WBG Score: 6.5/10
Player Count: 3-10
Published by: The Op
Designed by: Scott Brady
Party games come in every size, theme, and genre now-a-days. But where is the one for the graphic designers, artists, and the person that invented the Dulux colour chart? Well, thankfully, the good people at The Op have solved this. Hues and Cues is a cleverly devised game based on colours. All of them. Even the muddy green one that is a bit yellowish and reminds you of the Bogey Monster. But is it any good?
Learning and playing Hues and Cues is as simple as spotting a rainbow during a British Summer. Well, so long as you are not colour blind, in which case, I would say this game is sadly entirely unplayable. Looking at colours is 99% of this game. The other 1% is arguing with the other players about what shade of pink most accurately reflects a Flamingo.
To set-up Hues and Cues give each player their three player pieces of their chosen colour, lay out the board and place the deck of cards alongside it, then ask each player to place one of their pieces on the start of the scoring track. That's it! To teach the game, I suggest you just start! One player will draw the top card. On the card will be four colours. The clue giver described in this game as the 'Cue' giver, can pick one of the four colours to then offer a one word cue to the other players, hoping they will guess what colour they are referring too.
You can say any word you like so long as it does not include a colour, repeat a previously used clue in the game, refer to the colours position on the board, or an item in the room you are in. Each player will then place one of their two player pieces on the board in turn on the colour they think the Cue giver is referring too. The Cue giver can then give a second clue, now with two words. Each player will then place their second player piece on the board with the benefit of both clues and the other players first guesses.
The Cue giver will then place a gird on the board over the colour they were referring too. Any player with a player piece inside this scores two points. If they are on the exact colour, they will get three. Anyone with a player piece directly outside the grid scores one point. For the Cue giver, they will score one point for each player piece within the three by three grid. And that's the entire game. The game can play for as long as you wish, but the rules suggest that each player has a turn at being the cue giver twice.
The game is incredibly simple but so much fun to play! As the Cue giver, there is a lot of satisfaction in coming up with a clever clue that sends people to the right part of the board. The scoring system encourages you to give good clues, so there is no reason here to deliberately mislead the other players. Some colours can be very difficult to direct people towards, but others offer great opportunities to score well. Either way, the second two-worded clue offers all players the chance to refine their clues and guess based on the information gained from the first clue and how people interpreted it. You will be surprised at how close most people come, most of the time!
With so many colours on the board, you will be amazed at how each of your family and friends interpret simple clues like grass or sky so differently! Something that seems so obvious to you, often is taken completely differently by another player. The sky could by at night, or during a sunset, or in winter, or summer! But of course, I am just being nice. It clearly should have been sky blue! What were they all thinking?!
Playing as the guesser, you need to try and interpret not just the clue given, but the person giving the clue. How do they see the world? How specific or general are they being? Do they actually know that some Crocodiles are actually more brown then green?
Hues and Cues works brilliantly with all ages and player counts. There are 10 different colours of player pieces, but you can always use other things to mark your guess on the board and your score, or play in teams. You can play for as long as you like, and bring in other rules to suit the needs of the group. Perhaps you could add in a third acting round of clues. Or, maybe even the guessers can ask one 'yes or no' question each? There are many ways to make this work for your group.
Hues and Cues would suit any group looking for a new simple to learn and play party game. This is jumping right up my list for games to bring out when I have non-gamers at my house. The board is so striking and the rules so simple, I think most people would be attracted to this game very quickly. The debate, laughter, and fun created from the games I have played have been immensely enjoyable and I look forward to this hitting the table many more times.
The simplicity may put some more serious gamers off. But there is a lot of ways to make this game scale up as well. We tried playing a game where we gave clues that could only be names of other board games. It was great fun! It suited the group really well, and the interpretations of colours to popular games was surprisingly hilarious!