[Review] A Short Hike – Nintendo Switch

Written by Frank Sloan
  • Developer: Adamgyru
  • Publisher: Adamgryu
  • Release Date: 18/08/2020
  • Price: £6.10 / $7.99
  • Review code provided by Adamgyru

INTRODUCING: A SHORT HIKE SWITCH REVIEW

Games that make us feel good are definitely needed nowadays. It’s always nice to just sit back and relax with a comfy game. A Short Hike does just that. You can hike at your own pace, collect items, interact with other hikers, and more. There’s fun mini-games to take part in as well. This game is wholesome through and through. I can’t recommend it enough so let’s dive into it!

WHY ISN’T MY PHONE WORKING?!

A Short Hike revolves around the main character, Claire, longing for a cell phone signal. Claire is waiting for an important call. However, due to the countryside not having service, she must ascend to the summit in order to find cell reception. I’m sure we can all relate to being out in a forest or rural area with zero cell reception. While there is some reality in that, the fact that there are animals to chat with makes it all the more fun. The story isn’t all that complicated. As the saying goes, “its about the journey, not the destination”.

LET’S SOAR THROUGH THE SKY!

The gameplay of a Short Hike is quite simple. You are tasked with getting to the summit of the mountain. However, there is much more to do than that! While you could just make a straight line to the top via the path, there is tons to explore from both collecting and interacting with the other animals around you. Each character feels different from the last. The dialogue is enjoyable and has the charm you would expect from a wholesome handcrafted game. Yet, developed by only one person!

Another aspect of A Short Hike that I enjoyed was increasing my golden feather account. These allow you to double jump while in the air and fly further. It basically acts as a stamina increase. The more that you have, the better. You are able to climb to new heights and soar even more with these. There are 20 to collect throughout your journey so make sure to look out for them!

You are able to participate in mini-games and even fish along the shores and bodies of water. The fact that you can do what you want in A Short Hike and aren’t rushed to get to the summit is what makes the game all the more appealing to me. There are different secrets to be found within the game and much to explore outside of the path to the summit. Although the length is only a few hours, there’s a great deal packed into it.

LISTEN TO SOME CHILL TUNES

The art within A Short Hike is definitely unique. When I first started playing, I had such nostalgia for games from the past. The 3D-pixel art is definitely charming and very easy on the eyes. It’s low resolution still offers quite a great deal of detail for what it is. The aesthetic is calming and reminds me to take things slow. I appreciate the great use of colors and vibrant imagery throughout a Short Hike.

I adore the audio/ost within A Short Hike. It can be subtle at times, but the ambiance and music truly make for a very relaxing experience. The original soundtrack was created by Mark Sparling and it changes dynamically as you explore! Sometimes it can be very quiet, and other times it picks up. The music adds wonderfully to the relaxing experience that this game has to offer.

BEAUTIFULLY EXECUTED

From a technical standpoint, I didn’t experience any hiccups or issues while playing on the Nintendo Switch. I took this wonderful game to both handheld and docked mode, where it played flawlessly. I didn’t experience any lag or freezing while hiking up the mountain. My time spent playing a Short Hike was greatly enjoyed and without errors too. This was a great port of the game to the Nintendo Switch and a job well done!

WILL YOU MAKE IT TO THE TOP?

In closing, A Short Hike is a delight. Not once did I ask myself “Is it over yet?”. I wanted to keep playing and playing. While I do wish the game was longer, the length stays true to the title. This is such a neat little experience that can be played through in just a few hours. I would love for a sequel or additional content to be added, yet that might take away from the charm. It’s a self-contained story that is just wholesome to the core. A Short Hike is something that I believe we all need to experience and play.

PROS

  • Lovely art style
  • Adorable soundtrack
  • Fun characters
  • Tons of items to collect and places to explore

CONS

  • Quite short, hence the name!
  • Little replayability

Verdict
A wholesome experience that allows you to relax and interact with charming characters.

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