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iPhone App Video Review: Contre Jour

by Andrew Koziara

Contre Jour is a beautiful puzzle game from developer Mokus, published by Chillingo. The aesthetics and music work together to create a great atmosphere and the puzzles themselves are challenging and well done. Definitely give this one a look.

This game is basically a big mishmash of some of the best mobile and indie games out there. The graphics are like World of Goo meets Limbo from Xbox Live Arcade, and the physics based game play is full of familiar elements reminiscent of games like Cut the Rope, Bumpy Road, and Portal. This is by no means a bad thing. While very familiar, this game definitely has an identity all its own, and it’s very well done.

In the game, you control the environment rather than the main character, Petit. You can morph the ground underneath him or grab him with various tentacles, some elastic and others inelastic, to get him to his destination. All the while you must avoid pits, spikes, and horrible eyeball eating plants. The puzzle solutions often make use of multi touch, and can be really tricky to pull off. It’s hard to do everything precisely in this game. The ground never seems to morph quite the way you want it to, for example. As is common practice for these games, each level has three lights to collect. You don’t need them to finish a level, but they are required to unlock new worlds. The game can be very frustrating if you’re like me and insist on getting all three lights before moving on, but that’s more my fault than the game’s.

The title, Contre Jour, is a reference to the art style. It’s French for “against daylight.” The visuals in this game are astounding, and the use of neon blue and no other color gives the game an artistic identity all its own. The night time world was a personal favorite of mine. When combined with the lovely piano soundtrack, the game is very relaxing, haunting and surreal. This is a great game that everyone who isn’t sick of physics based puzzle games yet should pick up; especially for the one dollar price tag.

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