Inkle, the studio behind such narrative-focused delights as 80 Days and Heaven’s Vault has formally unveiled next endeavour, A Highland Song, which is coming to Switch and PC “soon”.
If A Highland Song looks familiar, that might be because Inkle hasn’t been particularly secretive about its latest project, sharing some of its early production work on the title via regular updates on its blog. Today, however, marks its official unveiling, bringing with it an immediately arresting, wonderfully evocative reveal trailer.
While narrative remains at A Highland Song’s core, it once again marks a new shift in genre for Inkle. The studio – which has previously dabbled in visual novels, turn-based strategy, exploratory adventure, and murder mystery – is now trying its hand at 2.5D platforming in what its calling a “narrative adventure with rhythm”.
A Highland Song follows the adventures of Moira McKinnon who, having spent most of her life in a small house on the edge of the Scottish Highlands with her mother, receives a letter from her uncle, calling her to the coast.
The ensuing journey takes her into the Highlands, where “every peak has a story to tell and every valley echoes with song. Giants sleep, ghosts sing, crows carry messages, and eagles lift the dead.” To progress, Moira must climb the harsh peaks to orientate herself, planning her next move, then hop, slide, and jump through the valleys in time with the music.
Some of the routes Moira will encounter are said to be well-trodden, while others are hidden away, but all are filled with “stories, lost things, echoes, and memories”. To see everything the Highlands have to offer, however, players will need to make the trip more than once, perhaps eventually uncovering its deepest secrets.
A Highland Song offers a blend of “hand-drawn animation, impressionistic painted scenery, and dynamic lighting/weather effects”, and will feature music by Laurence Chapman, alongside Scottish folk scene stars Talisk and Fourth Moon.
Moira’s journey will commence when A Highland Song launches for Steam and Switch “soon”.