Next time some tells you to take a hike, instead of being offended (or actually going for one) you can happily comply by diving into Adam Robinson-Yu's relaxing exploratory adventure A Short Hike.
Players control a little bird named Claire, who is "trying to take her mind off things" by visiting her aunt on the mountain in Hawk Peek Provincial Park. Reaching her won't be as easy as flapping your wings all the way to the top, however, as you will "hike, climb, and soar through the peaceful mountainside landscapes." As you "follow the marked trails or explore the backcountry as you make your way to the summit," you are free to take your time, go swimming, do some fishing, "discover hidden treasures, and take in the world around you." You'll also meet a number of other hikers along the way, "some of whom are dealing with their own problems."
Conceived as a "personal art project" inspired by the developer's own experience of "summer hiking trips and exploring forests in his youth," A Short Hike features charming pixel art presented from an isometric perspective, accompanied by an original soundtrack by Mark Sparling that "progresses dynamically as you explore the wilderness." Rather than focus on puzzle-solving or even a particular storyline in your travels, the game is intended to be a "relaxed but sincere expression of the peace and simple joy of a walk in the woods." As such, the reward is not in reaching your destination but in the journey itself, so players are encouraged to "choose your own path to follow and see where it leads you. You never know what you might stumble into!"
A Short Hike was originally launched in April as a Humble Monthly exclusive. Since then, it has been expanded through the "Extra Mile" update which refines certain elements and introduces new characters and activities. The new and improved version is available now for download on Steam and itch.io, and you can learn more about the game through the official website.