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Insider Look - Hues and Cues

By Nicholas Leeman

“Red, a world about to dawn!” -Les Miserables

How specific can you get about a shade of magenta? Could you point out the precise color of Grimace? What do you imagine when someone says “sunset”? While beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, Hues and Cues seeks to find out if you can not only mind your P’s and Q’s, but also your RGBs. This 2020 release from designer Scott Brady has been gaining a wider audience in the year since it first made its way onto store shelves, and with more copies hitting your FLGS as well as your local Target and Barnes & Noble, it seemed like a good time to revisit this one.

“And it was all Yellow.” -Coldplay

The pitch of Hues and Cues is as simple as can be. Draw a card from the stack of 100, and choose one of the 4 coordinate-designated colors on it. Give a one-word clue to your fellow chromatists and watch as they each try to bullseye the exact shade on the 480-colored board. Once everyone’s placed a cone (the part of the eye responsible for seeing color- very clever) on the board, you’ll give a second clue, this time a one *or* two-word clue. Now, the last player to place a cone goes first as you snake around the table the other direction. Once everyone’s dropped two markers, you as the clue giver will place the scoring frame on the board with your color-coordinate in the center, and points are awarded both to you for how many cones are inside the frame, and to your friends based on who’s inside and who’s just-outside.

 “It ain’t easy being green.” -Kermit the Frog

To make this interesting, the rules state that you can’t name any object in the room, nor can you use any of the colors you’d find in a 10-pack of crayons. (specifically verboten are brown, orange, black, green, blue, yellow, red, pink, white, and purple) As clue giver, your job is to evoke a specific memory or image in the minds of your players, and convey it succinctly. Those one or two words are precious, and half the fun of this game is trying to find the perfect clue.

“I’m blue, da be dee da ba di” -Eiffel 65

Is there strategy here? Well, it wouldn’t be a game without at least some shenanigans, right? Assuming you conjured up the perfect one-word clue, and you feel like there’s enough cones where you’re about to put the scoring frame down, you don’t have to give a second clue. This prevents players from dropping their second cone on the board, gaining even more points and closing the gap on you. In one of our games, we even had one clue-giver purposefully give a clue that was a few rows over from their specific color, betting that at least one or two cones would get close enough to be in the frame while everyone else would be off the mark. A spicy play, to be certain.

“I only want to see you in the purple rain” -Prince

Hues and Cues is honestly bordering on an absolutely perfect party game that doesn’t require people to pay too close attention. The absolutely gorgeous (and huge!) gradient board is an attention grabber from across the room, and while the recommended length of play is that everyone gets two chances to be clue giver with 6 or fewer players and one lap around for 7 or more, you can easily lengthen or shorten that as you want. It’s your table, after all, and things don’t always have to be so… black or white.

Hues and Cues is made for 3-10 players, ages 8 and up. Keep your imaginations sharp and loved ones entertained wherever you’re together by picking up Hues and Cues for $24.99 from your favorite local game store or shop here at! Join other fans in sharing their games online by streaming a round or posting photos with the hashtag #HuesandCues on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to be featured!


Nicholas Leeman has been writing about and reviewing board games since 2017, and currently reviews games for the YouTube channel GLHF Boardgames. He makes his home in Minneapolis, MN

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