The colors, Duke. The colors.
Those puzzle platformers seem like a dime a dozen nowadays. I’ve played my fair share of them, and after a while they all seem to blend together. Of course, every once in a while, a game will come around that adds a bit more to the formula or steps up its game a bit. Hue just so happens to be one of those games.
Players take on the role of Hue, a boy living in a black and white world that seems a bit dreary. He stumbles upon a special power that allows him to add color to the world. Along the way, he find journal notes assigned to him telling a story of how these special colors came to be, along with more back story. He will collect new colors to go to new places and will have to change them constantly in order to progress.
Platforms: XB1, PS4, PC
Price I’d pay: $14.99
Hue utilizes a background color scheme as a platforming and puzzle element. It reminds me a lot of the Wii U game Runbow. The player can change the color of the background any time they like. This will then change things in the environment. Let’s say I have the color blue at my disposal. The background is currently yellow. I run into a big blue wall that is blocking my way. I can switch the background to blue and the giant blue wall that was blocking my way has now blended in with the background. Now I can walk right through it. That is really the only mechanic in the game. It’s simple, yet the puzzles that utilize this single mechanic cam be highly complex.
With each series of puzzles, Hue unlocks new colors for his repertoire. This allows him to travel to newer areas in the hub world a la Metroid. Eventually, puzzles will become more than just brain teasers and will eventually take timing and skill to complete. Jumping puzzles that feature different colored platforms to land on that can only be use when switching colors mid-jump. Luckily, when the player changes colors, while in the menu to do so, time slows down to a slow-motion crawl that allows for pinpoint landing while still getting the colors players need. Some of these platforming puzzles can get rather tedious at times, especially after obtaining a good amount of colors.
If there was one issue I had with the game it was the colors themselves. Starting off, it’s easy – blue, yellow, red, purple, ect. But after trekking farther in the game, I started to unlock colors that looked a lot like the colors I already had. So the pink and the purple colors can sometimes not be contrasted enough for me to see them clearly. This can really become an issue when doing platforming puzzles.
I have to give it to Fiddlesticks Games. They have made a tight playing platformer with some pretty good puzzles using one simple mechanic. While most puzzles never had me stuck, they most certainly had me scratching my head a few times. Even when the color platforming was a bit much, I had a really great time with Hue and I think a lot of people will too, especially at the nice $15 price tag.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.