Contrast is a 3D puzzle platformer indie video game developed by Compulsion Games. It was released on November 15, 2013 on PlayStation 4 as one of the two free PlayStation Plus titles and will be released on November 19, 2013 for PlayStation 3.
This game is set in the 1920s. There are two main characters that you will follow during the story: Didi and Dawn. Didi is a young girl who wants to figure out why her parents are always fighting. You play as Dawn, who is an older girl that follows Didi around but cannot be seen by the rest of the world. Dawn helps Didi solve problems by being able to turn into a shadow on the wall. The main issue in the storyline is that Didi finds out that her father is in trouble with the mafia, so she wants to find a way to help save him.
The graphics in this game are nothing spectacular, though they are still very good. It is not meant to look realistic, however, and instead reminds me of several other cartoony games. The world looks fascinating as it takes place in an alternate dimension. The game also shines because of its classic 1920’s music. The story is delivered in interesting cutscenes because you can only see Didi, and everyone else appears to be shadows on walls. The rest of the story is told through a series of collectables you can find in the environment that hold valuable information which is useful in determining what in the world is going on. The voice acting is nothing short of perfect. I had no issues with any of the voice actors as they all made it really seem like they were from the time period.
As I said before, you play as Dawn, who has the power to turn into a shadow on the wall. This allows you to solve several different spatial puzzles that the game throws at you. You will be able to use spotlights, film projectors, and several different props around the environment to move shadows around to enable you to flatten yourself into a shadow and run across them to get to previously unreachable areas. You also have to ability to hold things like boxes and turn them into shadows as well so that you can move them to different areas. The gameplay was really fun and keeps you thinking to try and figure each and every puzzle out. The puzzles start off easy, but make it feel rewarding when you figure them out, and then become progressively harder throughout the rest of the game.
The Verdict: 8.0 out of 10
Even though I do not consider myself an indie gamer by any means, I REALLY enjoyed my time with this game. The environment was really interesting and the story kept me wanting to know what would happen next. Contrast is not a very long game at all so you won’t have to sink a whole lot of time into it. The puzzles were easy and rewarding in the beginning but became almost frustratingly hard towards the end. This was not really a problem because I kept at it and tried as many different solutions as possible and eventually figured them all out. Sometimes the solution to a puzzle was almost too obvious and you think it couldn’t possibly be right. Since this game is free for PlayStation Plus users, I encourage everyone with it to try it out. It is very charming and just plain fun to play.