As I mentioned in my last post, I’d been at a bit of a loss of what to play, and had ended up grabbing Another Sight from the list of Xbox free games; actually, in April, there were two free games that caught my eye, with Hue being the other one.

Hue is a puzzle game involving changing colors; so there are boxes of different colors, and by changing the color of the background to match the color of a given box, you could make that box disappear, letting you pass through it. Honestly, the puzzles from the intro video didn’t look that great, it always seemed pretty obvious what sort of color manipulation you’d want to do in any given context, but it was a mechanism that I’d never seen before. So I figured I’d give it a try; it was a short game, so I wasn’t signing up for anything huge.


And, when I started the game I wasn’t super impressed. A lot of the initial puzzles were, unsurprisingly, very straightforward; and some of the ones that weren’t straightforward involved a bit more physical dexterity than I want in my puzzle games, in the form of having you jump and then change colors while in midair. (Time slows down significantly when you change colors, but honestly I wish the game would just freeze time entirely in that situation.) And it seemed like the game would be adding in more and more colors, but could the designers really make better puzzles when working with 6 or 8 colors than with 3?

Still, it was at least pleasant enough (aside from the jumping bits), and you could see some hints at less obvious puzzle mechanics. For example, you’d be asked to figure out how to arrange boxes in the right order to make a series of jumps, taking into account the fact that you can push boxes through each other by temporarily making one of them invisible. So I kept on going.


And the puzzles did indeed get better. You got a new color each time you finished a chunk of the game, and, at least for a while, adding new colors did help. And they did manage to do more than you’d expect with the initial mechanics, and each chunk of the world would generally add in a new mechanic to play with.

For example, one of the early additions was pressure-sensitive switches. You’d need to put a box on them to activate them; but if that box became invisible then it would stop pressing the switch. So you’d have to take into account the colors near whatever part of the level the switch would effect, and use that to figure out which color box to put on the switch. And later they added in lasers; they’d kill you, but only if they weren’t invisible, but the lasers could also activate a different kind of switch, and the lasers would be blocked by boxes as long as the boxes were visible. So you might want to have boxes in place for you to be able to traverse an area, but then you’d make the boxes invisible so a laser could flip a switch. And I also liked the floating boxes held up by balloons, where the boxes and the balloons were colored differently so you could disable the two parts independently.

Note also that all of these new additions to the puzles could interact with each other. Maybe the door that you’d open through a pressure sensitive switch might block a laser when it was closed, or a laser might be at a height where it would be blocked by a floating box but not when the box wasn’t being held up by balloons.


So, as the game went on, I would frequently have to spend a while thinking through a level, experimenting with different approaches for the segments of the level. And Liesl started watching me play, so when I hit a tricky level, the two of us would spend time talking things over, making suggestions and seeing how they played out.

Good game; and it didn’t overstay its welcome, either. I was definitely happy to have played through it, and I think it helped me start to get out of the funk I was in, too. A pleasant coincidence that it showed up for free, but it certainly would have been worth paying for.

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