Hue, a new game recently released on the PS4, Xbox One and Steam (Vita release coming soon!) is a wonderful little experience that does exactly what an indie game made by a small team does best - it takes a clever, unique idea and builds a fun experience around it.
The base mechanic of the game and story revolves around colour - or, more specifically, manipulating colour. As you progress through the inter-connected levels you will find coloured shards of a ring, allowing you to change the background of the game to an array of colours. This simple mechanic is used in a variety of different ways - in the beginning you will be passing through coloured obstacles, but by the end you will be flipping through every colour on the fly as you avoid moving obstacles and platform through dangerous areas. The game moves at a good pace in doing so - every level introduces something new and interesting, keeping you on your toes from start to finish.
One look at a screenshot will tell you all you need to know of this game’s art style - it’s gorgeous. While the colour’s aren’t exactly those of the rainbow, it’s clear the decisions over which exact shade of each were very carefully considered during development. The stark contrast against the black and white of the characters and world really make everything pop. Hue himself is beautifully rendered and animated in his minimalist yet distinctive movements. For a game like this to be put together by a small team in a little under 2 years... The production quality on offer here is simply stunning.
The voice over work, much like the rest of the game, comes in at a very high quality. The story is told through letters left by Hue’s mother, which are presented to you as you move your way through the game. While there isn’t anything especially mind blowing in this regard, the story is well told, small and personal, which suits the game to a T. Some sections do offer some philosophical questions for the player to ponder, which is nice if you want to experience some thought provoking material while you platform. The humour is also spot on, which adds a nice touch.
Along with the fantastic production values come nice, tight and just-the-right-amount-of-forgiveness controls. Jumps are satisfyingly floaty and movement is well paced. The colours available to you are selected through a colour wheel, accessed through the right trigger. This works great 99% of the time, though I did find myself twisting my hands awkwardly a couple of times when I had to make colour changes mid jump - pressing X with your thumb while selecting something with the right trigger is quite awkward. It would have been nice to have the jump button also mapped to one of the R buttons for this kind of situation, but it wasn’t a big enough deal to hinder my experience passed a few jumps, so this isn’t a major issue.
For a game all about colour, it is pretty awesome that the devs have included a colourblind mode. If you find yourself having difficulty with any part of the colour spectrum, the game offers the addition of symbols over the colours - this works perfectly for making the game available to more of the worlds population while not making it any simpler. At it’s heart the game is still a puzzle game, and its cool that as many people as possible can experience it.
Hue is a clever, gorgeous and very fun little experience that is definitely worth picking up. It provides great gameplay centered around a unique, simple idea that is well executed and lasts just long enough while not overstaying it’s welcome. Hue is a fantastic little experience; a charming adventure from start to end.