A Short Hike

Cover Art - A Short Hike
Take control of Claire and explore Hawk Peak Provincial Park. The ultimate goal is to climb Hawk Peak itself, but the rest of the island is yours to explore.

Meet other hikers, find hidden treasures and discover the secrets of the park. This relaxing exploration game lets you look at adventures through the eyes of a child again.
Platforms PlayStation 4, Xbox One S/X, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Linux, Mac OS
Developer Adamgryu
Publisher Adamgryu
Player Count 1
HomePage https://ashorthike.com/

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January 10th, 2022

It’s not uncommon for Indie games to fly under my radar. During the week I saw a video about A Short Hike, a very chill exploration game. A Short Hike was released in 2019 on PC and Mac, Switch in 2020 and November 2021 for PS4 and Xbox One. So better late than never?

There is a very basic story. You play as Claire, a young bird staying with their aunt. Aunt May is a ranger at Hawk Peak Provincial Park, and you are staying there. 

Hard to get a call with no phone reception
Hard to get a call with no phone reception!

On your first morning, it is revealed that you are waiting on a phone call, but there is no reception. Aunt May suggests you try the top of Hawk Peak to get reception. Travelling to the peak is not only a short hike (see what they did?) but a family tradition. 

So Claire sets off to climb the peak.

During the day, you meet various people and discover different things. Gameplay-wise, these are A Short Hike’s versions of side quests. Story-wise, they fall effortlessly into things a child exploring would do.

Meeting people around the park
Meeting people around the park

There are no time limits to curb your exploration. No combat to worry about, and only very basic platforming. A Short Hike is definitely a game to sit and enjoy for an afternoon.

Even taking it easy, you will most likely reach Hawk Peak within two hours. Returning to Aunt May ends the day with a nap, but you can reload to continue to explore. For the main story, there is nothing new to discover, but Hawk Peak park is large and fun to explore.

Hawk Peak has been climbed
Hawk Peak has been climbed before I found the graphics settings

In many ways, A Short Hike is a condensed chill experience akin to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The pixel art style may not be for everyone but adds to the charm. I didn’t realise you could ‘smooth’ the style until after finishing the game. This may appeal to people that are anti-pixel style art.

For around AU$10 depending on the platform, A Short Hike is a no brainer choice for a relaxing way to spend time. It has a bit of everything for most people, barring combat and precision platforming.

Mini-games and adventures await
Mini-games and adventures await

For me, it was a cute experience that allowed me to explore and chill after a long week. Playing on PlayStation, there are trophies that I am considering completing. It could be A Short Hike is my first Platinum of 2022!

January 17th, 2022

Well, that didn’t take long. A couple of hours over a couple of days, and I now have my first Platinum trophy of 2022. And it’s all thanks to A Short Hike.

I saw the end of the game after a relaxed two hours. About the same amount of time was spent exploring Hawk Peak Provincial Park. The final trophy boiled down to seeing someone at 5 pm.

Sure, I could have played with the time on my PlayStation. Instead, I waited until 5 the next day and nabbed my final trophy. It was a great start to the gaming year.

Platinum Achieved
First Platinum for 2022!

A Short Hike is not an epic adventure, but it is a heartwarming one. There is enough challenge to keep you on your toes. The park is large enough that you need to explore but small enough to quickly traverse.

Not too many people to talk to. Collectibles are at reasonable levels. The balance involved in A Short Hike has been achieved well.

If you have any curiosity about A Short Hike at all, I recommend you nab a copy and enjoy your day with this adorable game.

Hawk Peak with minimum pixelation
Things look different with the smaller pixel size