Contrast is an example of an excellent concept brought to life with great care and a large quantity of style.
Everything about the game simply oozes class and finesse. The setting is an impressive romanticisation of the roaring 20’s in a fragmented world that is never really fully explained. At first, I thought that the world was only fragmented in the shadow realm, but since the little girl you are assisting (who belongs to the “solid” realm) cannot traverse the gaping chasms; I reason that the world itself must be fragmented.
The way that the interactions with those of the other realm occurs is truly inspired and clever. You become truly immersed and some of the side puzzles are as challenging as the story challenges.
The game mechanics are simple and the puzzles are well designed. Whilst I wouldn’t say that they were perfectly intuitive, there were very few rage inducing fiddly bits that plague this kind of game elsewhere. It has a nice balance between testing both reflexes and brain-power.
Puzzle games are not one of my favourite genres, but this one gets top marks for its originality and its execution. The whole thing feels crafted by someone who cares; more than can be said for the AAA vomit that gets chucked at us consistently.
The only issue that I have with the game is its length. I do not rush games, and I didn’t rush this one (finding most of the hidden collectables), but even so I was done with it in less than four hours… and that really isn’t good enough for a full game.
There really isn’t a whole lot of replay value either, aside from looking for missed collectables. This is one of the key reasons that I’m not a huge fan of puzzle games… once you’ve finished it, that’s it really.
My summary, like the game, will be short and sweet:
A fantastic, well-crafted and engrossing game while it lasts… which isn’t nearly long enough. Wait for it to go on sale, but it’s definitely one to play.
7 corsets out of 10