Granted, games are subjective and a fast-paced shooter or a tense sports game could be just what you need to forget about that angry email, busy commute, or looming deadline for five minutes. Often though, those sorts of games just increase my stress levels, pumping even more adrenaline around my body than when I started. So if soothing myself and relaxing is the goal, none of them hits the spot.
Sure games are subjective and a fast-paced shooter or a tense sports game could be just what you need to forget about that angry email, busy commute, or looming deadline for five minutes. But often those sorts of games just increase my stress levels, pumping even more adrenaline around my body than when I started. So if soothing myself and relaxing is the goal, none of those would ever hit the spot.
But I Love Hue is different, because you play at your own pace, the only challenge is to correctly identify colors and although you are told how many moves it takes you to complete each game, it's very easy to completely ignore those figures and play purely for fun, not for status.
I love you, I Love Hue
The premise of I Love Hue is simple, which is why I like it so much. You're presented with a shape filled with lots of little tiles. Each one is a specific shade, a hue, and the goal is to move each one into the correct place within the shape so the result is a beautiful gradient of color, from say green to blue – although the combinations get even more varied as you progress through each level.
You'll start with a simple shape to arrange to color perfection, like a square or diamond, with large tiles. The more you complete, the more complex the shapes and color combinations get and the tinier the tiles. But there's no pressure. Things might get a little more challenging, but there isn't a countdown timer or a leaderboard. You can even skip certain shapes and still complete levels and progress forward to others.
I can't tell whether it's the lack of pressure and competition or the gorgeous colors that have made this my go-to game for destressing, the one iPhone app I reach for when I'm feeling overwhelmed on public transport. Either way, I highly recommend you download this colorful oasis next time you need some gentle visual stimulation, a little dose of calming color, and a meditative practice that doesn't involve any actual meditation.
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Becca Caddy is a contributor to iMore, as well as a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than a decade, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality. Last time she checked, she still holds a Guinness World Record alongside iMore Editor in Chief Gerald Lynch for playing the largest game of Tetris ever made, too.