A game from Fiddlesticks Games has now arrived, using colours to solve puzzles in the world around us. But Hue is more than just solving puzzles. You find letters before and after a level from the protagonists mother, in which she talks about her time at University, her tutor and Hue. You are Hue, and your journey starts in your home and a simple introduction into how to use colours to progress further into the game, unlocking more colours along the way, eight in all. The journey is a short one, and you could complete the whole game in roughly 4-5 hours of play. I was hyped for the release of Hue, and it’s not very often the hype lives up to expectations. However, this is one of them rare occasions where the hype was justified.
Hue is full of various traps and means of death, from spikes to lasers to pits. Essential causes of death in any respectable platforming game, and Hue is no different. Overall, the puzzles are far from hard and unless you have a hard time with puzzle games, then you will not struggle for the vast majority of your time with Hue. There will be a couple of levels where you may sit there, staring at your TV wondering what you have to do to advance to the next section. The trick is to think outside the box, an attempt to see it from another angle. If you have a blue crate, and change the screen colour to blue, your crate will vanish. Learning how to utilise this to your advantage is imperative, as you will need to swap colours on a regular basis to complete the levels, of which there are 6. These are split into smaller sections making it easier should you die and prevents you from being sent back to the very beginning.
The controls are simplistic, and the one gripe I have, is that jump is a face button, whilst the analog stick selects you colour. There are some sections you will need to be in control of both at once, and this is a tricky affair. Maybe it could have been arranged differently, but it doesn’t ruin the immersion or game play. Otherwise, Hue is spot on with more or less everything. Could be said that the game is too short, and this is true for a lot of games. But it’s the experience of the game that matters the most, and if it includes a worthwhile story, then the short game time pales into insignificance.
Level designs, along with the use of puzzles and traps to thwart your progression have been implemented perfectly. The solutions don’t immediately present themselves to you, and later on you will need to pick up keys to unlock the exit door, but there is nothing to challenging with Hue. I guess that the developer has eased off on difficulty, to allow you to explore and discover everything they have created. Sometimes a relaxed approach to a game can make all the difference, and this works here.
One aspect of Hue that deserves high praise is the musical score. To say it’s beautiful would be a massive understatement, and finding words to describe it is one of the more difficult parts of this review. The atmosphere generated by the music sets the mood as you venture forth on your adventure to solve the puzzles and unravel the story conveyed by letters from your mother. The voice actress chosen for the job performed her part so convincingly, pushing out emotion as though she was talking about her own child.
The colour scheme used is bright and vibrant, and brings Hue to life, washing out all the drab grey and letting all colours of the spectrum shine through like the sun through your window on a sunny summer morning. You can choose colours on the fly as you meander your way between puzzle laden areas. Which can be a dull experience, but this also allows the narrative to play out. So the journey between levels does have a purpose.
If you’re in the market for a new Indie game, and one that offers you puzzles and platforms like Hue takes your fancy, then you could do a whole lot worse. The money is well spent, and the journey is a beautifully crafted one. A small injection of humour involving the skeletons will leave a smile on your face. I wont spoil the moment, so feel free to find out for yourself.
The whole package is a wonderful one, and shows just why the Indie game scene is one that deserves attention. There are some fantastic talents hidden away within Indie developers who are hoping that people will take notice of their creations, and pay attention. Unlike the Indie games on the previous Xbox console, the latest generation of Indie games are of a far higher quality all round, and it’s games like Hue leading the way forward.
To conclude, I have to say I can’t recommend Hue enough. A beautiful game, with a choice and colour to bring the game to life, and a musical score to not only set the mood, but to treat your ears to a soothing melody. Quite simply, one of the best Indie games available to you, and support of the developer is essential if you want to see games of this high calibre being developed by some talented individuals.
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