A Short Hike Collector's Edition Review - 'An Absolutely Perfect Package'
More often than not, it's short experiences that come to exemplify the success of indie games. Of course, Minecraft and Hades carved out their own paths as indie trailblazers that keep players coming back, it's often the likes of Braid, Journey, and Untitled Goose Game that leap to mind when considering indies. Especially in the current online climate of wholesome indie games made by tiny teams that have made their home on Twitter, a smaller and more personal experience is more than enough to prove that gaming doesn't have to be held off by the AAA gatekeepers.
One of the best surprises to come of this sub-genre, and one of the most impressive short gaming experiences you can have right now, is Adam Robinson-Yu's A Short Hike, a bitcrushed beauty that has become a special marker of just how magical cosy games can be. And with a new special edition from Super Rare Games, the game's experience has just got even more heartfelt.
A Short Hike Is The Cosiest Cosy Game
A Short Hike follows Claire, a bird on a search for serenity at the Hawk Peak Provincial park, a gorgeous and picturesque island designed with a crispy, cosy aesthetic that lulls you into its shifting climes and winding paths. Your goal is simple - climb, flap and soar your way to the top of Hawk Peak - but along the way, there's no resisting the corners of the world that hide feathers, dig spots, flowers and fire pits.
The game is designed with such simple aims that you feel no pressure whatsoever to rush your gameplay, and you'll be allured by the secrets the game holds. It's not a long experience, but the charming, awkward dialogue makes you truly feel like you've known Claire and her new friends your whole life, and its final moments bring with them a gorgeous reflection that make for one of the most simply-constructed emotional finales that video games have seen in recent years.
A Short Hike has built itself a unique aesthetic, atmosphere and sense of humour that all contribute to it becoming a truly unreplicable experience. And until now, it's been a relatively cheap experience, seemingly remaining on Steam for around £4 forever. But now a massive collector's edition has arrived from Super Rare Games, very much pushing the boundaries of the value of video game special editions - but it's a delightfully sincere reflection of the game's values and aims, and it's an absolutely perfect package for fans.
Super Rare's A Short Hike Collector's Edition Is Full Of Love
A Short Hike has made its jump into the physical press with new bundles from Super Rare Games, and of course, there's one thing that jumps out immediately about it. It is expensive.
Upgrading from a game that retails at £5.79 to a pack of goodies that comes in at £94.80 is a steep leap, but my god, is it a great upgrade.
There's a certain bliss that comes with owning a physical copy of a game, but when it's a bundle like this, it treads so much further. Many collector's editions will settle for a simple model or steelbook, but A Short Hike's tread into the physical comes packed with a treasure trove of goodies that seems to truly understand what makes the game such a treat.
A guidebook for the Hawk Peak Provincial Park that serves as a guide to all of the secrets the game holds, all scribbled in Claire's handwriting. A pocket map to the park. Postcards from across the island. Everything in the package is in service of the sense of wonderment and adventure that comes with talking to the charming animals peppered across the gorgeous island, with a focus on making Claire's journey your journey. Collector's editions will often dish out simple miscellaneous merchandise, but here is proof that they don't have to be a meagre cash grab sold under the veil of exclusivity.
A Short Hike's Collector's Edition Is A New Benchmark
We've known that collector's editions have been serious disasters in the past (we're looking at you, Fallout 76. You know what you did), but here is proof that they don't have to be cobbled together and thoughtless. A game with such sincere goals as A Short Hike has long deserved a physical release of some description, but who knew it could be this faithful and attentive.
Its price means that it may be exclusive for the super-fans, but it's well worth the cost if a good cosy indie is your bag. This collector's edition is an absolute delight from Super Rare Games, and if it's a marker of things to come from the company, then we're all the way in.
You can buy the A Short Hike Collector's Edition here.
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch. Product provided by publisher.