Our story begins in the 1920s, in the bedroom of a little girl. Didi lives with her mother, Kat, and is an independent, adventurous kid with an absentee father. She spends a lot of her time daydreaming and adventuring with her one friend in the world, a young woman named Dawn. Dawn visits Didi from time to time, but usually, only when Didi is alone.
In Contrast, you play as Dawn. You have the ability to shift between the 3D world and your shadow in 2D, any time there's a lit wall. It's an adventure/puzzle game, where you have to use your abilities to help Didi progress through her story, and help fix her troubled family.
Contrast is cradled in a smooth, film noir aesthetic, complete with a dark jazz bar, a cabaret, an illusionist and a circus. It's a mashup of the 1920s and 1940s, with just a little bit of magic…
As you delve into the world of Contrast, you will experience the events surrounding Didi's family through her eyes. The City in which Didi lives, dark as it is, becomes a playground where numerous puzzles, performances and platforming sequences take place.
Dawn, like all imaginary friends, has her own special powers. She can become her shadow, at any lit surface (ie, whenever you have a shadow), giving her the power to shift between the 3D and 2D worlds. When she's in 2D, she walks on shadows; when in 3D, she walks on 3D objects. When you're in 2D or 3D is entirely up to you!
As you roam the different backdrops in Contrast, you must use all your inventiveness to solve puzzles and access locations that may initially appear impossible to reach. The City and its surrounding areas have a number of lights that can be exploited to create your own shadow paths, and you can use objects and elements in the décor to create your own shadow scenes. For example, the shadow of a moving bicycle wheel is cast onto the wall, which becomes a shadow staircase to reach a higher platform. Distort these shadows in any way you like to create a path that can only be accessed in the shadow world!
The world of Contrast is viewed through the eyes of Dawn, Didi’s best friend. Dawn is a young woman of indeterminate age, at once the most visible yet the most unknown character in Contrast. Living in the shadows, she can pass for one of them, moving between the shaded and lit worlds of Contrast. But which world is reality?
“You should be in the circus! Too bad nobody can see you.”
Breaking onto the scene as the chief protagonist, Didi is an independent and crafty 9 year old. In a world of magic, intrigue and deception Didi’s view on the complex adult world is all about keeping it simple - the adults may not be able to get things done because they’re too busy Thinking about things, but she knows that life isn’t about what you can’t do; it’s about possibilities.
“I told you I was good at fixing things”
A solo mother in a world that doesn’t do you any favours, Kat is the star of Contrast’s cabaret. A complex and beautiful woman, Kat is used to doing things on her own, including taking care of Didi. However, there are always people around that want to take advantage, and sometimes that gets Kat into some bad situations.
“I’m not one of those secretaries that punch out at 5. I’m a rising star!”
A fly by night confidence man, Johnny is a loveable rogue. Moving from town to town, he’s always on the lookout for the next big thing, the next score and the next opportunity. But, there are parts of his past that he can’t run away from, and some he’s not even sure he wants to. Each time he tries, he gets drawn back into his old ways, sometimes getting himself and the people around him hurt.
“You don’t trust me? Look at this suit!”
Vincenzo is a man whose name echoes around the room moments before he enters, a man whose reputation is known by everyone who has a business knowing anything. Some say he cavorts with devils. Others laugh and say it’s just tricks of light and shadow. But no matter which view they subscribe to, the audiences always flock to see The Amazing Vincenzo!...and boy does he know it.
“I’m damned if I’ll lend you the time of day.”