is the story of Didi's parents, who are constantly arguing after Didi's father left and her mother is too busy working at night, leaving her unattended - a perfect opportunity for her to sneak out and fix things around the city with Dawn's help. The bad thing about Contrast is that it will end too soon, rushing through the events of the story just to get to the ending, and even though following the plot is satisfying as it is, there are lots of moments that could've been detailed more, making the game longer and the lasting experience more satisfying in the end. Without doubt Contrast nails its presentation, having a simple menu that will almost instantly take you into the action, while still offering you plenty of options to manage things such as collectibles or taking a look over your stats. Starting with the purely astonishing art work and the detailed characters and moving on to the shadows that have an important role in the gameplay, but offer an incredible visual effect as well, the game is constantly reminding you how awesome its core idea truly is. The problem with that idea however is that it hasn't reached its full potential, as the moment when you get most comfortable with the control and the idea of the game is the same moment the game will reach its denouement. There are so many ideas that are simply rushed inside the game, such as walking up the shadows of Didi's parents in order to reach a location and listening to their speech while doing so; those are the kind of moments that make Contrast feel unique and make you desire more out of this game.
Rating: 9.5

The idea of shifting between the real 3D world and the world of shadows is without doubt one of the most unique and innovating ideas of this year and Contrast takes great advantage of this idea, creating some amazing puzzles that will leave you satisfied each time you complete one and move in to the next area, but the best thing about those puzzles is their deductibility, forcing you to analyse each one of them, but offering the solution if you stare at them long enough as it is sometimes more than obvious. Each new location you visit will introduce new puzzle concepts, some trickier than others, but same as the story those are rushed, never taking full advantage of their potential, as the game will quickly move from one concept to another, leaving abilities such as the shadow dash to be used only a few times in the entire game. There are the occasional glitches that will stop you from making a move in your first try, but there isn't any sort of time pressure on the gameplay so you have all the time in the world to find your way around a puzzle and reach your destination. The 3D world puzzles are enjoyable and the shadow puzzles even more, but the real magic begins when the game combines those elements to create some amazing areas that you will have to scout first, try different approaches and only then decide on a final solution that will take you to your destination, but all this time spent looking around an area is well spent as you will constantly be excited about where one thing should go or how the positioning of some objects will help you reach a higher point. Walking up the shadows of Didi's parents is an amazing concept as you get to listen to a part of the story while you're slowly making your way to a location that's related to that story, constantly keeping you on the edge about what's gonna happen next as you climb higher and higher and eventually reach a location that will unlock further mysteries. There is a lot of great stuff in here and because it is so great it leaves you with a thirst for more and unfortunately there isn't anything else.
Rating: 8.5

Contrast on the PlayStation 4 looks amazing, making the city of Paris come to life at night with the use of those same shadows that make the gameplay so enjoyable, as the little bit of light that is available in an area will reflect objects in the precise direction, something that affects the gameplay as well as the overall beauty of this title. Even if you only get to see Dawn and Didi as full characters, as the rest of the cast is seen as shadows, they are both incredibly detailed and fit into the world perfectly. The visual effects are okay, with a few things that could use some work, but what is really impressive is the reflection of certain things on the pavement of the street as it is wet and seeing that no matter where you go is impressive.
Rating: 9

The voice acting is top notch, as the entire cast including Didi, her parents and Vincenzo take advantage of some amazing voice work that truly helps sell the story and the emotional road it takes once you get to know Didi better. The sound effects are just as good, making the world come to life and give Dawn's powers a great background; the best thing however, comes in the soundtrack, as from the start of the game you will be greeted with a noire classic, a perfect fit for the city of Paris in the early '20s, and the list goes on and on as you progress through the game.
Rating: 10

Unfortunately, the main campaign is the only thing that the game provides and that will be over in less than 6 hours, depending on how much time you take to solve each puzzle, and even though the game has collectibles you can find those easily in your first playthrough if you just look around, so unless you wanna replay the game a few weeks after just to relive the awesomeness, there isn't anything else to keep you around.
Rating: 4

Contrast is one of the best experiences you can have this year, not only because it is unique, but because it works wonders, providing some great puzzles, amazing exploration and a story worth hearing, unfortunately that will only last a few hours, so if you were looking for something to keep you around your PS4 a lot more, this will come as a disappointment, but either way Contrast is a game worth playing at some point, even if it isn't your priority for the new console.
Rating: 8.2

Check out the full review and a lot more about Contrast at
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny