Hike Review

Take a weekend camping trip in the woods in Hike.

A review copy of Hike was provided for this review. No compensation was involved and all thoughts are my own.

Format: PC via Steam
First playthrough time: 45 minutes

Hike. A two-lane highway through the mountains with a speed limit sign specifying 55 miles per hour

Released Jan 8th, 2021 by Morning Shift Studios

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Quick Overview

Major Pros:
  • None
Major Cons:
  • Lack of content
Minor Pros:
  • Some relaxing elements
Minor Cons:
  • Visuals glitches
  • Awkward music
Hike. Forest of trees all made from the same 2 or 3 visual assets

It’s easy to get lost with few landmarks or terrain variation

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In-Depth Review

Hike is a short walking simulator adventure game. The player starts at a car pulled over on the side of a two-lane highway and dialog directs them off into the forest. The game is pretty short and focuses on some small adventures in the woods during a weekend camping trip. Unfortunately, the game is pretty devoid of content and what’s there lacks polish.

Hike. A faintly glowing stack of logs

A seemingly random stack of logs in the woods

The vast majority of Hike involves walking around to find items or locations of interest. When the player gets close enough, text dialog or actions will automatically trigger. There are no voiceovers or animations for these occurrences which makes them a bit jarring. The things the player searches for are also seemingly randomly placed so the player spends a good amount of time wandering around in terrain that largely all looks the same. There is one ‘level’ that instead of finding things involves platforming, which is the only time jumping is enabled. It’s also the only time the player can scale terrain as almost all other non-flat terrain is guarded by a plethora of invisible walls.

Hike. A large rock texture disconnected from the ground and showing its hollow interior

Grass visible under a disconnected rock outcropping

Even with the seemingly simple terrain of Hike, there are a number of visual glitches. It’s not uncommon to find large rocky areas that are floating in places, exposing the grass beneath and making the rocks look like dirty towels frozen in the air. The music is also off, particularly in the platforming section. It sounds more appropriate for a 2D action platformer than a camping adventure in the woods. In general, the music is disconnected between sections and overly distracting.

Hike. A cliffside view overlooking a lack and fir trees, tiny text at the bottom of the screen reads: Kinda want to head back to my camp already

All dialog is very small subtitles only

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Recommendation

Overall, I unfortunately didn’t enjoy Hike. I found the environment very empty and heavy on asset reuse. Much of the gameplay involved wandering around and looking for items with random placement. I also found the music off-putting and there were a number of obvious visual bugs. I cannot recommend Hike at this time.

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