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Game of the Week: A Highland Song is the right kind of slog


A Highland Song screenshot showing two twinning peaks at golden hour
Image credit: Inkle / Eurogamer.

I don't know if you've been for a hike recently, but I often feel like I live each hike twice. There's the thinking about the hike - planning it, walking through it in my head - and then there's the actual hike, where shoelaces break, my foot gets stuck in a cattle grate, I realise I forgot something or I read the map wrong. The works.

I struggle to tell which of these hikes is more real - or rather if there's any meaningful difference in the degree of realness of each one. It reminds me of a brilliant short story - maybe my favourite short story ever - by Mark Helprin. In The Schreuderspritze, Wallich, a young photographer, I think, is lost in grief following the death of his wife and child. He goes to the Alps and decides to climb one of the trickiest mountains. He spends the rest of the story preparing - getting his mind ready, doing exercises, buying the necessary equipment. Then over the course of three nights, he dreams the ascent. Then he goes home.

This brings us - about time - to A Highland Song, which is our game of the week. A Highland Song's the latest game from Inkle, and it's about going on a journey through the Scottish Highlands, climbing peaks, scrabbling through heather, trying to cut a path through nature.

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