Ah; 1920’s noir. Cabaret, gangsters, Jazz; it’s all here. A young girl named Didi Sneaks out of her bedroom with her imaginary friend Dawn to have a night out on the town.
The gameplay in Contrast may be between Didi and Dawn, but the story is about a father struggling to get his family back. To make things worse, Didi’s father is in trouble with the mob for breaking too many promises. Didi’s real reason for sneaking out is to help fix all of her father’s problems. This requires repairing all of her father’s failed attractions.
Shadows are a major feature of the game. Didi and Dawn are actually the only three dimensional characters in this world. Everything else is a living, breathing, shadow.
Dawn is able to jump into shadows, which totally changes up the gameplay. The shadows allow for Dawn to pop in and out, which helps her reach places she wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach. The puzzle elements are lifted to new heights during these sequences, and some of them were actually quite challenging to figure out.
Contrast can easily be completed to 100% with very little effort. The collectables can’t be missed as they’re glowing and in plain sight. There are a couple trophies which require completing something on the first attempt, but retrying is as easy as restarting from the last checkpoint.
Contrast does a fantastic job of nailing the look, sound, and feel of 1920’s noir with its soothing jazzy tunes and bright neon lights. The game is short and sweet, topping out at only a few hours of gameplay. I wish it was a bit longer. The story isn’t bad, and there’s actually quite a few reveals that happen along the way. This helps makes it all worthwhile.