HighFleet is one of the game's I'm looking forward to most this year. It's a simulation game, but it's simulating fictional machinery: giant dieselpunk airships, which spew smoke and missiles. In between, there's exploration and diplomacy and diegetic interfaces.
I'm quite excited that we now know it'll be out in two weeks, on July 27th.
I like everything about the look of this, and Nate's HighFleet preview from May only gave me more reasons to be cheerful. He played it for a few hours and, while wishing it was a little less labour-intensive, found each of its separate elements brilliant on their own terms.
"Don’t make me be reductive, though; I beg you," writes Nate. "Because HighFleet is also a fleet management game, a relatively freeform RPG, a sandboxy warship construction sim not unlike Nimbatus, and a survival game. It briefly lurches into drag as a card game about political speeches from time to time, releases the occasional album as a dexterity-challenging radio espionage simulator, and routinely drops everything to become an utterly gorgeous, if repetitive, game about landing knackered juggernauts in wartorn desert cities."
Me, I like being reductive and I like a game where I can send big bots into battle then use the spoils of victory to upgrade the big bots. Throw in some diplomacy and those lovely, tactile looking switches and it's basically a dream game. I still think about Sub Commander a lot, a carefully simulated ASCII submarine game I played seven years ago, and HighFleet looks to me like that, but in the sky, and with art.
It's also the most exciting of the slate of games under development/publishment by the revived Microprose. I care not for Carrier Command 2.
You can find HighFleet over on Steam for wishlisting and more screenshots.