The Horror Honeys: A Girl Gamer Review ~ 'Contrast'

A Girl Gamer Review ~ 'Contrast'

A Guest Gamer Review from Revenge Honey Linnie

Game: Contrast
Type: Puzzle/Platform
Developer: Compulsion Games
Systems: Microsoft Windows, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

While Compulsion Games's Contrast has been out for almost a year, I only just had the opportunity to play the game. And while I'm not usually one for puzzle games, I have to say... I am totally in love with every aspect of Contrast.

The Story: Didi Malenkaya is a little girl living in a giant and beautiful world. It's the 1920s, and Didi lives with her mother Kat, a cabaret singer who spends nights performing at a club called the Ghost Note, hoping to catch her big break. But without her mother to rely on, Didi has taken to exploring the town at night with her imaginary friend Dawn, a long-legged acrobat with the ability to shift between the real world and the shadow world. However, Didi's nighttime adventures have gotten the attention of social services, and unless Kat finds a new job, or goes back to roustabout husband Johnny, they are threatening to take Didi away. With Dawn's help, can Didi bring stability to her life and her parents back together?

Gameplay: You play Contrast as Dawn, navigating the noir-style 20s world that Didi lives in, as well as the shadow world. The game is played in chapters, with each chapter offering a new puzzle and new opportunity to help Kat and Johnny fix their lives: Dawn has to save Johnny from mobsters, repair the circus that Johnny hopes will be the families new livelihood, and usher Didi safely around town. Each puzzle comes with new secrets and story elements that keep you engaged in both the gameplay and the plot of Contrast. At first, I felt that the puzzles themselves were a little easy, but it didn't take long to see that they were deceptively easy. Navigating the shadow world is difficult, and it takes a while to get the hang of it.

Design: I can't lie; I am a total sucker for anything styled after the 1920s and Contrast doesn't disappoint on that front. Because all of the gameplay takes place at night, you have the opportunity to see a beautiful dream-like 20s city all lit up, with small touches of atmosphere that made me wish I could live inside the game. And the 2D shadow world that Dawn can jump in and out of is equally stunning. With each chapter, I was excited to see what new surprises Didi and Dawn would bring me, brought to life by Compulsion in the stunning world of the game.

The Soundtrack: I've enjoyed game soundtracks before, but never one quite as much as the soundtrack to Contrast. Obviously, as I'm partial to the sights and sounds of the 20s, the music inside the game automatically tickles my fancy. But since Didi's mother, Kat, is a cabaret singer, we are treated to a few extra vocal tracks from Laura Ellis as Kat, and they are enchanting. The game's theme, also known as Kat's Song, will be your Honey Jam for tonight, but you can listen to House on Fire below. The entire big-band style soundtrack is available on an album titled "Shadow Music" and is well worth a listen.

The Verdict: I can't get enough of Contrast and have become oddly attached to Dawn and Didi. The puzzles may not be complicated enough for advanced gamers and the action isn't nonstop, but if you enjoy atmosphere and the particular era like I do, give Contrast a try!

Revenge Honey Rating: 3 and 1/2 Classy Dames out of 5