Hello Mr Blue Sky
Hue is a puzzle platformer, from developers Fiddlesticks and publishers Curve Digital, where you assume the role of the game’s titular character as he goes looking for his missing mother. Hue’s mission to find her won’t be an easy one; she’s turned a strange shade and vanished. All this has happened because Dr Grey has tried to steal a ring that she had made. This ring, the Annular Spectrum, allows the alteration and perception of colour. It has shattered, spreading its eight coloured shards across the land. Collecting these shards may be the only way of saving Hue’s mother so the search begins.
Upon first entering Hue’s world everything is greyscale and bleak, but before long you collect your first shard, which allows you to brighten up the world a bit. You then shortly afterwards encounter your first puzzle; a miner is trapped in a mine with blue rocks blocking his path. To clear it you simply change the hue of the game – once the backdrop is blue the rocks disappear, allowing you and the miner to walk through them. This is your first introduction to the mechanics of solving the majority of the puzzles in the game, and it’s a pretty good mechanic. Of course there are other obstacles to overcome along the way such as switches, lasers, spikes, collapsing blocks and paint, but this swapping colours to make the impassable passable remains constant throughout.
Letters from Mum
The game moves along at a gentle pace, with you making your way towards the university collecting the eight coloured shards along the way, and even though it doesn’t need much narration to help with the game progression there is some. This is handled by letters, which are usually found at the beginning of a new area. These letters are to Hue from his mother and provide us with a little bit of a back-story as to what has happened as well as an understanding of colours appearing different to everyone.
The controls for Hue couldn’t be simpler; the left thumb-stick moves Hue, the right thumb-stick opens up the radial of colour, cross is for jump and square is use to interact. Also the game goes into slo-mo whenever you press the right thumb-stick. This is very helpful as it gives you a little breathing space so you can carefully select the correct colour you need without rushing and accidentally switching to the wrong colour.
The visuals in Hue are top notch. Even with just the basic colour palette the graphics are detailed, sharp and clear. The game also has a colour blind option in the menus which puts patterns on the different colours if you are having trouble seeing which colour is which. There is some fantastic voiceover work in the game too with all the narration carried out in a calm and soothing tone. It’s like having a big old hug from your mum. (Don’t just take our word for it; you can see for yourself with our first five minutes of gameplay here)
Hue has twelve trophies for the taking, which are mostly story-related. These story-related trophies are tied to the eight different colours you collect with two more for changing colour for the first time and for completing the game. The two remaining trophies are for making 5000 obstacles disappear, which will probably pop naturally during play, and collecting 28 secret beakers. As you will need to go exploring for the beakers once you have all the colours, this trophy will most likely be the last trophy you obtain.
Hue is a sombre and melancholy 2D puzzle platformer. It gently eases you into its colourful world with some simple puzzles to solve, but the more coloured shards you collect the more the challenge of the puzzles ramp up. It’s a truly (colour) blinding game.
NelMaNo Rating – 8.5/10