CONTRAST - ©2013 Compulsion Games. Published and distributed by Focus Home Interactive under license of Compulsion Games - developed by Compulsion Games. CONTRAST, Compulsion Games and its logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Compulsion Games. All the rights related to all the versions of CONTRAST belong to Compulsion Games. Focus, Focus Home Interactive its logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Focus Home Interactive. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
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. Surprisingly the story has quite a few sad & heavy scenes that really tug at the heart. Stay for the end... it's incredible. 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.
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.
The unique gameplay mechanic (being able to switch between playing as a shadow and a ... normal peron) and great artistic direction are what sets this game apart from most others, indie or not. Though the story itself is pretty good, even more detailed if you take the time to collect everything, and the visuals are sound are pretty amazing (definetly capturing some of that early 20th century parisian atmosphere), the game is quite short even if you do everything, which is to be expected from an indie title (the difficulty is just right, not too hard, not too easy; the only problem with this might be the occasional bugs that you may encounter, which would make certain sections take longer). While not everyone's cup of tea, this type of game might just leave a lasting impression on you if you give it a try. I recommend buying it, perhaps on a sale, especially considering that even if you don't really enjoy it, it's short enough so that won't matter., and you would still enjoy the well-crafted stort and atmosphere.
Short Version: --------------------- + Nice visuals + Nice music + Unique game mechanics + Interresting puzzles + good story (not great, but ok) - Short playtime - Can get a bit frustrating if you have to try some things over and over again [ Hint for german people: ~ Voice acting is english, subs are german ] Recommended? Yes, but only if you can get it in a deal Long Version: ------------------- This games is something different... It's some kind of a puzzle game with a good story, nice visuals and great music. Didi wants to get her father back to her family and you have to help her. To do so, you have to fix some things and open the way where Didi is not able to get through. The interresting thing here are the game mechanics. You have to move objects in front of lights sources to change the shadows on the walls. Then you can step into the walls so that you can move along these shadows. You have to take objects with you when you are a shadow on the wall, to bring them to the place where you need them. And so on. Thats quite unique and a pretty nice idea. It is really fun, to figure out which step you need to do next, to solve all these puzzles. BUT: I finished this game in about 3 hours with almost all the collectable items (I missed 2 Items somewhere) This is a bit short in my opinion and this is the reason why I would recommend, to buy this game if you can get it in a deal and not for the full price. So if you can get it for cheap and you wanna try something different and you like to solve puzzles then buy this game ;)
When I first saw this game, it was on a GMG sale, not surprising as that's where I do most of my discovery...but when I saw the game dynamic, I had to get my hands on it. I enjoyed this game from start to finish, the only gripe being that it didn't last extremely long. There are some additional tasks you can go back for in order to unlock rewards, but not much. Considering that is an indie game, I'm not too concerned with the time taken to complete the game. Now I'm eager for a sequel title to Contrast, definitely one of my favourite indie's this year.
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