“Hike, climb, and soar through the peaceful mountainside landscapes of Hawk Peak Provincial Park. Follow the marked trails or explore the backcountry as you make your way to the summit. Along the way, meet other hikers, discover hidden treasures, and take in the world around you.”
“A Short Hike” is as gentle as an indie game can get. In the roundabout two hours I played it, I felt a pure joy overcoming me while exploring the island with its often cute, sometimes snappy inhabitants, all the places that were mostly in plain sight, but some also hidden and the entire line-up of quick side quests. I hope you will feel the same when you step into the rule of Claire, a young bird woman who is staying at the Hawk Peak Provincial Park with her aunt, the ranger May.
One day, Claire feels a bit anxious about missing a phone call. We don’t know at this point why it’s so important for her, but she’s waiting for it now for hours. Her aunt tells her then that no call can happen right now, as the island doesn’t have any reception at all; but there’s a chance to get reception at the top of Hawk Peak. Immediately Claire will run off, following the trails to the mountain. As soon as she is facing the first part of the hiking road, she realizes that she isn’t going to make it at this point. Why? She is no climbing expert whatsoever! But with the help of nearly magical items called the Golden Feathers, she can get lighter and become more persistent.
Some feathers can be bought at the Visitor Center for 50 coins each, so Claire must gather some money first. Luckily for her, bronze, silver and golden coins are strayed all over the place, often in slightly concealed treasure chests. Though, the amount of purchasable feathers is not sufficient. As Claire is exploring the island and talking with the folks over there, she can help them out to get some more as a reward.
Go on a beautiful quest involving park parcour races, fishing rare sea dwellers, collecting shells for an unknown purpose, keeping an eye out for a lost camping permit, an enjoyable game of the infamous stick beach volleyball, following a painter on the search for the perfect motif and so, so, so much more. However, when you feel like you are strong enough to climb the Hawk Peak and eventually make it to the top, the most wonderful reward of it all is waiting for you: To enjoy the marvelous view and to get to know the nature of the mysterious phone call.