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Video Game / A Short Hike

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"Claire, you're gonna have a great time this summer! I think. It will be good to get away from the city and take a break from everything else going on."
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A Short Hike is a 2019 indie adventure game made and released by adamgryu.

The game follows Claire, a young bird girl that is taken on a trip to Hawk Peak Provincial Park. While there, she realizes that she has no cellphone reception and is waiting for an important call. She is, however, told she may be able to get some reception if she gets to the top of Hawk Peak.

The game is available on Steam, Epic Games Store, GOG.com, and itch.io. A Nintendo Switch version released on August 18, 2020.


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Tropes:

  • all lowercase letters: Pretty much all the dialogue in the game is written like this. A few exceptions include characters shouting in all caps and location names always being in title-case.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Most of the cast. It gets strange when Claire gets a pair of running shoes, which aren't an equipable item, and apparently let her run faster just by being in her pocket.
  • Blatant Item Placement: Throughout the island there are coins, treasure chests, and buried treasure markers spread widely and often obscured by foliage or hidden around corners. In the snowy final area these treasures are much easier to see and are generous in number. Because 32% of the stamina upgrades are purchased with coins and because having a high enough stamina level acts as a soft skill-barrier on finishing the final area the developer may have wanted to make sure that any player who couldn’t finish the final area would have enough coins to purchase more upgrades right away.
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  • Cell Phones Are Useless: The premise of the game is Claire trying to get to the top of the mountain so she can get reception and receive a call.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: A downplayed, wholesome example. The kid who you play "beachstickball" with gives you all the money in his pockets (about 100 coins) for playing one game with him. When Claire says she feels guilty for taking his money, the kid says it's okay because his family is rich.
  • Discount Card: Two stamina powerups, Golden Feathers, can be purchased for 40 coins each at the Visitor Center. The vendor remarks that "a boy" purchased all the other feathers. Upon reaching the entrance to the final area you find this boy, who talks to you rudely and sells four Golden Feathers for 100 coins each, a 2.5x markup! If you go through one of his dialog trees you discover he's stressed about paying off his college tuition of 400 coins. You can choose to donate 400 coins, and will receive a trading item that later results in a powerful stamina upgrade. If you do this before purchasing any feathers your kindness is rewarded further, as the boy sells all subsequent feathers for the normal 40 coin price thus saving the player up to 240 coins.
  • Fictional Sport: A kid on the beach has made up a game called beachstickball. It's kind of like volleyball, except you hit the ball with a stick instead of with your hands, and it's a cooperative game rather than a competitive one. Instead of trying to make the other player miss the ball, both players are trying to rack up points by volleying the ball together.
  • Fishing Minigame: One of the many outdoor activities you can do in the game.
  • Ironic Fear: You can find a squirrel NPC struggling to climb a wall in the final area. He sounds scared despite encouragements from his friend at the top of the wall.
  • Iyashikei: While not a Japanese work, the game fundamentally hits all the points of being in the iyashikei category: the game as a whole is very positive and relaxing, with a beautiful big island to explore with no conflict to worry about, and Claire's interactions with the islanders always result in warm and fuzzy feelings.
  • No Antagonist: The closest thing to an antagonist is a bully who withholds a large supply of Golden Feathers, which are crucial to complete the game, and sells them for a higher price than what he bought them for. But even he has Hidden Depths that make him sympathetic.
  • No Cartoon Fish: The game takes place in a World of Funny Animals, but fish are not anthropomorphic, and the anthropomorphic animals can go fishing.
  • The Reveal: Once at the top of Hawk Peak, Claire finally gets the call she's been waiting for. Her mother was going to a surgery and she was nervous, not knowing how the surgery was going. The call was her mother telling her the surgery went just fine.
  • Scenery Porn: The park is a lovely view of the woodlands and mountains. Even the peak at the end of the game shows you a beautiful snowy scenery.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Once you get high enough up the mountain that it turns snowy, the terrain features difficulties to match. In particular, the frigid air freezes your Golden Feathers as they're expended, and they won't be replenished unless you warm yourself at a hot spring or campfire.
  • Sprint Meter: Claire can collect Golden Feathers, which allow her to jump by flapping her wings or scale vertical cliffs.
  • Shout-Out: While on the woods, Claire meets a turtle and a hare that are training for a race, in reference to "The Tortoise and the Hare".
  • Warm-Hearted Walrus: Bill, a walrus NPC who loves fishing. He acts like a mild-mannered old man, and will gladly teach the player how to fish.
  • World of Funny Animals: All the characters are anthropomorphic mammals, birds, or reptiles.

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