A Short Hike is a video game from Canadian designer Adam Robinson-Yu. If you’ve played it, you’ll know that one of the most charming things about it is that you can explore the world at your own pace, and focus on other tasks like collecting little treasures as you go.
It’s a truly relaxing game, with a beautiful art style as well. If you enjoyed playing it, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of other similar games. In fact, we’ve gathered them up into this article for you.
Here are 10 games like A Short Hike that you’re sure to love, including beautiful, artistic titles from a number of sub genres and styles.
Which one are you going to try?
Due to its exceptional visual and auditory art, Journey is thought to be one of the best video games ever created.
This is an adventure game from independent studio Thatgamecompany. The game features both a single-player and a multiplayer mode. You can play Journey on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, iOS, and Windows.
Unlike most video games, Journey does not contain dialogue with non-playable characters. Even if you’re playing in the multiplayer mode, you won’t be able to chat with other players or even see their nicknames. The multiplayer will connect you with a random player with whom you’ll go on your journey.
There are only three times you’ll see any type of text in the game. The first time is an instruction telling you how to start the game. The second is which button you need to press to sing, and the third is to display information on how to jump.
What Journey offers is an emotional and profound experience you’ll get from exploring the world Thatgamecompany built. The music in the game responds to your actions, which greatly enhances the overall gameplay.
Players take on the role of a traveler dressed in a robe. The events in the game take place in a vast desert. You’ll encounter both friendly and hostile creatures in Journey. The hostile creatures can rip off parts of your robe if they spot you.
Night in the Woods
Night in the Woods is an adventure game from Secret Lab and Infinite Fall. It came out in 2017 and is available for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Playing Night in the Woods is a genuinely memorable experience.
The game follows a college dropout named Mae Borowski who returns home and reconnects with her childhood friends. Mae wants to resume her aimless life in her hometown of Possum Springs. However, upon her arrival, she notices that her friends have changed a lot from the last time she saw her.
Not only that, but the whole town has changed. It’s not as prosperous as it once was. You soon uncover a dark secret about the town and start exploring the nearby woods to find more clues. The story unfolds from there.
Every character in the game, including Mae, is an anthropomorphic animal. Your character is a cat, while your friends include a crocodile, bear, and fox.
Night in the Woods covers serious themes like mental health, the decline of small-town America, and the stagnation of the lower and middle class.
The gameplay in Night of the Woods revolves around exploration and interactions with NPCs. The decisions you make in the game will affect the story. If you’re a fan of games like A Short Hike, you’re sure to love this song.
Carto is a top-down puzzle and adventure game from independent Taiwanese studio Sunhead Games. It came out in 2020 and has been praised for its deceptive and challenging gameplay, touching story, and cute art. You can play Carto on Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.
The story follows a young girl named Carto who finds herself on an island after a storm. The girl gets torn away from her grandmother, who is a cartographer. Your ultimate mission in the game is to reunite with your grandmother.
You’re tasked with finding and putting together different pieces of a map in every level. When you do this, you learn more about the island and progress the story. Making a map of the island will also enable you to complete certain quests, like helping NPCs find their homes.
The game features an interesting mechanic that allows you to rearrange the pieces of the map to ‘create’ different levels. This will allow you to unlock new puzzles, paths, and events.
There are some serious themes explored in Carto, such as curiosity, culture, and preservation of history.
The gameplay in Carto is quite relaxing and gives you a chance to peacefully explore the environment. You’ll explore various hand-drawn environments on your journey. The game features a brilliant soundtrack that takes the playing experience to a new level.
As you piece the map of the island, you’ll encounter many unique characters and learn about their cultures. This is one of the most beautiful story-rich games on the Switch, and it’s sure to be a hit with anyone that liked A Short Hike.
Firewatch is the debut piece from American game studio Campo Santo. It’s an adventure game that came out in 2016. Upon its release, the game received praise from many publications for its visual style, story, and dialogue. Firewatch is available for Windows, Linux, OS X, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.
The events in the story are set in 1989 and take place a year after the Yellowstone fires of 1988. The tragic event that took place in 1988 actually happened in the real world and is the largest wildfire that ever took place in the Yellowstone National Park.
You take on the role of a fire lookout named Henry. Your job is to ensure the safety of the people and the wilderness in Yellowstone National Park. One month after you start your job as a fire lookout, strange things start happening.
In Firewatch, you can only communicate through a walkie-talkie with your supervisor named Delilah. You will have multiple dialogue options when talking with Delilah and your choices will have an effect on your relationship with her.
As you encounter mysterious environments and objects, you’ll have to make the decision whether to inform Delilah of your findings or not. When you finish the story, you’ll be able to explore the open world in a free-roam mode.
The events that take place in Firewatch slowly uncover a mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the majority of the game.
Donut County is a story-based physics puzzle video game made as a passion project by Ben Esposito. The first demo of the game was shown at the IndieCade festival in 2012. Donut County came out in 2018.
You can play it on Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. There are also versions of Donut County available for iOS and Android devices.
The experience you’ll get from playing Donut County is both weird (in a good way) and delightful. There is something about the simple art style and the lovable characters that will leave a lasting impression on you.
Throughout most of the game, you will play as a raccoon named BK. The story explores the relationship between BK and Mira, his (human) best friend. Both you and Mira work at the Donut Shop, which is actually just a front for an evil corporation led by raccoons that want to destroy Los Angeles. If you think this premise is weird, wait until you actually start playing the game.
Raccoons have a solid plan to destroy everything in Los Angeles, and they have a special device that will help them. With a remote-controlled trash-stealing hole, you’ll be able to swallow various objects. In fact, the way you clear levels in Donut County is by swallowing every object.
It may sound simple, but the gameplay has puzzle aspects to it that will occasionally make you scratch your head and wonder what you should do next.
Playing Wytchwood will make you feel like you’re reading a book of fairy tales.
This game is from independent studio Alientrap and came out in 2021. It’s an adventure game that features a storybook art style. You can play Wytchwood on Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
As you might have guessed from the title of the game, you play as a witch in this game. One day, a goat comes into your hut, gobbles down almost your whole grimoire, and demands you give him wayward souls that you owe him. You can’t remember owing a goat anything, but you have no choice but to pay him.
The most important part of the gameplay is crafting. But since you no longer have your grimoire, you’ll have to get creative. You use your Witch Eye to discover ingredients and remember recipes. When you do that, you can start gathering ingredients and get down to crafting.
Crafting is the way you make progress in the game. You can’t engage in combat, but you can find the weakness of your enemies and craft an item that you’ll use against them. For instance, goblins have a fear of dolls. So all you have to do is craft a doll when you’re in a conflict with goblins and you’ll solve your problem. If you are too slow to act, you’ll take damage.
As you explore the world in Wytchwood, you’ll encounter many interesting characters with colorful personas.
TOEM is an underrated gem in the genre of adventure games.
The game is portrayed in a 2.5D environment. In other words, the characters are two-dimensional while the world is three-dimensional. The art style is minimalistic, which you’ll immediately notice once you start exploring the black and white world.
If you love games like A Short Hike, there is no doubt you’ll like TOEM. Playing this game provides you with a wonderful and calming experience that’s often hard to come across. The main focus of the game is photography. Snapping photos is how you solve puzzles.
When you start the game, the player character receives a camera from their mother and gets sent on a mission to photograph the TOEM. You won’t be able to visit the TOEM right away, as the only way to get there is by bus and you have no money.
To progress in TOEM, you need to complete various tasks for non-playable characters. Some are quite easy, while others can be challenging. Some characters will immediately let you know what they need from you. Others will be vague in describing what they want, so you’ll have to put your thinking cap on and figure it out.
When you successfully finish a task, you earn stamps. With enough stamps, you’ll be able to get to the next level. Rewards also come in the form of upgrades for your camera and new clothes.
You can play TOEM on Windows, macOS, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch. It’s one of the best story-rich games on the PS5 for fans of puzzle games, and fans of games like A Short Hike are sure to adore it.
Broken Age is a puzzle-filled adventure game from Double Fine Productions. It’s available for Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. You can also play Broken Age on iOS and Android devices.
The development of the game is thanks to an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign. The team raised more than $3.45 million for the development of Broken Age. At the time, this was the largest crowdfunded video game project. The game came out in 2014 and received outstanding reviews from most publications.
Broken Age is a point-and-click adventure game that has two playable characters. One is a young woman living in the Badlands called Vella Tartine. The other is a young man named Shay Volta, who is on a spaceship. There is no apparent connection between the two characters in the beginning, but that will change as you play the game.
Players are able to switch between characters at will. You will have a separate inventory for each character. Your mission as the player is to help both Vella and Shay take control of their lives and guide them through their respective adventures.
If you enjoy games like A Short Hike, you’ll fall in love with the colorful and vibrant world that this game has on offer. It’s a must-play.
Grow Home is an adventure platform game where you take control of a cute little robot who has to grow a special plant that will oxygenate its home planet. The game is from Ubisoft Reflections and came out in 2015. You can play it on PlayStation 4, Windows, and Linux.
A small team at Ubisoft Reflections worked on this game as a side project. It was intended to be an internal release but it became so popular within the company that they decided to go forward with a public release. Making the release public turned out to be a good decision because it made a lot of players happy and even spawned a sequel.
There are three main gameplay features in Grow Home – exploration, growing, and climbing.
You have the freedom to explore the open world at your own pace. As you explore the world, you’ll find crystals that will enhance your abilities.
The robot you’re controlling is known as BUD (Botanical Utility Droid) and you use different keys to move each of its hands. This is a very interesting mechanic that creates an unrestricted climbing experience you won’t see in almost any other game.
Finally, the growing feature is there to help you create pathways. Everything you grow can be a safety net or a bridge. When you combine these three features, you get a delightful gaming experience.
The First Tree
The First Tree is an adventure video game from solo developer David Wehle, self-published on Steam. The First Tree came out in 2017 and is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, and Nintendo Switch.
If you’re looking for a truly emotional experience akin to A Short Hike, this is it.
The story follows a fox that is looking for her missing three cubs. You travel through various beautiful landscapes looking for your cubs. Along the way, your mission entwines with the narrator’s story about his father. The two stories blend to create an emotional experience.
As you journey through the world in The First Tree, you’re bound to do some heavy thinking. Not because there are challenging puzzles in the game, but because stories from both the fox and the narrator will make you want to reevaluate relationships in your life.
The game is quite short. You can finish it in a few hours. However, the impact it will leave on you will last for years to come. It’s an absolute treasure.