Contre Jour HD, a gorgeous new physics puzzler developed by Mokus and published by Chillingo, is now available from the app store. Mixing elements from a variety of popular casual fare, Contre Jour manages to create a highly-engaging experience that delights at every turn.
Contre Jour HD Pros:
- Gorgeous presentation with sharp visuals and hauntingly beautiful music
- Intuitive and responsive touch controls
- Clever level design
- GameCenter and Crystal and integration for leaderboards and achievements
Contre Jour HD Cons:
- All 60 levels can be finished in a short time, leaving us longing for more as soon as possible
Contre Jour contains 60 levels spread evenly across 3 worlds. The goal of each level is to transport the main character, a small creature who is more eyeball than anything else, to the aqua warp zone while collecting the three tiny lights spread throughout. There are amorphous land masses that can be reshaped like modeling clay, providing a slope to initiate movement, an incline to slow momentum, an outcropping to deflect the eyeball in another direction, and more. There are also a series of ropes, both fixed length and stretchy, that are used to swing or fling the eyeball around. Teleport zones will cause the eyeball to disappear from one location and reappear in another, retaining his direction and momentum. Slingshots and geysers also provide a method of moving the eyeball around the board. All are very easy to use, as you poke land masses to reshape and drag ropes to connect to the eyeball. Tapping an anchor point releases a rope. In addition to falling off of the map, there are a number of obstacles to avoid, like spikes and eyeball-eating plants, that will quickly bring your journey to an end. Your level score is based on completion speed and the number of lights collected.
As good as the action and level design are, the visuals are the standout component of this offering. The look is very subdued, using a lot of blacks and grays that make the blue lights and end zone pop that much more. The night levels give many of the objects a glowing neon look that we found even more appealing. Many of the levels can be figured out quickly, but there are a number of them that still give us pause when we play, as there is a lot of timing that must be executed precisely or a series of small, intricate moves to perform as you dance close to death. The soundtrack is exceptional, providing a sort-of high-brow feel that evokes feelings of playing a sophisticated, artsy game, which some might argue we are. Controls are touch-based and very responsive, even when using multi-touch. This is the type of game that you can pick up and instinctively know how to interact with it.
Replay value is good, as several levels should require additional playthroughs to capture all of the lights. There were at least a couple where we had a devilishly difficult time snagging the last one. Once you’ve captured them all, there is little left to do other than enjoy the outstanding presentation and improve your scores so that you can climb the GameCenter/Crystal leaderboards or earn any of the 20 achievements that you may have missed. A universal app at $2.99 for the HD version (or $0.99 for the standard version), Contre Jour HD is a 5-Dimple that’s worth every penny.
Contre Jour HD Review,