A Short Hike

Is it just me or does anyone else want a full Beachstickball game now?

Posted by Nate on 4 August 2019 at 11:56AM

It hasn't been the best week. Feeling fatigued from work and ill health, I hadn't planned to play A Short Hike but I sat down this Sunday morning and played through it. I'm so glad I did as it got my day off to a great start. It was the perfect remedy to a busy and less than satisfactory week. It's one of those where I'd just recommend buying and playing through it before reading any more on this page.

Claire has escaped the city with her aunt for a trip away. But disaster! No phone signal. Claire is informed that only on top of the Hawk Peak would she be able to use her phone. Claire is expecting an important call so sets on her way. It's not an easy hike though and you'll meet lots of people around the island.

What initially looks like a fairly simplistic experience reveals itself to have a considerable amount of depth. While there are signposts around, you are free to explore and get lost around the island. You'll talk to the locals and most have their own requirement. Someone wants you to collect fifteen shells for them, another wants to trade their spade for a small shovel (for building sandcastles) and another will pay for fish you catch.

There is so much to so packed in to the small area. Fishing, beachstickball (the best new sport!), racing, digging, finding chests amongst others. Not only are these pretty engaging, they never outstay their welcome. They're all optional so if you're not feeling it you can move along to the next area.

Claire can fly around but only with the assistance of golden feathers. Along with money, this is the collectable in the game. Every feather you collect adds another flap of your wings or more height to climb. Flying feels really good, as does nosediving and pulling back up for momentum.

The characters are pretty chill. I couldn't help but thinking of a cross between Night in the Woods and Ittle Dew in terms of the irreverent mannerisms and character designs. It's fun and nothing too serious. It almost sets up a false sense of calm considering it's clear that Claire is trying to escape from something.

As you climb closer to the peak the scenery becomes even more impressive and the concluding moments are tremendously satisfying. The whole package is just a really engrossing and rewarding way to spend a couple hours.

A Short Hike is peaceful, engaging and relaxing. It's also really fun. It successfully combines a wealth of activities without detracting from the quality of any of it. Its short length keeps anything from becoming stale. Just what I needed on a Sunday morning before the start of another working week. At less than £6, I can't encourage you enough to go pick this up.

The good

  • Pleasant and relaxing visual and audio design
  • Likeable characters throughout
  • Wealth of activities which don't outstay their welcome
  • Flying feels great

The bad

  • Camera sometimes gets in the way.