Publisher & Developer: Compulsion Games
Genre: Puzzle, Action, Strategy, Platformer
Platforms: PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Steam
Pricing: $14.99; (Free for PlayStation Plus Members)
Set in the 1920's, this puzzle platformer features an 8-year-old girl, Didi, who lives with her single mom, a cabaret singer focused on her career. Didi is often left alone with her imaginary friend, Dawn. In the game, you play as Dawn. She has the power to shift from the lit world to the shadow world.
Contrast is a single-player puzzle platformer game. Using shadows and light you solve puzzles to help Didi investigate secrets that lie behind her troubled family and progress the game.
Didi interacts with Dawn, but she only sees other characters as shadows. You mostly use the shadow world to solve puzzles. Didi needs to go places, and you need to help her by getting her where she needs to go. This is accomplished by moving light sources in the correct places to create shadows. Once those shadows are in place, Dawn can shift into the shadow world and jump onto them wherever there is a surface, and figure out how to “get to that balcony to unlock the door,” for example.
Collect luminaries (solid sparkly balls of light) to operate and/or activate electrical items, such as a fuse box that operates a piece of machinery.
There are various items you can interact with in each act. You can pick up balls, boxes, etc. and bring them into the shadow with you or set them up to use their shadow to help you. There are three acts and fourteen chapters to the entire game. Each act and chapter takes you to a different location or spot within a location to solve puzzles and help Didi solve her family’s dilemmas.
Throughout the game there are context-sensitive points of interaction highlighted with rotating balls of light - sometimes you can use the item to help figure out the puzzle, other times it is a collectible that you can pick up. The collectibles (26 total) help enhance the storyline and piece together parts of the story. You will find these throughout each act of the game.
Graphics, sound, music
The music is definitely relative to the 1920s. It makes you imagine you’re in that time period. I’ve enjoyed all the music that I’ve heard so far.
Pros & Cons
If you are like me and get frustrated playing games where you die and respawn at a different place than where you left off, this game is for you. You don’t die; you respawn where you just were. You can’t save at will, but it does autosave after you solve each puzzle, so you can easily solve a puzzle, take a break and come back to the game.
The game can get tedious at times - for example, when you have to get the timing perfect, while in the shadow, in order to not be knocked out because you didn’t act in time.
Overall, it is an enjoyable game and I highly recommend it. And if you are a PlayStation Plus Member, you can’t go wrong with FREE.