A Short Hike (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Nayu 26.09.2020

Review for A Short Hike on Nintendo Switch

First spotted by this reviewer on a Nintendo Nindie presentation, A Short Hike drew attention with its cute style. Interestingly, the player can choose whether to have small or large pixels throughout the game. The beginning starts in a car ride with a reluctant young Claire on her way to stay with her aunt on a mountain. Getting there, Claire, a charming little black bird, is horrified that there's no telephone signal, so sets off on what her aunt says is a short hike, but is one long adventure for Claire. What will she find at the top?

It is easy to assume that Claire is a social media loving teen who can't be away from her phone for too long or she will die. The truth of why her call once she makes it to the top was so important is a shock and provides a thinking point for how easy it is to make assumptions using stereotypes or a person's own life experiences. The game itself is a couple hours long, mileage varying depending how long it takes to complete all the quests Claire undertakes for people she meets on the way. While not always necessary, completing the quests is advisable to gain more golden feathers, needed for power boosts in both running and flying, plus practicing kindness and helping others has a feel good factor.

Whichever graphic style is chosen by the player, there is no doubt that A Short Hike is a fun experience. Flying and gliding like a bird, be it from high cliffs, or not far off the ground, provides a thrill that relaxes the mind, and helps unwind from whatever real life issues surrounds you. Every action that Claire can do is handily described by various other characters somewhere on the mountain. They usually are happy to repeat the instructions several times, apart from one memorable person who keeps saying "NOOO! NOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOOOOO!" when asked too many times on how to glide. Great hilarity ensued trying to make that character repeat the instructions.

Screenshot for A Short Hike on Nintendo Switch

To get up, the mountain golden feathers are needed so that Claire can keep her jumping or flying ability - it being a mountain means it is a lot colder at the top, with ice and snow depleting the golden feather power. Thankfully Claire can warm herself and her golden feathers back up in conveniently placed hot springs. Golden feathers can be bought from two people on the mountain, one more scrupulous than the other, but mostly are found through exploring the mountain which is teaming with life and quests. Swapping a spade meant for playing in the sand, with a spade that can dig treasure, leads to the growth of a sand castle kingdom, whose architect has an amusing dialogue whenever progress is made. Finding a person's lost watch results in more fun dialogue and a bonus for Claire to enjoy.

Making the way to the top of the mountain may seem like Claire's main goal, but she learns that it's the journey that matters. On getting to the top she is able to make her phone call which turns out to be truly important. Choosing to sacrifice some of her golden feathers to help a fellow hiker leads to an endearing conversation. Learning to fish results in being given money from a ship's captain for every new fish that is found, something needed for golden feather buying and also to use the mountain's boat. This reviewer took time to collect money to have a boat ride, but it was a little disappointing that nowhere new could be explored that hadn't already been looked at by using Claire's wings. Claire has the ability to swim without losing any life/golden feathers. Riding the boat does provide an extra avenue of fun, depending on the user's capability in steering the craft.

Screenshot for A Short Hike on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Easy to use controls, entertaining characters, fulfilling all the quests and fish list, beating personal bests at the mini games - all add to the high replay value that A Short Hike provides. It's a game to relax with before bed, or when life stresses need a calming outlet to reset one's inner harmony. Helping out illegal campers has never been so fun!

Developer

Adamgryu

Publisher

Whippoorwill

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop

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