10 people found this review helpful
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 12.8 hrs on record (12.5 hrs at review time)
Posted: Oct 17, 2023 @ 1:58pm
Updated: Oct 17, 2023 @ 2:40pm

Overview
In the fantasy city-state of Zenoa, our heroine Twyla is in a perennial state of grief over the early loss of her mother to illness, and now finds herself trying to maintain “The Twilight Jeweller” without anywhere near the level of skills her mother possessed. And so begins Every Hue Of You. We quickly learn that in this land, emotions are tied to one's spirit, and deep emotional outbursts can have severe and long lasting effects with very negative consequences upon the greater populace. Twyla's own grief is causing continuous rain to fall over the city; so a “tracer” is despatched to find the cause of this outburst – which introduces our first NPC, and potential romance interest, Lao, into the game as the man who identifies Twyla as the source.

Features and presentation
- Graphically, overall the game scores very well. Sprites are large and alter pose frequently to reflect where they are within a conversation – barely a step short of being fully animated. My only disappointment is with Twyla's primary portrait itself. Her shoulders are drawn too high, so she looks like she has no neck and this gives her the appearance of being constantly hunched over. This may prove to be an entirely personal distaste; but it was enough to prevent me from being able to immerse myself as the protagonist.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=3052839482

- Most of the game is in the form of customers arriving in the store and describing an event in their lives in order to bring out a certain emotion, which Twyla, as a conduit, can then draw out and enchant jewellery she makes for them with it – this then leads to brief mini-games (which are more like little observation tests which you can get wrong without fear of any punishment) which fit the design very well.
- The in-store and jewellery making presentation are both very reminiscent in style of the game Coffee Talk. If you liked that, you'll probably like this, too. Outside of the store (the primary location), there is weather (always raining, some storm effects), and regular pedestrian and vehicular traffic going by. This brings the scene to life.
- During customer tales we get to visit other, differently styled locations which add a large dose of bright and vibrant colours.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=3052838701

- In between customer visits, Twyla and Lao get to chat in her rest room and this sees the graphic presentation get another twist, as the characters appear within the backdrop, interacting with it, and still with multiple poses.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=3052841071

- There is voice acting present of all reactive expressions, eg. “Mhm, Ooh, Ah!” and so on, but not of any actual dialogue.
- Sound effects, where used, are good.
- The game is split into (large) chapters, and autosaves periodically within each one. There is a chapter replay function.
- The narrative features a number of unique terms, for which there is a full glossary. However, by hovering over any words which require explanation, this is then presented within the game screen in tooltip form, so that you don't have to leave your position to check it out.
- It is still worth going into the glossary section for a look, as there are also pen-pictures of all of the characters to be found there.
- There is a history log which is possibly the quickest and most efficient to go in and out of that I've ever come across. A quick press of the tab key brings up the most recent dialogue, and a second press removes it and returns directly to where you left off.

Negatives
- It's what is missing from the game which lets the side down somewhat. There is no gallery, but there are plenty of CGs and locations which do stand admiring separately to their appearance within the story.
- Text speed choice is limited to slow/default/fast. Not instant. Which means you will often be waiting for a caption to complete printing – unless you press space or the mouse button to hurry it along – and then of course it will turn out to be a brief caption and you'll nudge it on to the next one unintentionally. I did this countless times. Just as well that the history log is so good.
- There is no back step – so forget those ideas of making a choice, and then nipping back to see how an alternative one would have played out.
- And no, you can't use the manual save function to do that either, because there isn't one. The single slot, fixed progress points autosave is your lot.
- Perhaps most frustrating of all, there is NO skip function! Whilst you can replay a chapter, they are all quite long, so if you find yourself replaying to check out an alternative or find a missing achievement, be prepared for an awful lot of frustrated space bar bashing.

Experience and verdict
The story here obviously has an underlying focus upon mental health, how we can be affected by different emotional states, and dares to touch upon possible methods for handling them. If this all sounds very serious or too negative for your tastes, hold on there. This isn't all about preaching awareness or sending you into a spiral of doom and gloom or even keeping you up all night thinking about it. Yes, the latter is certainly an option if you choose to take it that way. But I want to also highlight the other side to this game.

I do not “do” miserable, dark, gloomy or depressive subjects in my games. I'm just not interested. There is more than enough of that in real life, so I don't want it in my entertainment, too. If you've read the reviews posted before this one, you would be fully entitled to think of this as only a deep and thought-provoking narrative with little else to offer, and you'd be wrong. I would like to state categorically that this game can also be enjoyed as a very well written visual novel with an engaging story attached, without having a subsequent ongoing impact on your own state of mind.

The way the game has been designed strongly leads me to suspect that it is intended as a single play through experience with a fixed conclusion, and as such, the negatives I've highlighted aren't going to cause much of an issue, and the reward is worth the time investment. I'm amazed to find the longest play time of reviews pre-dating this one is only 7 hours, there is a lot of material within and it took me 11.7 hours to complete a full run, with no idle time. You do get value for money.

The story is quite slow paced throughout, following Twyla's development as she discovers and learns to master her newly unveiled enchanting skill whilst battling to come to terms with the loss of her mother; but is kept interesting by all the other characters' side stories (again, think Coffee Talk with a more serious mindset.) As such, I think it is better suited to a series of smaller play sessions rather than one or two long ones – which was perfect for my own availability, and which probably makes it easier to read solely as a piece of quality fiction.

It would be a shame if a work of this standard continued to remain under the radar of VN fans. It's well worth a look.

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4 Comments
༺☆𝙇ǐᶩⁱ𝒕ℎ☆༻ Oct 18, 2023 @ 12:37pm 
Thank you for the in-depth and great review! :pinkheart:
Foxxelle Oct 17, 2023 @ 11:35pm 
@Miyakuli thank you for reading my extensive meanderings :steamhappy:
Miyakuli Oct 17, 2023 @ 3:52pm 
I was thinking of coffee talk and you mentioned it haha x) look interesting, ty for this review!
Foxxelle Oct 17, 2023 @ 2:09pm 
Thank you to my friend for gifting me this much desired game. You know who you are and you should also know it was greatly appreciated <3