Hue is a middle of the road puzzle-platformer. You play as Hue, in a world where everyone sees in black and white. Your mother discovered COLOR – and more precisely, that you can change the way you see the world, shifting the colors of it, and change the world as a result.
Naturally, she then managed to get herself stuck outside of reality, so it falls to you to save her.
The gameplay of Hue is pretty simple – it’s a very basic puzzle-platformer. You run, you can jump a relatively short height, and you can pull and push boxes. The central mechanic of the game, however, is the chromatic ring – an ability that allows you to select one of up to eight colors (acquired over the course of the first half of the game), which causes the background color to shift to that color – and everything in the foreground that matches with that background color to disappear as long as that color is the background color.
The game, then, centers around using the colors to manipulate the environment around you, walking through solid objects and pushing crates around to weigh down buttons and block lasers (which are themselves colored, and can be nullified in the same way as other foreground objects) to get to the end of the level. The game doesn’t focus on precision platforming, instead being all about solving these puzzles using colors, though a few levels do require some reflexes as you run away from boulders or run across crumbling platforms while switching colors on the fly to allow you to eliminate walls and make blocks appear in front of you.
There’s only a relatively small number of mechanics in the game, but the game itself isn’t actually all that long – I 100%ed the whole thing in five hours, grabbing all the collectibles along the way (which requires repeating some sections, as you don’t have the colors necessary to get some of them the first time through), and if you’re just going through it, you could easily beat it in 3-4 hours. The puzzles were generally pretty small, which fit them well – the complexity was mostly in figuring out the correct sequence of actions and making use of the various mechanics to solve the levels.
The thing is, it’s hard to complain about a game like this – it does what it is trying to do and then gets out of the way before it belabors the point.
But at the same time, this game didn’t exactly thrill me. This isn’t even the first time I’ve seen this exact mechanic in a game, and the game itself felt like “standard puzzle platformer with gimmick mechanic” gameplay.
Is that a bad thing? Well, not really; the game is exactly what it seems to be. But at the same time, it isn’t wow me, either. This isn’t a title I’d go out of my way to consume.
It’s hard to recommend something that is merely passable. This game didn’t really excite me to play it, it was just a middling experience, without any moment where I was like “Man, I’m glad I played this.”