I Love Hue Too is, of course, the sequel to I Love Hue. That was a puzzle game about color gradients that I ended up liking a surprising amount, so I was excited to see the sequel.

The sequel has the same color gradient matching gameplay as the original, but with one significant change: rather than trying to fill in a uniform grid (of squares, of hexagons, of triangles), you’re instead trying to order the colors in a space that’s tiled with two different shapes. Which is a neat change, it gives a bit more texture to the experience.

So I started out rather enjoying I Love Hue Too: the initial puzzles are quite easy, of course, but they’re pleasant to interact with. The problem, though, is with the harder puzzles: in the original game, as you progressed in the puzzles, it started getting really unclear exactly what was wrong, you just knew that something didn’t look right and maybe one specific boundary between tiles was a sign that things were misplaced, but it wasn’t so clear how to fix it. So you had to train yourself to be sensitive to those subtle differences and to feel out moves that would improve things, eventually resolving all of that uncertainty.

With I Love Hue Too, though, the feeling even for hard puzzles was quite different: the multiple shapes meant that your search space was significantly smaller. Concretely, one of the shapes would be less common than the other one, and often much less common; so, if you start by focusing on that shape, then instead of having subtle color differences between adjacent tiles, you have much more noticeable color differences between nearby tiles of that shape. So it was much easier to solve the rarer shape, and once you’d done that, filling in the other shape in the gaps wasn’t a real challenge.

To be sure, I didn’t end up going through all the puzzles in the game: I still haven’t gone through the last several batches of puzzles. But I’m quite sure that, by the time I’d played I Love Hue that much, it had turned into something rather interesting and intense; maybe I Love Hue Too will eventually start touching on that feeling with its very hardest puzzles, but maybe it never will, and it certainly won’t spend as much time there.

Anyways, it’s not a bad game by any means; it’s pleasant enough. And if what you want is just a chill way to relax, I Love Hue Too is just as good as I Love Hue, and maybe even better? But the original game went to an unexpectedly deep place; the sequel just isn’t the same in that regard…

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