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Hue – PlayStation 4

Hue – PlayStation 4

PlatformPlayStation 4

Developer: Fiddlesticks  

Publisher: Curve Digital 

Release Date: August 30, 2016 

Genre: Puzzle, Platforming 

Nerd Rating6.5 / 10

Reviewed by Rhutsczar

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like in monochrome? How would we never be able to see the deep blues of the sky or the multi-color fascination that is a rainbow ever again? Well let me pull you back from that black and white hell and let you know that someone has rediscovered the essence of color and is ready to bring it back into the world. Welcome to Hue, where we can coat the world in color as we see fit.

Throughout your adventures in Hue, you control the titular character as you travel throughout your world in search of your mother. A brilliant intellectual and scholar, your mother and her colleagues re-imagined and studied the history color. Her studies led to the creation of the Annular Spectrum, a device that is able to fill the world (or at least the background) with a color at the user’s will. Cast out of the science community due to her radical ideas and monumental discovery, she moves you far away from the life you once knew. Now, many years later, she is gone missing and it is up to you to explore color naturally throughout your journey.

Do you remember that book that you may have slogged through in high school, The Giver? While taking Hue on this journey of discovery, that book is all I could think about. It isn’t just all in my head either, as the similarities are present. An intellectual that is cast out because of their interpretation of color and forced to become a recluse? Is that individual forced to share their ideals through a journey of trials and tribulations? I couldn’t keep trying to connect the two together.

Now you would have to expect that a game based on the concept of color would have a unique way of incorporating the key element into a playable game. As you solve the semi-difficult puzzles throughout your journey, you have to use your Annular Spectrum to manipulate the background to make objects in the foreground disappear. For example, you may have a blue block that you need to maneuver around to reach a switch. Simply change the background to blue and the block will disappear into the background. Once you reach the other side, you can change back to any other color and the block will come back into view. While this concept does seem simple at first, you will need to be able to change colors on the fly (or in mid-air) so you don’t drown in the white water below.

You would think at first glance that since Hue is based all on color, you are alienating a major part of the market if you are colorblind. However, the developers wanted to make this puzzler accessible for the largest market possible. So if you are colorblind, don’t fret! You can mosey over to the options menu and turn on colorblind mode. This mode adds distinct symbols to each color so you can experience this journey as well.

The biggest problem with Hue is that the game is not that difficult. While you are exploring around in the Hub, or the first four major sections of the game, you will fly through it pretty quickly once you pick up the controls. It isn’t until the University, the last fifth of the game, that the difficulty spikes like crazy. Once lasers are involved, you need to be pretty quick at the draw to be able to survive. Feel free to die over and over again, just to respawn in this re-occurring hell.

Almost like it was paired with the difficulty, the pacing is a bit off. Since crawling through the Hub is so easy to conquer, it is possible that many gamers could give up due to disinterest or boredom. The build-up is entirely too slow, but it is expected for this hybrid of a puzzler & platformer. You have to be patient to reach the end, if you aren’t you will drop Hue pretty damn quickly. Make it to the University, I implore you.

If you can put up with the slow build, the puzzles are actually designed pretty well. While it starts off with a simple “move block to unlock the door” mechanic, but once your Annular Spectrum is full then you are thrown directly into the fray. Whether there will be seas of white or multi-colored lasers waiting to bring you to your demise, you can be a bit overwhelmed. There is a rather straightforward solution to each of the puzzles, and very few other routes to uncover alternative ways to success. You may not be able to experiment too much with this puzzler, but you can have fun regardless.

Lastly, I would like to applaud Fiddlesticks for a fantastic, yet simple score. While everything about Hue is rather simple, with the music being no expectation, the score adds a level of complexity to the world’s design. The music is primarily just a piano, which slowly keys along in the background. This creates a haunting tone that wraps the player in a velvet embrace as they explore color in their own way. It’s soft but sets the tone quite quickly.

If you are looking for your next puzzler to solve and conquer, Hue is quite possibly the game for you. Whether it entraps you with its intriguing story or the unique usage of color to solve puzzles, it is possible you may have found your next addicting title. Let Hue sink its claws into you and take you down the path and have a conversation of our own existentialism. You can find Hue in the PlayStation store for $14.99.

Written by Rhutsczar

Hello everybody! Thanks for reaching the end of whatever my newest/current addiction is above me. I’m pretty sure it’s an RPG, since it’s my favorite genre I try to find the most underrated and niche games possible. Anyway if you like what you read and would like to check out more, follow the links below. Also be sure to check out the RBG over on Beyond Bacon!.

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