Hue is a undoubtedly beautiful game and will undeniably be compared to Limbo but with a colored pallet. Where Limbo skimps on story and color though is where Hue takes advantage. The thought provoking puzzles are equaled by the sweet story and wonderful, colorful design and style. I found myself playing this game for hours at a time (once it was for five hours) which I never thought I’d do for a puzzle platformer. A few blunders at the end prevented this from being a near spiritual experience but the journey was still an aspired one.
The story starts out with our eponymous main character determined to find out what happened to his mother. She mysteriously went missing and no one knows what happened. It also doesn’t help that the world of Hue takes place in only monochrome colors. Citizens can only see in black and white. In your exploration you’ll eventually stumble upon colored blocks which allow you to change the color of the world around you. This of course bleeds into the gameplay and puzzles as well.
The start of each level has an envelope with a message from your mother you can pick up. It will give you exposition of your mother’s history, work, and sacrifices from her point of view while you continue platforming. I’ll admit I really enjoyed listening to the letters. They were delivered beautifully and really painted the picture of this world’s backstory. The end of most levels will have a cloaked person staring at you before walking away and disappearing. This subtle touch added an additional nice, mysterious feel to Hue. I was constantly trying to piece together who this was and I’m excited to say that one of my theories was correct.
The general atmosphere was pretty somber. I mean you’re trying to find your missing mother after all. But at the same time that the letters added a bit of melancholy, the music to this game added awe inspiring beauty. It was so pretty that at times I would randomly change the color of the world just to hear sounds. Every time you choose a new color it emits a sound that accompanies the soundtrack. The colors themselves were also vibrant. No matter what shade the world was it screamed attraction.
Now for the gameplay itself. Hue is a 2D puzzle platformer that has you manipulating colors and objects to reach the next area. You’ll come across boxes, lasers, floating devices, falling dangers, switches and more in an assortment of colors. You can make a certain colored object disappear by making the world that same color. So if your path is blocked by a blue box you can go through it by using the blue color or avoid the blue colored danger. The more you progress the more complicated the solutions become. All of them involved platforming and using different colors to succeed.
One of the things I like the most about this game was the puzzles weren’t too demanding. They were relatively easy to solve immediately or the answer became clear if I stopped and thought about it. However, the very last area spiked in difficulty like nobody’s business. I know the ending levels of a game should be the most challenging but the difficulty spike was massive compared to the rest of the game.
This area also took the longest to complete because of the excess of levels. It grew to the point that I wanted Hue to just end already. I thoroughly enjoyed the title but the ending levels were also really long compared to the rest of the game too. Lastly, the end may have had a plot hole. I felt the entire reason the mother vanished in the first place would have prevented the ending that we received. The complication of her disappearance was suddenly fixed because reasons.
Hue may have fallen slightly apart at the end but it is a delightful puzzle platformer you should try out. The story, even if told in exposition, kept me interested and I really wanted to solve the mystery of the mother's disappearance. The plot was further enhanced by the music and art. Everything technical wise was astounding in this game. The notes, the colors, the art design, the style, you name it. This game is simply beautiful. The puzzles themselves were even enjoyable because they were a good type of challenging (until the end anyway.) As far as puzzlers go this is one great entry into the genre.
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