Developer: Chillingo Ltd
Price: $2.99 Download on the App Store
With an E3 debut earlier this year and a Game Critics Award nominee nod, Contre Jour HD is an epic mix of art and immersive gameplay. This is one game that I've been waiting for all year and it's way better than I could have imagined. And it definitely demands the larger screen of the iPad for the full experience. Of course, it's a blast on the iPhone as well.
Where you, as the player, will be mesmerized is in the synergy of the design and how well it is integrated into the actual gameplay. For instance, the use of contrasting light and dark shades of black, white and gray go so well together that you find yourself in awe of how visually appealing the game is. As great as the artfully designed game is, where it gets even better is the actual gameplay where you can morph the landscape to propel the game's mysterious creature Petit to safety. It's like an interactive art exhibit you would expect at a well-known French Gallery.Developed by Mokus and published by Chillingo, Contre Jour HD has already wrapped up several awards and for good reason. The design and gameplay move in an effortless symphony presenting you with a beautiful combination of music, art and gaming. Even when you open the app you'll feel the difference right away as the attention to the creative difference is very evident. Even the score was created by American Composer David Are Leo, who is well-known for his work on "Spider-Man" and "Incredible Hulk".
In my opinion, this is the route that developers should go. Instead of pumping out endless amounts of "just good enough" they should focus on delivering a truly impressive gaming experience that introduces players to a completely new world. I'm reminded of "Avatar" and how awe-inspiring the new world of Pandora felt. It was a living, breathing world of endless creatures, plants, etc. that I had never seen before. And you could tell that James Cameron had spent years just defining how the world would look.
Back to Contre Jour HD. It has a progressive level style, much like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. In the first level, you'll be introduced to the character Petit, a black, one-eyed creature who needs to find the light and on the way can collect little blue orbs for extra points.
As the levels progress, so does the difficulty and with it comes extra obstacles such as having to you gadgets as tendrils, air geysers and pulleys to complete the puzzling levels. My advice to you is to take your time and enjoy the first few levels to take in the beauty of the game. However, keep in mind that there is also a time bonus so you'll want to ensure you don't take too much time. And if top score is your main goal, rest assured that the game is connected to Crystal so you'll be able to show of on the leader boards. As of now, there are three chapters and a placeholder for one coming soon.
If you're looking for a new experience that will immerse you deeply into gameplay with an amazing musical score and visually stunning design, then Contre Jour HD is the perfect game for you. Even if you're not big on art, you'll love this game. Contre Jour HD is both art and gaming for an addictive combination.