CONTRE JOUR / Chillingo / Android
Bo - ring.



What, more? I have to write more?

Alright. Contre Jour is kind of the bastard child of all that's cliche with indie games - dark visuals (Limbo, Nightsky, Don't Look Back) with Fizzicks Gimmicks (World of Goo, Gish, Cut The Rope, Nightsky again.) It's really not offensive, though, just because it's so bland and unfocused; it's also not indie, published by Chillingo, former publisher of Angry Birds (and current Electronic Arts subsidiary.) It really seems more like a large publisher grasping at straws, trying to blend a bunch of recent successful trends together and somehow hit sales success without a terribly clear vision of what they're doing.

A black blob with one giant eyeball exercises some limited power to manipulate its environment (by way of your finger) in order to solve one-screen puzzles, usually dodging dangers while picking up as many glowy lights as possible en route to an exit. The rules of raising and lowering ground are a bit bizarre and random; you can only do it to a certain extent, but it seems to vary depending on where you happen to be. More frequently, Black Blob has to stretch vines and tentacles to connect to himself, then use them to swing past dangers while grabbing up the glowy bits.

I think Contre Jour illustrates the current divide between "casual" and longtime/experienced gamers. If you don't consider gaming a hobby, and just play on your phone once in a while, Contre Jour is positioned to look a lot more brilliant, arty and engaging. If you have some familiarity with the medium, however, you see all the borrowed concepts kind of thrown together, and the gameplay is essentially just Cut The Rope and World of Goo warmed over again.
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