Contre Jour

Common Sense Media says

Beautiful puzzler with unique art style and soundtrack.






What parents need to know

Ease of play

This is a good example of an "easy to play, difficult to master" game. Finishing a level is usually fairly easy, especially in the early one-third of the game, but to do so while capturing all of the light spheres isn't. 

Violence & scariness

Your blob can be killed by landing on thorns, being gobbled by Venus flytrap-like creatures, or by several other methods, but there is no graphic violence, blood, or sounds of agony. 

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. Players can opt in to Crystal, an interactive network that allows users to upload real avatar photos; create a profile; add friends set location; post scores on leaderboards, Facebook, and Twitter; and post status messages. Users can opt in to Game Center to track achievements instead; it does not have connections to other social media within the app.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Contre Jour is an atmospheric puzzle game that's in the same spirit as Cut the Rope. These physics-based puzzles challenge the user to navigate an animated blob (with an eyeball) around hazards while collecting spheres of light. The game comes with a relaxing, light musical soundtrack and is almost entirely in black and white. Players can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.

What kids can learn


Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving
  • solving puzzles
  • hypothesis-testing

Engagement, Approach, Support


Truly beautiful, from its lush yet stark black-and-white art style to its soothing musical soundtrack. Gameplay will also keep you hooked as your blob/hero explores a perilous series of worlds.

Learning Approach

Contre Jour teaches the value of trial and error - as well as strategy and planning. You must simultaneously solve puzzles and avoid hazards.


Players can opt in to interactive network Crystal to connect with friends and post scores to leaderboards, Facebook, and Twitter. Users can alternately opt in to Game Center.

What kids can learn


Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving
  • solving puzzles
  • hypothesis-testing

Kids can learn the importance of strategy and planning as they avoid hazards and move through levels. There's a lot of trial and error but kids who stick with it and figure out the puzzles will get a boost of self-confidence. Kids can learn the value of studying a situation before proceeding. Though the atmosphere is moody, Contre Jour encourages exploration and problem solving.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chris Morris

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Kids say

What's it about?

Players move the one-eyed hero around by nudging the ground beneath him, raising and lowering it to get him where he needs to be. Hanging tentacles (some elastic, some not) are also used to raise, lower and swing him to the exit for each level. Along the way, you'll have to avoid hazards including spikes, hungry plants, and gravity. Levels that are too difficult can be skipped.

Is it any good?


Plenty of apps are fun, but few are truly beautiful. CONTRE JOUR is one of those. From its lush, yet stark, black and white art style to its soothing musical soundtrack, it's a game you will never get tired of looking at. Fortunately, it's also an app whose gameplay will keep you hooked. Borrowing from many familiar titles, Contre Jour is another take on physics-based puzzles. But rather than being just another knock-off like so many others, it instead tips its hat to those iPhone legends and extends on their legacy. 

Your blob/hero explores a perilous series of worlds, filled with spikes, carnivorous plants, and some endless falls. Some levels are easy, but some are nail-biters (any one can be skipped, though, if it proves too challenging). It's a game best played on the iPad, if you have that option, given the occasional need to use multitouch, but that's nitpicking. This is an app that could quickly become another must-have for all iDevice owners. 

Families can talk about...

  • Model problem-solving strategies by thinking aloud. Kids will learn from your example.

  • Encourage kids to play other games that teach them to be forward-thinking, such as chess.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Release date:June 1, 2012
Category:Puzzle Games
Size:20.20 MB
Publisher:Chillingo Ltd.
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.0 or later

This review of Contre Jour was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old October 22, 2011

Most beautiful app I have ever seen.

Contre Jour. Against days in English. NOT Against games. Besides Osmos, this is the most beautiful app I have ever seen.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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