While I enjoy tablet and smartphone gaming, a lot of the time it feels like the games weren’t designed for touch. It feels more like the game went through the development process and and at the end they threw in the touch interface. It’s either that or they’re simple, but fun, games like Temple Run and Fruit Ninja or board games such as Words With Friends and Ticket to Ride. Contre Jour, however, is a game that doesn’t just deal with touch, it embraces it.
Your goal in Contre Jour is to help a little round blob named Petit collect lights. You can move him around by reshaping the ground, and using tentacles to propel him through the air. The art and sound are beautiful. The game recommends you use headphones for the best audio experience. After playing both with and without headphones, headphones are definitely the way to go. The left and right channels are unique so headphones give you a more immersive experience.
The gameplay of Contre Jour reminds me of World of Goo, but when I played World of Goo it was when it came out and I played it on the Wii on the recommendation of a friend. While it was fun, I ended up getting frustrated when the Wiimote wouldn’t let me be as precise as I wanted to be. By making Contre Jour a touch only game, developer Mokus has made that problem non-existent. If you get frustrated moving Petit around it’s because of the difficulty of gameplay, not because the input doesn’t match the game.
Contre Jour is a fantastic example of tablet/smartphone gaming. It’s levels are quick and allow you to pick it up and put it down easily without losing progress. The artwork and sound are well designed and appropriate for the device. Even optimizing the sound for headphones is a good choice for this platform; speakers in a mobile device just aren’t that great. And lastly, the game play is difficult and engaging.
Contre Jour is available on Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone. The developer’s site links to an iOS version, but when you navigate there the game is unavailable. There is also a web-based version for touch PCs running Internet Explorer 10.
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