If you ever wished for a game on your PC (or Console) that was completely different from just about anything
else you have played then CONTRAST has got to be very close to being that game.
The main character in this intriguing tale is Dawn, the sultry, sexy siren who is the unseen friend of a young
girl named Didi. Just what Didi's story is you will have to discover by playing this through to the end, but it
soon becomes clear it involves her Dad and some shady characters with whom he is in business. It transpires
that Didi's mother made her father leave the family home, though why isn't immediately clear, and since then
he has borrowed money (from his shady new friends) ostensibly to start a traveling show.
If, like myself, you knew nothing about the game when you first installed it - highly unlikely though as you are
now reading my views on it - then your first meeting with Dawn is when you see her in Didi's empty bedroom.
You hear a female voice (Didi's mother) telling someone (Didi) to go to her bed and she (mother) will be in soon
to tuck her in. Then the door opens and Didi comes in. She sits on her bed and in comes her mum but she is seen
only in silhouette, as now is Didi. All the while Dawn watches on, completely unseen by her mother. Mother and
Daughter remain in shadow until Didi and Dawn are once again alone.
Dawn jumps on the window ledge and slides down the roof out of sight. This is where you take over the control
of Dawn. Your job is to follow Didi and help her out when required. The first job you have is to move the barrow
that is Didi's usual means of escape from her room. It is usually parked under her window which makes the fall
from the sloping roof just a couple of feet. To jump down and land on the cobbled path would cause severe pain
and injury, so how can Didi get out and off on her adventure ?
This is the moment you discover Dawn's particularly unique and special ability - she can shadow-walk. Move Dawn
to the light, near a shadow, and right-click the mouse. Dawn immediately turns into a shadow of her former self, from
colourful 3D into flat black 2D. Now you can move her onto the shadows and move her along, up and over them, as if
she was walking flat to the wall and along a ledge. The moment any light touches Dawn she returns to her 3D form.
As the game progresses, Dawn will develop other skills, such as breaking through weak structures like planked up walls
that help her follow Didi, who generally manages somehow to find small gaps to slip through where Dawn is too large
to fit. This leaves you the puzzle of finding another route for Dawn to reach the next location.
Careful manipulation of statues, lights and other objects to form shadows on the walls is the answer to your dilemna.
The game throws up some clever challenges but there are a few places where the Gremlins haven't quite been ironed
out. I am not going to tediously note these glitches because if you are pretty sure you have discovered the correct route
yet you keep failing, just keep trying because eventually it will accept your manouevre and you will succeed.
Overall this is a cracking puzzle adventure set in the USA in the early to mid 1900's (probably 1920-30). The buildings,
clothing designs, atmosphere and the way that each scene is viewed is a mixture of film noir and Burlesque, Music Hall
and mystery worthy of any pulp fiction famous detective story.
Highly recommended for players who like adventure games that rely more on your cerebral ability than your gun skills.