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A Short Hike Switch Review – Explore a Wholesome World

A Short Hike Switch Review – Explore a Wholesome World

A Short Hike is probably the most wholesome game I’ve ever played. It follows the story of a young bird named Claire who has come to Hawk Peak provincial park to stay with her aunt. On the day the game is set, Claire is sitting inside waiting for a phone call, but it hasn’t come. When she asks her aunt about this, it turns out there’s no signal out here, and if you want your phone call you’ll have to climb to the top of Hawk Peak mountain. It’s only a short hike, or so they say.

Yes, although the hike is short, it’s more or less perfect. You walk around the small island where the game is set, talking to the charming animal characters, hunting for chests, discovering mini games, and most importantly, collecting golden feathers. Said golden feathers are dotted all around the island and can be found in chests, purchased from characters, or given as rewards for completing small tasks. With these feathers, you can climb for longer periods of time, flap in the air, and sprint. Although there are around twenty of these to be found throughout the game, you only need seven to reach the top of the mountain.

I think if I had to pinpoint my favourite thing about A Short Hike, it would have to be the sheer number of routes and ways players can reach the summit of Hawk Peak and experience the immensely satisfying glide down. Since there are no enemies, tricky platforming, or puzzles anywhere in the game, it is incredibly accessible to people of all ages and gaming abilities. I even taught my 76-year-old grandmother to play this one.

Having said that, if you’re looking for a challenge, there are plenty of mini games, races, and secrets to find everywhere across the island as well.

The art of A Short Hike is very sweet, too. Although the default graphics are pixelated to the point of actually hurting your eyes, there other much less pixelated options, adding even more to the freedom of the game. The music is excellent as well! The whole generally upbeat aesthetic of the soundtrack just makes the experience even more enjoyable than it already is.

Although the art and music are completely fantastic, what really puts the cherry on the top of the game for me are the characters. They’re just perfect. Each one has such a unique personality that shines through in their design and dialogue. From a fisherman who’s more than happy to teach you what he knows, to a goat that sells things at the shop, and even a whiny little kid that wants sea shells. Some will teach you a new mechanic or how to use an item, some will provide mini games and challenges, and some just have a few sweet lines of dialogue to add to the mix.

Now, I have to explain why this game isn’t quite perfect. It might seem like something small, but it made a difference to the experience, so I have to mention it.

A Short Hike is a game in desperate need of a map. It doesn’t have to be a complex map with each character and detail drawn to perfection, just something small and simple. Although there is a compass and signposts for the main paths and areas, I’ve been desperately trying to find old mini games or secrets that were out of reach before, and they just seem to have vanished. Areas could also be filled in on the map as you explore them, so the player could get an idea of their completion. If you think that would take away from the exploration aspect of A Short Hike, then consider that the map could be given to you after you’ve completed the game for the first time.

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Although it frustrates me occasionally, this really isn’t something that should stop you from checking this game out. Very few things are perfect, and this one is no exception.

There’s everything I have to say about A Short Hike. It is a game I enjoy a lot, and I’ve recommended it to some friends who enjoy it as well. It’s got everything a good game needs: adorable art, great music, fun characters, and an interesting story, and the creators have delivered each of these elements to perfection.

I have never experienced something so wholesome and charming, and I cannot recommend this one enough.

A Short Hike Review provided by Nintendo Link
Publisher: Whippoorwill
Developer: Adam Robinson-Yu
Release Date: August 18, 2020
Price: $7.99, £6.29, €6.99
Game Size: 435 MB


Great story and characters

Very nice music

Colourful graphics with multiple settings

Lots of extras and mini games


This game needs a map

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