The studio behind 80 Days and Heaven's Vault today announced A Highland Song, a game they're calling "a narrative adventure with rhythm and survival elements" set across the Scottish Highlands. That is an interesting combination of things. See for yourself in the first trailer, below.
A Highland Story stars Moira McKinnon, a teenager who lives with her mum deep in the Highlands and has never seen the sea. So when her uncle invites her to visit his lighthouse for the solstice, she sets out adventuring on foot. It's a dramatic reaction to the state of bus routes in the Highlands, but I can't say it's wholly unjustified.
Inkle first showed a wee bit of the game in 2020 but didn't have a name and were vague on what it was. I certainly hadn't twigged that it was a rhythm game.
Looks like we'll be gently platforming through glens and over hills, timing taps to the music to keep her footing (with songs from Talisk and Fourth Moon). Kinda like a musical Death Stranding? Could've called it Death Strathy, Inkle. And along the way she'll choose routes, meet people, see sights, and try to stay safe, because even in summer the Highlands can get you alright.
I often visit the Highlands to hike, swim, or cycle, so I'm quite curious about Inkle's picturebook Highlands. Probably a damn sight warmer. And without midgies gnawing on me.
A Highland Song is headed to Steam and Nintendo Switch, at some point.
If you fancy a Scottish story now, I recommend Jack-King Spooner's Beeswing on Itch, a game which called Cara home and does use a grandmother's death as "a money shot". Though the reality for most people living in Scotland is more like the game Rainy Day Racer (available on Steam): drifting round dreary streets in a Transit van.