Contre Jour iOS Review

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‘Relaxing’ is an adjective tossed about a fair bit in the current casual gaming market, but I only recently understood what was meant by it. Combining an original puzzle game with a gorgeous art style and a fantastic score is by no means an easy feat, but including difficulty, complexity and still keeping it relaxed? Now that’s something special.

Contre Jour’s art style is truly unique. The cute little character almost blends into the dark, jelly-like blob of an environment, but stands out due to its huge, head-sized eyeball. I found myself pausing mid-puzzle simply to laugh at the big flailing eye as it bounced around my text messaging device.

After gawping at my screen for a short while, I was intrigued by some of the puzzle mechanics, such as having to push and tug on the environment to move the creature, and picking the character up with tentacle-like dangly things, hurling it through the air in order to reach new heights. The main aim of the puzzles is to safely collect ‘light’. Collecting light in the form of little blue orbs acts as your score rating, similar to the three star rating in many smart phone games. Reaching the finish is often pretty easy; it’s the lights that are surrounded by spikes and other strange traps that make the game difficult. A specific number of lights are required to open the next world full of new and exciting flinging devices.

My only quarrel with Contre Jour is on the occasional puzzle. I found my fingers blocking my view of the screen, and before you laugh and hurl abuse at my ‘fat’ fingers, I actually have fairly slim hands. However, this is only a small annoyance and I can’t imagine it would be problem at all on an iPad due to its screen dimensions.

In terms of graphics, this game is as good as 2D mobile puzzle games get. The amount of puzzles and nice little features such as particles floating around by the plants, to how the giro movement has a cool parallax effect on the menus, all give this game a real sense of life and atmosphere that work well with the general art style. The audio and sound effects are faultless, from the cute creature noises to the stunning piano score. In fact, the score is so nice the soundtrack is even available on iTunes for £6.99. This game is easily one of the best games on the app store to date, and definitely well worth the asking price.
8/10

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Contre Jour

Version tested: iOS

Developer: Mokus

Publisher: Chillingo

Genre: Puzzle