Reading an article on Polygon, I clicked on some white space on the site, which turned out to be a catchment area for an advert far above. Grrrrr, I said, shaking my fists at the sky. But before I could add them to my hidden click shitlist with PC Gamer and NetworkN, I was rather taken with what had appeared. Not a big, flashing advert, but rather a game to play. A game – Contre Jour – that it turns out is really rather lovely. Advertising, folks – it works!
As soon as I started playing I thought of World Of Goo. That’s a pretty impressive thing for any game to make you think of – the best arcade puzzle game ever made. My not-sleeping wife then walked in the room to ask me to turn the volume down, but midway through the sentence interrupted herself with, “Ooh, that looks nice! It looks like World Of Goo.” (She then high-fived herself for an accurate gaming reference. I do the same regarding matters of science.)
The premise here, in a gorgeous cutesy (and let’s face it, World Of Goo-style) setting is to move the scenery rather than the central blob character, Petit. Surfaces can be raised and lowered by dragging the mouse, while various semi-sentient flora can be stretched or grabbed to hook onto your little round friend, all in an effort to collect various blue lights and reach the stage’s exit. And while it’s not the first game to have a main character of which you’re not in direct control, it’s certainly one of the loveliest.
For two chapters.
And then it reveals itself to be a multi-touch game, requiring a touch screen! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
Amazingly, it appears to be promotional material for Internet Explorer 10 and Windows 8 by Chillingo, but you’ll be relieved to learn it requires neither. Advertising maybe doesn’t work, folks!
But you know what – the half hour or so you’ll get from the PC-playable missions are well worth it. And if you’ve got an iOS or Windows phone, I think you’ll find it pretty tricky not to want to fork out for it. Me, I’ve got a PERFECTLY GOOD Android phone and tablet, which it isn’t flipping available for. So now I take back all the nice things I said about it, and I hate it. It’s only $3 for the final mission, and the silly buggers haven’t made a version I can play. But perhaps you can.
Definitely check out what’s a lovely short browser game at the very least. Sadly, it doesn’t look quite as amazing as its CGI trailer: