A NINTENDO Switch game set in the Highlands has received international praise following its release earlier this week.

A Highland Song, an adaptive storytelling game, was released for Nintendo Switch on December 5. It has since been described as "surely an ode to Nan Shepherd" and commended for its music and art in several reviews.

The game takes players through the Highlands against music composed by Laurence Chapman with some of Scotland's leading folk bands – including Talisk and Fourth Moon.

It is advertised: "Run, climb, scramble and spelunk your way across the winding paths of the Scottish Highlands in this narrative platformer from the creators of Heaven's Vault and 80 Days."

The National:

The game follows 15-year-old runaway Moira McKinnon on a journey to her uncle, Hamish, who suddenly needs her at his lighthouse in seven days.

Before play begins, players must calibrate their movement with the rhythm of the game to ensure that, when prompted, they will run in time with the music.

Then Moira can pause to skip stones, run with animals, spend time by cliffs or at a campfire. There are also ruins, bridges and other travellers to interact with.

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The New York Times wrote: "Our mind wanders through the paths and hills as our body does too. Thought, memory and story all take shape in a form made more concrete.

"A Highland Song captures those rhythms, the contemplation of the mind and body, the whims that lead us to the unpredictable and incalculable."

Eurogamer described the game as "surely, obviously an ode to Nan Shepherd's The Living Mountain" considering its storytelling premise, whilst adding: "This is a very different game.

"One about direct experience over success, exploration over outcome. What kind of story, especially one with a bit of mystery at its heart, needs to be re-read over and over?

The National:

"The answer, at least this time, is one where all the real magic lies in the reading of it, in the richness of the words, the beauty of a world they slowly and deliberately paint into view – as opposed to simply carrying you somewhere final, the bit where you find out what happens in the end."

The National:
A Financial Times review suggested players undertake the journey somewhere similar to the setting of the game.

They wrote: "Something of the music’s spirit was lost in its setting: it needed to be played somewhere more characterful, more creaking — somewhere whose structural deficiencies are far outweighed by a great deal of beauty and charm. Somewhere a bit like A Highland Song."