Sexy Hiking

By: Derek Yu

On: August 13th, 2007

Sexy Hiking

I predict that Sexy Hiking will be (is) a polarizing game. I think it’s going to break down like this: 90% of the people who play the game are going to be horrified by the shit graphics and profane difficulty, and dismiss it as having no redeeming value. 9% are going to get somewhere in the game and appreciate the unique game mechanics and maybe even the inherent humor in it. The last 1% will probably praise the game as pretentious abstract art, calling it the “canonical masterpiece of the Neo-Expressionist Game Movement” or some such nonsense.

Well, as it is with these things, I prefer to think of it as being a little bit of everything. The game definitely has terrible graphics, and when you open the title screen, you’ll think it’s a joke (X-Files theme song in midi format?). And it is extremely difficult… getting past the first obstacle in the game is like playing that board game “Operation” with a pair of pliers. But maybe that’s what makes this game so engaging… the fact that every new area seems totally impossible at first, and there is NOTHING THERE TO HELP YOU SAVE YOUR OWN GRIT. Making ground in this game is grueling, and the satisfaction is paired with equal amounts of frustration.

It’s actually kind of refreshing to see, in this day and age where every game has to hold your hand and breastfeed you until you’re three-fourths of the way through the game.

  • HandCraftedRadio

    I just remembered why I stopped trying to climb trees with a giant hammer in my hands.

  • Mr. Yes

    Haha, I can’t help but comment on this. I didn’t even know what to do half the time here, but later I realized that I needed to get over the tree. I never did get over the tree, but this game was such a thrill anyway.

    I’ll get over that tree some day…

  • Benzido

    Did you ever play WizKid?

  • cactus

    That was the evilest tree I’ve ever been introduced too. It felt like I tried everything, but I wasn’t even close to reaching the second branch.

    I stopped playing when I felt tears starting to accumulate in my eyes. Damn you, you stupid tree! :(

  • Mr Peckerston

    The tree was fine, but level 2 is hell :(

  • Melly

    Got past the tree, got to the second level.

    This is one of those games that has a pretty great idea behind it and some good execution as far as coding goes, but the presentation is atrocious. And scary. This game induces nightmares. D:

    Mmm… somebody should make a proper game with a similar mechanic… and graphics that don’t your eyes burst and sounds that won’t make your ears bleed.

  • HandCraftedRadio

    The thing that makes me the maddest when playing this game is that I know the stupid 9 year old boy who made this game is sitting in preschool somewhere laughing it up at as I’m losing my mind trying to get over that stupid tree!

  • eg

    art game?

  • King-N

    9 year olds go to elementary school; somewhere around…2nd grade? Regardless, I made it past lv.1 and cried myself to depression on the 2nd.

  • Carlz0r

    I can’t stop glitching myself through the level… if my hammer ends up underneath the tree, and then I move it, or move myself, I ALWAYS end up glitching though the floor and dieing….

  • Carlz0r

    it would also help the hammer didn’t clip through stuff when you move the mouse too quickly.

  • sinoth

    Got to level 4, stopped for the moment. I don’t want to achieve enlightenment TOO fast. Sexy Hiking is deep beyond imagination. The soundtrack… amazing. The facial expression of the hiker is one fixed in intense meditation, focused on letting the hammer be an extension of his spiritual being.

    For those of you stuck at the tree, keep at it! The tree represents, collectively, all the obstacles you must overcome in life. DEFEATING THE TREE IS THE KEY TO HAPPINESS!

  • Pacian

    I love how the instructions just read: “use the humer as if u were really climbing something and ull see”.

    And then I realise that whacking the ground with the hammer propels you into the air. Just like when I’m really climbing something.

  • Derek


    I can’t believe I just noticed that!

  • Wrestlevania

    Managed to make it over that tree after about five minutes of perseverance. Couldn’t make it up that fucking cliff face though.

    This “game” is a genuine, grass roots piss-boiler.

  • Mr Peckerston

    Yeah, that’s by far the best part of the game. That and the fact that his eyes/face follow the hammer all the time.

  • HandCraftedRadio

    I think we need some more games that combine cutting edge 3d graphics with ms-paint.

  • Jay

    Not my results. But thanks JIG and game designers!

  • Chris

    You forgot the 0.1% of us who thought that “this was a shit news story, befitting the index page of Kotaku”.

  • Derek

    Ah yeah, the troll factor. Thanks for the reminder, Chris!

  • Chris

    Just returning the favor!

  • Alan Gordon

    I think we, as a culture, need to move away from the concept that stupidly hard automatically equals fresh and exciting.

  • Mr Peckerston

    It’s not just the difficulty that makes this art, it’s the 3D hands and the highscore table too

  • Derek

    I’ve never heard that that was a defining trait of our culture. If anything, people in modern cultures want things easier, faster, and with more explanation.

    In this case, the game is actually pretty exciting, due to the way the character controls (which you can’t deny is fairly unique). It could be a much better game, certainly, but it’s an interesting experiment as it is.

  • Joseph

    What the hell I’ll give it a shot!

  • FireSword

    100% will ignore this. :(

  • wourme

    Jazzuo has other interesting titles as well. Try, for example, his Star Wars game. I think it’s excellent.

    “May the forth be with you.”

  • Joseph

    OH GOD I’ve been scarred for life thanks Derek!

  • Adam Atomic

    This is absolutely the single worst game I have ever played. It has no redeeming features. The supposedly “innovative” control scheme that tricked me into downloading this is just a crippled, stupidly inexplicable (given that you HAVE LEGS) method of locomotion that you can find in games as far back as Puggsy. Only in puggsy, you could still walk. Because you had F’ING LEGS.

    Aside from that small oversight, the ridiculously ugly graphics in general, the retarded sound, and pisspoor controls, the collision box for the tree itself is so broad that you have to first imagine where the actual collision tree is before making any attempt to climb it successfully. I particularly like the part where when you die, you fly upward past the tree graphic only while a monkey screeches.

    That’s quality.

    I finished Poyo, I thought that was decently hard, but also fair, well-designed, and a joy to listen to and watch. This idea that hard games are a thing of the past is just one of those big community lies I think; stupid games whose interface and basic controls are the biggest challenge USED to be a thing of the past. I hope they stay dead. I’d much prefer to see PROPER hard games instead. Give me my Gradius V and Poyo and God of War and Ikaruga; you can keep your Sexy Hiking!

  • Derek

    The game is “bad,” there’s no question. I guess I find myself really wanting to defend it, because I enjoy having my senses punished on occasion. And there is a game in there… I’ve seen games that are bad that have no coherency and it’s different. It’s like the difference between reading Naked Lunch versus reading what a random word generator would spit out.

    I found myself laughing, cursing, and feeling triumphant, too. That’s more than I can say for a lot of games!

    Also, I just can’t get over how funny the character looks… hahaha, those _shoes!_ Not to mention he’s climbing trees with a hammer (“humer”). ROFLcaeks.

    I’m sorry, you know what? This game is a fucking classic. I give it 8.8, bitches, no take backs!

  • sinoth

    The saddest part about that, Adam, is you actually took the game seriously. Some of you need to take a deep breath and lighten up.

  • PoV


  • Rz.

    0.01% (me) will have their computers run extremely sluggishly and be unable to do anything but chat in MSN for cries of help for 20 minutes until finally learning ProcessGuard was sucking up all the processing power to stop this brilliant game from running. When the window asking to allow the game to run appears, naturally, I click decline.

  • Adam Atomic

    I guess all the hype just did it in for me…kidding :P I just can’t see the silver lining in this one!

  • Joseph

    It’s one of those things that is so bad its good.

  • ZombiePixel

    This game made indie baby Jesus cry!

  • Yurei Pantu Ansatsusha

    You’ll post this shit but not Duel Blasters 3000 or Shunga Lord?

    You’re dead inside!!!

  • Echo

    >You’ll post this shit but not Duel Blasters 3000 or Shunga Lord?

    Or Joe Gunn!

    [Seriously, what the hell?]

  • Guest

    3 lvl is so hard ….

  • Rz.



  • Joseph

    THIS GAME SUX AND I HATE IT but I love it, I hate it, I luv it, I hate it…

  • Demicol

    The first level was easy compared to level 2. I gave up after 10 minutes of trying it, but i will go back and try it again later.

  • Raincoatduck

    This looks like Klik n’ Play vomited all over the screen.

    There was some article recently about how such a thing as “B-games” (like the equivalent of B-movies) did not exist but I think this is exactly that. I couldn’t even get past one branch of the fucking tree but now I want to make a game like this. Derek, you should sponsor a “B-game” contest.

    Also, where did the sexiness come in?

  • CheeseburgerWithoutCheese

    I have never played a game that made me hate trees so much.

  • sinoth

    “B-game” contest would rock! It takes talent to make a game so bad its good, yet doesn’t seem forced.

  • I Like Cake

    I would definitely participate in an awful games competition. I’ve seen things like that done before, and they are usually hilarious.

  • Champ

    After half an hour of playing this game, the climber dude did start to look kind of sexy.

  • Oob

    I gonna go out on a limb here and say that this is easily the best sexy climbing simulator IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.

  • Champ

    Oh man, don’t let Adam Atomic see RAPE (it’s on the designer’s site). His monocle will pop clear to the kuiper belt.

  • Adam Atomic

    no, not my monocle!