Sometimes someone produces a game that is both simple, relaxing and offers up an interesting experience. This is Hue. It starts as a simple platform game. Left, right, jump – that sort of thing. It’s pleasant enough. There is nice music, simple but accurate soundstage placing of effects and above all it’s an auditory experience. It really is. The sound stage is half of what this game is about. However, I am digressing.
As I said, the game starts of in an almost monochrome state. Hue is the main character and his job is to find his mother who has unexpectedly disappeared. She has literally vanished from the world that Hue inhabits. So Hue begins a journey to solve his mother’s disappearance. Slowly, he starts to bring together her discarded research. This is in the form of letters or pages of her research that lie scattered around the environment. In doing so he discovers the ability to see the world’s hidden colour. Each colour he finds enables him to change the background to alter reality. As the background shifts between shades, obstacles slip between pigmented dimensions and become visible to use, remove and jump on. If you see a blue pile of rocks blocking your way, you can change the background to blue and they suddenly vanish. This is true of any coloured object.
Hidden objects can also be made visible by changing the colour of the background. Looking for a door? Change the background and see if there is one that has been hidden. Need to jump a deadly gap? Change the colour and see if there are hidden crates that you can move all walk on. It’s such a simple concept and often requires you to change colours whilst leaping from one location to another. Dexterity of the fingers is required on many occasions. As you move deeper and deeper into the game you require a wider range of colours and finding them can also tax your brain cells. Often, the same location has to be visited again in order to find what you need.
In addition to the ongoing story, fuelled by the notes and research that you find, you may also have to perform tasks such as turning on the power to the lighthouse or rescuing a trapped miner. You will also have to collect potions as well, because these will also have a use further down the line.
Hue is one of those games that are both interesting and fun. The voice acting is good, the game requires some thought and it is genuinely a wonder to play. Even the story will have you thinking as the plot unfolds a letter at a time. It is just one of those games that show it has had a lot of thought and design put into it. It relies on plot and game play rather than mind shattering graphics and I suspect that it can be easily converted to other platforms. There are also thirty original pieces of music that have been written especially for the game and they set the stage for every level and adventure that Hue moves through.
Finally, and most interestingly, Hue caters for that small part of the world’s population that are colour blind. Yes, it has a colour blindness optimised mode that should allow someone who suffers from this ailment to play the game without any problems.
As I may have previously mentioned, Hue is not only a thought provoking game that offers a genuinely new experience. It is a game that has had a lot of thought put into it. It thinks about the world it is in and the story that unfolds is one of love, loss, existence and remorse. There’s also a bit of philosophy thrown in there for good measure. I love this game and I am truly addicted to it. Its simple theme will not please everyone’s gaming pallet and action fans will start yawning after about ten minutes of play. That’s not the point though. This is a game with a story that taxes the mind and still keeps you coming back for more. It’s a low cost game with high production values and there are very few of them on the market today. A very solid 8/10.
Developed by Fiddlesticks and published worldwide by Curve Digital, Hue was reviewed on the PlayStation 4 and will be available on the PS4, PlayStation Vita (cross-buy), Xbox One and Windows PC for $14.99 / €14.99 / £11.99.
This title has been rated “E for Everyone” by the ESRB and “3” by PEGI.