Note: this blog has been migrated to Medium, with the articles here available to preserve permalinks. Please see this post at https://medium.com/@ianrbuck/contrast-review-9f0006ac20a
On paper Contrast seems like a really cool game: a puzzle platformer where you can switch between being a physical person and being a shadow on the wall, using the shadows of other objects to get where you need to go. Couple that with a jazzy nightlife setting, and you can't go wrong, right?
Unfortunately that is not the case. The platforming was often really frustrating and the game was fairly buggy. I found a few places where I could melt with a wall or I would have to jump three or four times to make it onto a ledge that was well within reach.
The story was alright. You play as Dawn, the imaginary friend of a little girl named Didi. Didi's parents are separated and she sneaks out in the night on a regular basis to watch her mother sing at a club. Dawn helps Didi to progress past obstacles and fix things, and hopefully eventually to reunite her family. Dawn and Didi are the only ones who appear as three dimensional people in the world; everyone else appear as shadows on the walls, and are often parts of the platforming that the player has to perform.
In a lot of ways I am glad that the game only took three hours. I wish I could recommend Contrast because it has the makings of a cool, unique indie game. But it just wasn't made well at all. Don't buy it.