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Super Hiking League DX Review

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Fast Facts

Super Hiking League DX
Developer: Bit Ink Studios
Publisher: QUByte Interactive
Website: https://www.qubyteinteractive.com/games/super-hiking-league/
Genre(s): Action, Platformer, Adventure, Arcade
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on PlayStation and Xbox)
Age Rating: 10/08/2021
Release Date: PEGI 3
Price: £4.49

A code was provided for review purposes

Introduction

Super Hiking League DX is a competitive racing game focused on climbing mountains faster than others. I got to experience a wide variety of landscapes, fight various levels of artificial intelligence, and even save the world from a mysterious cloaked figure. Was this game entertaining enough to keep me hooked? Or was I racing to turn it off? Find out in this Rapid Review.

cloaked figure deleting the island from view. an orange character reaches out in despair
Do not get attached to the island

When I began my adventure, I met a mysterious cloaked figure who wanted to flatten the entire world. Since I was playing as a hiker, this clearly would not fly. I needed to prove that mountains are not imperfections but provide value to the world. I had my opportunity when I got warped into a mysterious area. There were various portals to different mountains where I faced numerous hikers in a race to the top. At the top of each stage, I collected a diamond. Somehow, my main character could use the power of the diamonds to restore the world to rocky terrain and bring back the mountains. I did not find the story important, nor did I find it improved my experience. However, it proficiently established the context for the single-player adventure. The story was adequate but Super Hiking League DX does not have an invigorating plot.

Flying Solo

Even though the story did not leave a large impact on me, I was pleasantly surprised by how expansive the single-player experience was. There were twenty-seven levels to complete. I met new characters and maps to explore throughout my adventure. I was also pleasantly surprised by the number of maps and thought the single-player experience was substantial, especially considering Super Hiking League DX is a multiplayer-focused title. Moreover, there are multiple difficulty settings for the main campaign. This meant I could revisit the campaign even after I had completed it. The adventure mode worked surprisingly well in this game.

Still, there are other modes to play too. There are traditional races, time trials, and a brief tutorial. Each of these sections provided an extra way to play and made the game more fun to experience. It was especially intense in local multiplayer, as I knew the people I was playing against. The various modes make it easy to find exactly what you are looking for while playing the game.

orange character climing a ladder while a grey character jumps towards the ladder
I cannot believe he is gripping the ladder in the rain!

Even though some of these additional modes seem tailored to local multiplayer, the racing modes can be played alone. Not only could I face off against a computer-controlled opponent, but there were various difficulties too. I could always choose exactly how much challenge I wanted, and it made the experience tailored to me. The computer difficulty options were self-explanatory and much appreciated.

Climbing Over It

Not only were the opponents understandable, but my own options were self-explanatory too. I could walk around, jump, use a weapon, and shoot my rope. Though it seems like a lot of options, it was easy to get the hang of. At least mostly. Swinging from the rope was tricky, as it requires a lot of precision to aim the rope onto the interactable objects. However, the developers included three different options that balance the use of the rope. The most challenging one provides the most reward but there are others that will help inexperienced players navigate the various mountains. I liked this system and thought it helped decrease the minimum barrier of entry, plus it also increased the skill ceiling with the most challenging rope setting. These simple movement options keep the game accessible and make it more enjoyable as a multiplayer experience.

Light blue character jumping while a purple character remains on the ground. The text "Round one, hike" is displayed
No fair! He got a head start!

Another thing that made the game exciting and fresh was the stage lengths. They are not consistent. Some of the matches would be over in seconds while others would last a couple of minutes. I enjoyed this fluctuation in the gameplay and thought it enhanced the game substantially. Not only were the lengths different, but there are nine different themes throughout the twenty-seven main levels. Each stage had one theme for each length. Plus, there are bonus stages too. Each stage felt unique, even within themes. They were carefully thought out and cleverly designed. The stages were a lot of fun to rush through.

Negative and Positive Feedback Loops

The stages truly shine when looking at the assets inside them. There were different slimes to get in my way, flowers to latch onto with my rope, and plenty of holes in the ground for me to fall through. The various elements in each stage made Super Hiking League DX fun to play. The slimes worked well to slow down the movement of the winner while making the course easier for the person in second place. However, the flowers had the opposite effect. Some flowers only had a designated number of uses before becoming a timer and turning off. Thus, the leader had the advantage and could force their opponents to trail behind them by using the flowers fully. I did not like this mechanic and wanted to be able to use all flowers all the time, as I thought it would keep the game more intense.

Moreover, I would have also liked to see some sort of gravitational pull from the flowers to make sure the rope was attached to it. I constantly missed an object marginally and grimaced as I plummeted down to the bottom of the mountain. Including a mild magnetic field around the flowers, like those seen in Super Cable Boy would have made the game more enjoyable for me. Still, the rope mechanics were a lot of fun to learn to use, even if the precise aiming was frustrating.

waiting for a flower to become available again in an icy area with many blocks
Patience is a virtue, especially while waiting for the flowers to regenerate

To wrap it all together, Super Hiking League DX features charming pixel art and a lovely soundtrack. The various environments and characters are vibrant and pop out from the screen. The music kept me motivated, no matter how many times I fell. It was a lot of fun, and these elements helped bring that out.

In Summit

All in all, Super Hiking League DX is a fun time. There are simple controls, a variety of stages, and the characters are all responsive. Though there are some issues I had with the rope mechanic and the correlating flowers, the game is still a blast to play, and it did not detract from my experience that much. Having played Savage Halloween earlier last year and enjoying that title too, I am beginning to build a decent bit of faith in QUByte games and look forward to seeing what they publish next.

Rapid Reviews Rating

gold score

4.5 out of 5

4.5

You can purchase Super Hiking League DX on the Nintendo eShop here

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