Game Review:   Hues and Cues

This is a social game in which each person takes turns at trying to get people to guess the color on the grid that they have chosen.  The game can be taught in about a minute and you can be playing almost as soon as you lay out the board.

Game Review: Hues and Cues!

What is the game “Hues and Cues”?

This is a game where you try to make connections between one or two word clues and colors.  There are 480 different colors on the game board in a grid marked from A to P and 1 to 30.  When it is your turn, you draw a card that has four random colors showing, with their grid-reference-code.  For example you might see a brown square marked A1, with purple C23, aqua M22, and orange E7.  You choose one of them to work with and then tell the other players a single word clue or “cue”.  If you chose the orange color, you could say “caution”.  If you chose purple, you might say, “eggplant”.

Each other player places their first marker on a color they think matches your word.  Then you say one or two additional words that could adjust their guesses.  You can also pass on saying another word, which generally means you either have no idea how to improve their guesses, or you like what they guess. 

You cannot repeat words that were previously used in the game.  Nor can you use words such as lighter or darker, or color words, unless they are more exotic, like ochre, chartreuse, or mauve for example.

After everyone places their second marker, a 3 x 3 gate is put on the board, centered on your grid-code.  Then the counting begins.  Each other player gets 3 points for being right on the square or 2 points for being in one of the 8 squares surrounding your color.  If they are on any of the 16 squares outside of the gate, but adjacent, they get 1 point for that marker.

The person who gave the cues for the hue gets one point for every marker that is inside the 3 x 3 gate.

You simply rinse and repeat until someone gets to 50 points!

Is this game similar to any others?

I don’t know any games that are similar.  It is like some of the social games like Pictionary, since everyone is involved at all times.  However, everyone is trying to win and their skill at describing colors or understanding each other player can lead them to victory.  

Was it fun and worth buying?

This game is fun!  It’s so simple that it is deceiving at first.  You might think, “How can it be fun with only player markers and no other pieces?”  They just aren’t necessary.  It is stimulating mentally, since you have to think of original ways to describe each hue and to differentiate from colors that are nearly identical.  

The game moves more quickly than most games that are meant for more than 4 players.  In fact, the number of players has no significant effect on the speed of the game, since everyone places their markers at once.  The only thing that slowed down the game was when one player (me) took too long to think.  That was easily remedied by passing out the cards early so there was plenty of time to think of cues on other people’s turns.

This game is definitely worth buying for the following reasons:

  • The game can be taught in less than two minutes.
  • Setup and cleanup are fast, since there is only the board and a bag of player tokens.
  • Adding more players does not make the game take longer. 
  • It is meant for 3-10 players and there aren’t many games that are good for 10 players!
  • Although it is super simple, it still takes skill, so gamers and non-gamers alike will enjoy it.
  • The game itself is a conversation starter and provides fodder for ridiculing other players!

How did the matches end up?

We found that some people can just understand what the other person is thinking.  Some people might be able to track eye movement and focus and derive the color on the grid.  Sometimes people said words that were infuriating or confusing.  For example, I said, “apple”, for the first word, which could be something in the red range, yellow range, or green range!  Everyone picked red though, possibly because red apples are most common, or possibly because they knew I like red.  

The score was fairly close throughout the game, with no more than an 8-point spread, which narrowed to 5-points by the end.  Our hostess (who owned the game) won with consistently good word choices! 

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

  1. Have you ever played this game before?
  2. What do you think of Hues and Cues?
  3. Was there anything about the game you would change?

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