On the surface, Hue is a simple 2D puzzle-platformer, but look a little deeper and you will find a lot of depth. In this platformer, you play as “Hue”, a young boy living in a monochromatic world trying to find colour. There is something strange going on though, as a robed character with a cane seems to be spotted whenever you discover a new colour. There are eight in total, each one opening up new areas of the “open-world” map and unveiling new and more complex puzzles. The art style is a cross between Limbo and Thomas Was Alone, with a shadow puppet-esque aesthetic. If you are a fan of either of these games, you will love Hue.
The story is a little vague at the outset. You collect written letters throughout the game that are narrated to you by a mysterious English woman. She tells you tales of her past and how she experimented and discovered colour, and you follow in her footsteps. Perhaps if you look deeper into the meaning of the game, could this be an analogy for drug use? Maybe that’s just my interpretation, but the woman’s relation to you is later revealed and it shouldn’t come to you as much of a surprise a few levels in.
The puzzles are the meat of the game, and at first you can’t really imagine them being that difficult, because the game does a great job in easing you in and teaching you the basics. Initially I only expected this to be a “push the coloured blocks” game, but as you unlock more colours the puzzles become deviously difficult. I can’t say I enjoyed the levels towards the end of the game, but they did give me a great sense of achievement when I did complete them. The main issue with the later stages are the puzzles require a lot of set up, and if you die you need to set the stage once again. It also slows the pace of the story-telling which I wanted more of, so perhaps a better check-pointing system would improve this game on the whole.
You control Hue with the left analog stick or D-Pad, and change the colour of the environment using the right analog stick within a radial pop-up menu. The game is slowed down for the duration of the selection for use in later stages when you need to switch colours during platforming, this happens many times and is the most satisfying, yet most frustrating part of Hue. Early on, a boulder escape section was a little infuriating due to the fact I was still learning the basics, and the level was very long without any checkpoints.
Hue is also longer than you expect, after unlocking all the colours I expected the game to come to an end, but this is when all the aforementioned takes place. You can finish the game in around 4-5 hours, depending on what levels you get stuck on. These will likely vary from person to person. I found myself walking into many rooms knowing exactly what to do, and there were several that needed a lot of experimentation. And don’t worry if you are colour-blind, there is an option in the game to help you out.
Solving these puzzles will make you feel really smart and they are logical and not “out-of-the-box” thinking like “The Witness”. The game features a lovely soundtrack with melodic piano based soundtrack that sets the tone really well. You should play this game.
This review is based on the PS4 version of the game.
- Replay Value