Ever since Love Letter became a smash hit, game designers and publishers have been cranking out micro games at a brisk pace. HUE, as part of the Pack O Game series of titles, is one of the smallest yet. Featuring only 30 cards in a box the size of a Juicy Fruit pack of gum, this little game can easily fit in your pocket for gaming on the go. Form factor is great, but who cares about its size if the game isn’t good. Does HUE deliver beyond the gimmick of its size?
HUE is an area control game in which players aim to score the most points. At the start of the game, three starting cards are placed in the middle of the table as the foundation. From there, players will build onto that base with colour cards of their own by either placing cards beside an existing card, or covering up one third of an existing card.
Once every player is down to one card, players reveal what they have left and calculate their score based on the largest contiguous colour areas that correspond to the three colours on your final card. Using the above picture as an example, if one of the colours on your final card was purple, the largest contiguous area of purple in the game takes up nine blocks. This means you would score 9 points for that colour. For the colour in the middle of your final card, you’ll score double. The player with the most points at the end wins.
This is a very simple game that can be taught in two minutes and played through in 5-15 minutes. That said, I’m actually quite surprised at the level of strategy involved. You want to build blocks of colour that benefit you, but you also don’t want to help others in the process. Being able to cover up one third of an existing card is genius, as it’s a great way to mess with other people’s plans while potentially improving your own situation in a major way. Finally, the act of scoring with your final card means that you have the ability to change course at the last minute if things don’t shake out as planned.
HUE is a great example of why size doesn’t matter. This tiny card game packs more than enough strategic bite relative to its size, making it a great value. It’s size makes it great for traveling and it’s entertaining for players of all skill levels. At it’s suggested retail price of about $7, it’s an impulse buy you won’t regret.