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Hue Review: An Experiment in Color

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Hue Review: An Experiment in Color

Curve Digital

At first, Hue seems all too familiar, with a minimalist black-and-white aesthetic that suggests a cross between Limbo and Apotheon. A sudden, unexpected splash of color quickly dispels that notion, and before long, Hue’s investigation of his missing mother’s “annular spectrum” gives him the ability to swap between eight different prismatic dimensions.

The basic overlay of each is identical, save for the fact that certain blocks literally fade into an identically colored background; an orange obstacle, for instance, will be invisible in the orange spectrum. In a world of all-too similar platformers, then, Hue is a literal palette cleanser.

As the game progresses, players will not only have to more rapidly swap between colors, but may have to intricately manipulate them, using paint nozzles to change the color of blocks so that they’ll continue to hold down a pressure pad. Levels can sometimes seem overwhelming, especially once conveyor belts and lasers are added to the mix, but the brevity of each ensures that these areas merely remain challenging, not impossible.

These additional puzzle elements also help to distinguish the game—the latest from developer Fiddlesticks—from similarly demanding color-swappers like On Rusty Trails, and there’s even a whole philosophical narrative to be found between levels, as Hue’s mother begins to question reality: “If you cannot perceive me, do I even exist?” We may never be sure that we’re seeing the same blue, but it’s hard to imagine anyone not being entertained by Hue.

Publisher: Curve Digital; Developer: Fiddlesticks; Release Date: August 30, 2016; Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 (also available on PC and Xbox One).