After starting out as a Humble Monthly exclusive in April, A Short Hike arrives on Steam and Itch with a free update packed in. This cute little trek starts out with a bird named Claire and her Aunt May getting away from the city to visit Hawk Peak Provincial Park. Apparently unable to give up modern comforts entirely, Claire sets off for Hawk Peak where she can get a cellphone signal.
The rest seems to be all the cozy goodness of Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing mixed with the casual meandering of a classic adventure game. As Claire, you walk up and down the many smaller peaks, valleys, and streams of the park where treasure chests and new friends wait to be found.
All the other animals visiting the park, in adventure game fashion, seem to have things they need in return for something they can offer Claire. A frog by the beach has a shovel for digging up treasure, which they will only give up in return for a smaller, sand castle-making shovel. Two avid rock climbers offer to teach Claire the ropes, which she'll need to reach the summit of Hawk Peak, but only if she comes back with a golden feather.
The pace of A Short Hike appears relaxed, there are no survival meters or timers or other impositions forcing Claire up the mountain any quicker than you choose to go. As you wander the park looking for new secrets and treasures, you can glide down through the air, allowing you to skip the hassle of reversing your route. Not only that, but the literal bird's eye view often reveals new nooks and crannies to explore that you didn't spot on the walk up.
The new Extra Mile Update, which comes included with A Short Hike, brings a few tweaks and changes that developer Adam Robinson-Yu discovered during the exclusivity period on Humble. The update brings new characters, the ability to catch various kinds of fish, and touchups to several mountain areas with new discoveries even for those who have played already. This update also adds support for Linux.