Review: Contre Jour

Contre Jour, a 99 cent adventure from Chillingo, is striking. Aesthetics mimic that of World of Goo, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, or even Limbo, and when you sit down to play the game, Angry Birds and several other successful titles are conjured. For this reason, it’s easy to look at this amalgam of genres and best-sellers and assume it’s simply a repackaging of something you’ve played before. It’s a wholly engrossing mobile adventure that you’d do well to tackle…I mean, it’s only a dollar.

It’s your job to guide the little black blob Petit through 60 levels of poking, prodding, pushing, and pulling. You actually control the ground he’s lazing around on in order to maneuver him from point A to point B. But there’s much more to Contre Jour than some simple land alteration. It’s your job to get this ornery little buddy to the pale glow of a blue light in each level, and it’s ALL up to you to make sure the necessary work gets done. Much like the tentacle play seen in early Nintendo DS platformer Mister Frog, you can also employ several types of tentacles (stretchy, stringy ones at that), to fling Petit through the air, over several dangerous obstacles. Later on, you can even count on a few portals to rear their heads – they might even be a little familiar. Right, GLaDOS?

Despite the geysers, spikes, and variable disasters that can befall little Petit, Contre Jour is still entirely accessible and enjoyable. It doesn’t seek to frustrate or obfuscate players. In fact, you can skip each area to your heart’s content. Just be advised that unless you collect the required lights in each level, you won’t be able to make as much progress as you’d like – and there are three worlds to access. If you want to see everything there is to offer, I’d recommend making the push.

However, with some of the later levels, you can expect quite a few slip-ups here and there, what with multitasking dragging, pushing, and pulling. However, the iPad’s large play area more than makes up for what issues you might have, so you’ll be well on your way to owning your friends on those leaderboards!

A gorgeous, piano-driven soundtrack, and luscious, dark graphics combined with addictive gameplay make Contre Jour yet another worthy contender from mobile dev Chillingo. Sure, it’s a little derivative, and you might get that sense of déjà vu – but for a dollar you get sixty levels and a little chunk of gameplay that’ll make you think. And when’s the last time you REALLY got to do that in a mobile game?

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