Contre Jour is like an greatest hits collection of popular iOS games, all rolled up inside Limbo's aesthetic. There's a noticeable whiff of Cut the Rope, a dash of Angry Birds, and just a little sprinkle of World of Goo.
The game's highlight is its downbeat presentation, linking together moody colour palettes with sombre accordion tunes to create a slightly miserable look which certainly stands apart from the saturated majority of the App Store. As you progress through the game's worlds - 60 levels in all - your weenie blob character, Petit, changes from greyscale to luminescent, but the monochromatic world never perks up.
Each level revolves around the simple idea of manoeuvring Petit from point A to B, while optionally gobbling three scattered orbs. It's a task made somewhat more complicated by the fact you can't move the character directly - you only have control over the environment. This starts with you creating momentum by adding bumps and craters in the ground, and quickly progresses into you using tentacles and cannons to move Petit greater distances.
The game might look different from a lot of its contemporaries, but it plays out in familiar fashion. Cannons are pure Angry Birds, and the tentacles channel the spirit of Cut the Rope, yet the latter feels more like rubber balls let loose in a room of kitchen tiles than they do ropes, so guessing the exact trajectory of Petit's unpredictable bounces can prove a smidge challenging. With some levels I just tapped the screen and hoped for the best, my finger patiently hovering over the restart button while waiting for everything to go south.
It's also a shame that the various ideas clash rather than blend, with you moving from theme to theme instead of the game finding a way to harmonise each of its component parts. Manipulating the ground is barely used after the first handful of levels, with the game instead focusing almost entirely on the tentacles thereafter.
Contre Jour manages to successfully ape some of the App Store's most popular mechanics, but it doesn't really know what it wants to do with them.
VideoGamer.com Score6 Score out of 10
- Excellent presentation
- Lovely art style
- Doesn't blend its ideas together
- Unimaginative content