Game review


by David Klaus | 🏠 Studio: Whippoorwill | 🕹️ Platform: PC, Nintendo Switch

I played an indie video game this week and want to give it the attention it deserves with a (SPOILER FREE) review of it. Also, it's nonstop in my head since I played it and I want to write my thoughts on it down.

How it started

It's Monday and I'm not in the right mood to work on my projects. I decide to take a break for that day and search for a good game I could play for a few hours. There was a game I barely remember and already wanted to play for a while now and start searching it with the following search term:

Indie Game Flying Bird like Animal Crossing

I tried to find it before with „Indie Game Flying Bird“ but couldn't find it. So I had to try it with the disrespectful addition „like Animal Crossing“. If I had to make it catchy for someone who didn't know the game, I would probably describe it the same way. It was only after that that I noticed that I was already following Adam Robinson-Yu (the creator of the game) on Twitter.

„A Short Hike“ is a game by Adam Robinson-Yu with a beautiful OST by Mark Sparling and many other talented persons.

"Like Animal Crossing" I guess it's not the best thing to hear when you put much energy into creating a game. It isn't the worst either. I believe it is one of the main reasons a big part of the community started playing it. Not exactly because of Animal Crossing, but the emotions, you associate with these kinds of sandbox games. It's the first comfortable feeling you get when you see the game trailer. It's wholesome, there are tiny talking animals, a great color palette and everything has a familiar look and a great OST on top of it. After playing it, you'll notice that it's much more than that. You'll come for the aesthetics, but stay for the unique gameplay and feeling you get while playing it.

Going on a hike

Adam Robinson-Yu describes the story very well and easy in his Virtual Talk: "The game is a little video game about hiking, You'll play as Claire, this bird, whos visiting this island from the city. And she can't find any cellphone reception. So she hears that the only place to find it is on the very top."

Like the name already says, you can climb up that hill pretty fast if you want to, but there is too much to explore in addition to the main goal. The open-world is built upon an island with a big mountain everything is set around. It's a very cool concept I enjoyed exploring. There are many layers, mini-games, and side quests you can follow on. There is a good balance between exploring landscapes and talking to the animals, that are living there. It's much more about enjoying the time you spend playing it and getting lost in it without any pressure or big challenges. With that the flight mechanics impressed me a lot. I've never seen this like that before in other games.

If you go further you'll notice the writing of the game. It's very easy to follow with nearly no punctuation and short sentences. It feels very natural and funny so that you want to talk to everyone on this island and see what they are up to. A thing that I noticed is that the protagonist speaks. It might not seem special, but in a lot of games like these, that's not the case. It gives a more personal touch to the gameplay and the character you play. If you want to deep dive into a tiny open-world game, I highly recommend playing it.

I bought it on PC for ONLY 6,59 €. That's a good price for a game. Go get it on Steam, it's also available for Nintendo Switch.

I also recommend watching this video if you're interested in the process and behind the scenes of indie video games. It's very well structured and explained by Adam Robinson-Yu himself.

There was a comment under this video, which summarized my feeling about the game pretty well for me. "[...] Instead of being an insane grind that never ends, it gets straight to the point, gives you absolute mobility and freedom to explore and let you be a happier person and move on with your life once you complete it. Excellent work."

Thank you for reading! What are your thoughts on the game and my review? Do you have any other cool indie games I could play and review after that? Or maybe you're a upcoming small indie developer and want to show your work? Don't hesitate to contact me. I would be very happy to hear from you!