Hue Flowing

PC

This little morsel of a game, around 30 minutes to an hour depending on your knack for it, is so gorgeous I primarily want to write about it to encourage creator “DaFluffyPotato” to make more. In this micro-platformer, you play a little ninja-ish guy who paints in the world around him as he moves.

Beginning with a blank sheet of parchment, but for your guy and a small clump of land on which he’s stood, in Hue Flowing you fill in the world by moving around. The more quickly you move, the further you “throw” splatters of reality, as if painting one of those children’s books where a brush and water cause the image to appear. The effect is utterly lovely, and as this weeny game proves, is also an effective conceit for an inventive platform game.

At the start, your character is able to double-jump, but collect the level’s tokens and you’ll add an extra leap to the total. While the game is deliberately ambiguous about your overall goal, what’s obvious is you need to master these chains of jumps to reach new areas. The trick here is, wall jumping doesn’t count as one of your jumps, so a lot of the game is about figuring out how you can reach a wall with your current number of leaps, such that you can bounce off and onto a distant platform.

I got pretty stuck pretty quickly, primarily because of the game’s one fault: it’s not so great at signalling areas you’ve yet to reach. (My tip: persist with going right.) But once I’d figured out that first stumble, the rest flowed easily. This little game isn’t bursting with puzzles, but rather something that’s a constant joy to be playing while it lasts.

The painting effect is so splendid, drips running down the screen if you land hard, areas on the other side of rocky towers revealing if you fling yourself into them hard enough. Splattering the level into existence never grows tired, and when it was over, I properly gutted. The developer says on Itch that it was created “with a scope similar to jam games”, which is certainly true. But hopefully it could also prove the motivation to develop it into a full game. It would certainly need a couple more flashes of brilliance, to find innovative ways to use its unique concept to make its platforming consistently interesting, but I feel certain they’re there, not too far below the surface.

Either way, this is a wonderful half-hour of serene platforming, and entirely free.

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