About A Short Hike
A Short Hike: Find Feathers and Explore Hawk Mountain
A walking bird and a joyful romp that gives you relaxation in pixelated form.
Bird's the Word
In A Short Hike, you play as an adorable bird who must fly up Hawk Mountain. The name of this game couldn't be more appropriate. The game is remarkably short, but as the "hike" part of the name implies, there's more to it than that. Your exploration, walking, and eventual flight reveals a wonderous scenery that is packed with charm, collectibles, and a variety of other nuggets along the way.
CONCEPT: Experience Hawk Mountain
You play as a canary named Claire, flying around Hawk Mountain. Claire is a human-like bird who is trying to get a mobile signal. As a result, your job to fly to the top of Hawk Mountain, exploring as you go.
Of course, the game is much more in-depth than that. You can explore the mountain, find collectibles, interact with other hikers, and more. Speed-runners can finish this game in mere minutes. Indeed, the current record is two minutes and thirty-three seconds. However, if you are here for the experience, A Short Hike has joy in store for you.
GRAPHICS & AUDIO: Pixelated Goodness
The graphics are adorable. A Short Hike goes for the pixilated style that has become so popular among independent games, and it achieves this aesthetic remarkably well. Nature and pixel-art don't always go well together, but in this game, they thrive.
The game also uses an isometric, overhead style, allowing you a maximum view of your surroundings. The game strives to ensure that you can see the world of Hawk Mountain in all of its splendor, and this view works well.
While the game is adorable, there is one obvious critique: It doesn't look much different than any other indie game. Indeed, if you imagined a pixilated indie game in your head, it would look like this. The game makes good use of what it has, but there's nothing that differentiates it from other games on the market.
GAMEPLAY: Climb the Mountain, Learn to Fly
A Short Hike is a joyful, mellow experience, one designed to slow your heart rate, not speed it up. It is a game designed to bring a smile to your face, and in this regard, it succeeds wildly.
Of course, getting up Hawk Mountain is not easy. Claire does not have the greatest of flight ability. From a gameplay perspective, you must buy Golden Feathers. These give you more energy, which operates like stamina. The more feathers you have, the easier your flight. Along the way, you interact with a variety of quirky characters and get to chat with them. The conversations are easy and breezy, just like the rest of the game.
If you are looking for a deep challenge or a platformer that makes you scratch your head, look elsewhere. In this game, the gameplay is meant to facilitate the overall experience of exploration and peace. There's not a ton of difficulty and no steep learning curve.
Great Game, Too Short
Perhaps the one criticism of this game is its length: It is extremely short, and as such, it does not offer much in the way of replayability. It won't take you more than a couple of hours to finish. However, it is an exploration-based game, and despite its relatively small world, it is crammed full of new details and areas to explore. The content is more than enough to support multiple playthroughs.
A Short Hike is available for purchase on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Nintendo Switch.
REPLAY VALUE: 3/5
A Short Hike is a fantastic game that provides a relaxing experience, even if it is only a brief one.