Version Reviewed: 1.01
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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An educational fact to start with: Contre Jour is French for 'against daylight'. That doesn't sound overly useful when taken out of context but when looking at the graphical style of Contre Jour and its clear hint of pretension and it all makes sense. As a friend of mine watching me play pointed out, Contre Jour looks like Limbo mixed with World of Goo. Indeed, this is pretty much it in a nutshell with maybe a hint of the likes of Cut the Rope and even Angry Birds thrown in. It's a potent combination and beguiling for that very reason.
The idea is simple, as so many good ones are, players must guide an eyeball type creature across the landscape of each level to the exit while trying to collect blue glowing orbs wherever possible. Levels only comprise of a limited amount of space but they offer plenty of items of interest. At its most basic, the landscape can be morphed with a touch of a finger. Then there's the swift addition of bungee cord-esque tentacles which react differently and enable the creature to be thrown around the screen. As the levels progress and once the player has mastered the simpler concepts, air geysers and catapults play an increasingly important role. There's even a knowing nod to Angry Birds in the form of a tower that can be destroyed via the use of a catapult. Replayability is provided through the typical iOS trope of gaining stars through the glowing orbs, thus unlocking more of the 60 stages available in all.
Throughout the experience, it's the graphical style and musical nuances of Contre Jour that keep the game feeling fresh. Previously known for his work on Marvel Entertainment titles, music is composed by David Ari Leon and there's a strong reason why the game initially recommends that players listen via headphones. It's an impressive and stunningly poignant soundtrack. The looks of Contre Jour are similarly high quality and ensure the game feels a cut above the rest.
It's a neat trick as ultimately Contre Jour offers some very familiar gameplay under a cloak of quirkiness. Its unusual design keeps it fun and interesting though and for those players looking for an indie type experience, it's a particular treat.