A Short Hike

“A Short Hike” by Adam Robinson-Yu, Mark Sparling, Dawn Blair, Andrew Wong & David Czarnowski.

“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 as well as the entire line-up of quick sidequests. 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 do not know at this point why it is so important for her, but she is waiting for it now for hours. Her aunt tells her then that no call can happen right now, as the island does not have any reception at all; but there is a chance to get reception at the top of Hawk Peak. Immediately Claire runs off, following the trails to the mountain. As soon as she is facing the first part of the hiking road, she realizes that she is not going to make it at this point, as she does not know how to climb. But with the help of somewhat magical items called the Golden Feathers, she can get lighter and become more persistent.

Few feathers can be bought at the visitor center for fifty coins each, so Claire must acquire some money first. Luckily for her, bronze, silver and golden coins are strayed all over the place, often in slightly concealed treasure chests. However, 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 much more. But 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. [PLAY]