MMA & Sports
App Reviews: Contre Jour
Posted Monday 09/19/2011 by John Sciarrino
We’ve got our eyeballs on this one.
What’s it about?
Terra-forming, rope-swinging and portal-transporting. Contre Jour is a new puzzle game for the iOS that makes a splash in both its visual style and its innovative gameplay dynamics. There’s little explanation about why exactly your character is an eyeball or how you got into this shadowy world of mutating landmasses but then, when you’re having fun collecting sprites and bending the world to your whims, no explanation is really necessary, right?
How does it look?
Stylistically, the game takes many cues from the killer XBLA title Limbo with its shadowy monotones and eerie soundtrack. Level design is beautiful and treacherous, but the genius of the game is how your approach to each course will change its difficulty. Will you opt for a speedplay, getting through each level as fast as possible, or will you choose the scavenger route, not finishing a level until every sprite is collected? The choice is yours and the game will morph according to your screen-fingering preferences, so choose wisely (then ponder that we live in a world where “screen-fingering preferences” is actually a thing).
Pictured: our office toilet, around 11AM.
How addictive is it?
Incredibly so. Contre Jour pulls from many current games to give each level a unique spin, from Angry Birds-like slingshotting to Portal’s portals to Cut The Rope’s swinging. The genius lies in the fact that each reference boils down to just a small taste of the original game, but adds a ton to the gameplay of Contre Jour itself. 60 levels and 180 collectible sprites will undoubtedly keep you busy until the first update of the game rolls out.
What’d they screw up?
Nothing. Brilliant visuals, a soundtrack that’s a pitch-perfect match to the game’s mood and addictive gameplay that implements the iOS’s multitouch screens in a terrific way, all add up to one of the best experiences we’ve ever had on an iDevice. If we ever put this down long enough to check for an update, we’ll undoubtedly be frothing at the mouth to see what new goodies Chillingo has packed into version 1.02.
Out of five?
4.5. App gaming doesn’t get much better than this. Contre Jour nods to many of our favorite games of late, but creates an entirely new gaming dynamic with their implementation. Our only gripe is with the title: It’s hard to tell your friends you’re a Contre Jour expert without sounding like a compete jackass. Seriously, try it, 90% of the people you tell will call you a pansy or think you’re a great sous chef. Maybe both. Either way, follow it up by offering them some showdair.
If I like this, what else will I like?
Cut the Rope, Portal 2, Controlled demolitions.
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