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Cozy video games are a great way to relax. ‘A Short Hike’ is the perfect mix of a simple puzzle game like ‘Unpacking’ and games with many side quests such as ‘Animal Crossing.’ If you’ve exhausted many of the “cozy” video games out there, ‘A Short Hike’ is a fun option.

The game’s main character is a small bird named Claire who’s visiting her aunt, a park ranger. The main storyline is to hike up Hawk Peak in order to make a phone call, as the island has no service. However, along the way, Claire encounters many other characters who ask simple tasks from collecting seashells to playing “beachstickball” with them.

‘A Short Hike’ is such a relaxing game because the length of the game is entirely up to the player. All of the side quests are completely optional, so you could technically just hike up to Hawk Peak and make the phone call.

However, the side quests are the charm of the game. Doing all of the quests for other characters allows you to explore other parts of the islands that you wouldn’t see if you just focused on the main story.

Video games such as these are a great way to relax and get away from the stress of assignments or work.

There’s little to no conflict, so just about the only stressful thing about playing this video game is finding 15 seashells. The calm beachside scenery helps promote the no-stress aspect of the game and really just assists the player in focusing on having fun. There are so many fun side quests to do such as renting a boat and racing others.

Although I haven’t finished the game in its entirety yet, ‘A Short Hike’ is really the perfect cozy game. The dialogue is the perfect amount of awkwardness, as the characters are mostly kids, and the map is so vast for such a small story game.

The fact that it’s an open world, meaning there are no loading screens, makes the experience even better. I would definitely recommend checking this game out, as it’s only $7.99 for the Nintendo Switch and included with an Xbox game pass.

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