From Adam Robinson-Yu in Toronto, Canada, we have this super charming and relaxing little adventure game. Released in April 2019, we’re catching up with it now—and that’s because it’s fantabulous.
A Short Hike
Some indie games you can look at and know they’re going to be special.
With its Celeste-like visual style and soundtrack, A Short Hike was only ever going to be ruddy excellent. And it is.
You star as Claire, this bird sort who’s on holiday at a peaceful mountainside island: Hawk Peak Provincial Park.
What you have to do is cavort about whilst hiking, meeting fellow holiday-maker types in various RPG escapades.
Exploration is the name of the game. Although the goal is to reach the summit of the island’s mountain, there’s no set objective.
You can complete anything as you see fit—that includes larking about enjoying the visual splendour.
A Short Hike is quietly enthralling and a quite brilliant little game.
The first thing we did was head out on a massive exploring spree. A couple of short missions later and we had a double fly type skill and some extra cash to buy golden feathers—those help with the hike ahead.
The RPG elements, and your interactions with the non-playable characters (NPCs) you meet, are crammed with humour and chillout vibes.
With the funny stuff, the NPCs offer witty comments and there are some genuinely amusing interactions.
The most important thing is to bulk up on golden feathers before going for the summit.
You’ll need at least 10, so tour the island to get your stock up. They help you flap, glide, and clib about—and that beautiful summit attempt is fantabulous. Totally worth the effort.
Mark Sparling is responsible for the soundtrack, whilst Dawn Blair added in art and writing contributions.
But this is largely all down to Robinson-Yu, the creator and programmer. And his game is masterful—like the award-winning Journey, but more peaceful.
The idea came from his burnout working on RPG games. Whilst working on some landscape designs, he decided to create a sense of peace and discovery.
It’s an indie gem that slipped under the radar for us last year, but we’re delighted to start 2020 with such a chilled out romp—and such a cheep one, too! It’s £5.
Highly recommended for anyone looking for a beautiful and peaceful little adventure game involving a birdo called Claire.