Contre Jour Is A Lovely, If Short, Puzzle Game

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:


  1. Ny24 says:

    Nothing good ever happens after 12am.

  2. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Actually… That’s delightful. More faceless megacorporations making World of Goo-like games instead of Advertising Campaign 2012-11#347, please.

  3. Eight Rooks says:

    To digress: it genuinely baffles me sometimes how gaming journalists can, well, not have heard of things. And has done ever since Penny Arcade started talking about this awesome Playstation exclusive called Demon’s Souls the kids with their Pokeymans and their import games were all raving about, when I’d had the damn thing for six months already. The moment I got an Android phone I basically went and looked up every single game iOS owners were crowing over, since I wanted to know what I was missing/not be left out of internet arguments, etc., etc., and it’s not like I was getting paid for it.

    Anyway, then I got an iPod and bought most of the things I’d found out I was supposed to be jealous of, and discovered Contre Jour is one of the greatest puzzle games ever created, even if it is a bizarre mishmash of half the cool design trends of the past five years. Seriously. Love it, love it, adore it. And for my money it’s more fun/rewarding/emotive than World of Goo, too. (Oh, I went there.) Is it worth buying a new OS/a touchscreen monitor for? Probably not for the vast majority of people, no. Still absolutely brilliant, though.

    • Ich Will says:

      I bet there are still thousands of apps and games etc which are raved over that you have never heard of. Probably more like tens of thousands.

  4. jabels says:

    Man, I haven’t smiled at a game this much since Botanicula!

    • jabels says:

      Smiling has evolved to making mouth noises and girlish giggling.

  5. VileJester says:

    Bought it when it came out on the Appstore about 15 months ago..
    But yeah it’s a great game, and the music is very nice too.

  6. jhng says:

    For those with iDevices, Contre Jour has been available on App Store for a while now. It is — as John says — an excellent little puzzler, but it is also designed around a multi-touch touchscreen interface so that is the way to play it for best effect.

    EDIT: also worth mentioning is that I think it is a relatively small team that made it — so not exactly ‘faceless megacorporation’ fare as mentioned above.

  7. Gap Gen says:

    I give it a nuit/10.

    (To clarify, nuit/10 is the score after the sun septs)

    • Diziet Sma says:

      Night out of ten after the sun has sevened?

      • Harlander says:

        *snaps fingers appreciatively*

        Smooth, Daddy-O.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Sure, when you six the sun sept it’sevening. Nuit is when the sun has cinq below the horizon, and it’s time to douze off.

        • Oozo says:

          Oh, that one was pretty huit-y.

          • Gap Gen says:

            It’s treize important that I get feedback on these. Can’t fall behind, got to stay quarante. Shame this wasn’t developed by 22 quinze, though.

  8. Didero says:

    It doesn’t work for me :|
    I’m using Firefox, and it loads just fine. Then I click on ‘Play’ and on the first chapter, and the window just stays black, with the music continuing to play.
    Am I missing something here?

    • Squishpoke says:

      You are missing a plugin.

      • Didero says:

        I do have Flash, if that’s what you mean. And Firefox didn’t mention anything about a missing plugin.
        What plugin does it need?

        • Squishpoke says:

          If I had a guess, I’d say that you have JavaScript disabled. Maybe that might work?

  9. Thirith says:

    It’s a nice game, but the music is a bit too obviously derivative of Yann Tiersen of Amélie fame.

    • LTK says:

      Strange that you say that, when the game outright claims it’s inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

      • Thirith says:

        Listen to “Comptine D’une Autre Ete” by Yann Tiersen and tell me you don’t see where I’m coming from.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Ah, of course. So that’s why it sounded rather familiar.

  10. Spoon Of Doom says:

    Wait… a decent mobile game, that’s actually available for my crappy old Windows Phone? I must be dreaming!