Hue is a vibrant and charming puzzle-adventure game in which you explore a grey land and alter the colours of the world to encounter new challenges, progress through the story and solve puzzles. You are a young boy who is trying to locate his mother and through messages left behind you find out what the narrative is and how everything came to be. At sub 10-hours for most, Hue is a short but intriguing little puzzler with plenty of character.
Both the story, visuals and game mechanics of Hue work around the same idea. As you progress you collect colours which can then be used to alter the background of the world. It’s when you alter these colours that new objects in the environment appear and disappear. For instance, selecting blue when there is a blue box in front of you will make it disappear, but selecting any other colour keeps it visible. The premise may sound slightly baffling when explaining through words, but when playing Hue the concept becomes clear quickly.
Both the puzzle and platforming elements of the game are not nearly as hard as some other indie downloads – VVVVVV for example. The difficulty increase is noticeable between areas but not a leap too far. Many of the game elements are joyful and self-explanatory and I only had a few head-scratching moments and mumblings of “what on earth do I do now?”
Unfortunately, little if any of the puzzles allow room for experimentation. There is one set way of completing the puzzles which mean replayability is almost non-existent which is a shame. It would have been nice to include multiple ways of completing a puzzle for creativity.
Certain areas of the game are slow, which put me off some moments. Platforming elements between areas have you traversing blocks, stairs, and other environmental hazards. These sections are to allow you to listen to the narrator as this is the only time she speaks but I would have rather had a little more ‘action’ in these sections to keep my mind ticking over rather than having an almost full-blown puzzle cooldown.
Visually Hue is beautiful. From the vibrant colours to the handful of small role characters, it’s cute. I love the art style the developers have gone with and it’s interesting to see that most objects in the environment, i.e. chains, light fixtures and dangling wires, can be touched as you run and jump by. It’s the little details that make these indie titles so intricate. There is also a mode for the colourblind which I find fantastic. The music also reflects the games spiritedness, from the menu music right through to the piano tones in-game.
For anyone interested in puzzle-adventure titles and fans of indie games, Hue should be on your radar. A charming game in every way and something to play on a winter’s night.