Highwater is an intriguing project developed by Demagog Studio, a small indie dev behind the post-apocalyptic game Golf Club: Wasteland. Highwater acts as a prequel to that title and takes us to a world that has been submerged by the seas. In this world, our protagonist must explore the various “isles of fortune” consisting of old buildings that have become homes and some of the only existing land on the planet.
Get ready for an unforgettable journey through the flooded world of Highwater, with breathtaking graphics and an audio experience that will leave you speechless. The game is currently in development for PC, and there’s no set release date, but I recently got the chance to try out the demo during the Steam Next Fest, and I was blown away!
IN-GAME BACKGROUND STORY
The Earth has been engulfed by water, and the concept of solid ground as we know it no longer exists, replaced by old buildings that have become shelters for refugees who did not have the luck or money to find safety within the walls of Alphaville, which has become the only inhabited center but reserved only for the elite.
Highwater puts you in the shoes of one of these refugees named Nikos and his companions, starting from the Hightower region. What was once only a rumor has now become almost a certainty – there’s a rocket ready to take off for Mars in a desperate attempt to save the human race, and Nikos wants to get on that rocket at all costs.
The demo I played allowed me to experience the game world through exploration, with breathtaking landscapes and structures that have become makeshift landmarks, where you can find items or simple elements that tell you more about the context, such as books, magazines, and other refugees to talk to.
Exploration is interspersed with tactical turn-based combat on square grid-based maps filled with interactive elements that you can use to your advantage, like light poles that can be toppled on enemies, high voltage that can electrocute your opponents, and much more.
During your turn, you’ll be able to give commands to your whole team and then it will be your opponent’s turn. Each character has its own set of skills and weapons to use, using movement and action points, which will immediately end the turn for that character. Close combat and ranged weapons alternate and blend with the various character skills.
For example, the protagonist has a club to face his enemies in hand-to-hand combat, a fishing rod to hook enemies and pull them towards him, and a camera that stuns and skips the opponent’s turn.
The battles I encountered in the demo were fun and challenging just the right amount, pushing the player to use interactive elements to overcome the encounters, ensuring that these do not remain just a background, especially since you often face better-armed enemies.
GRAPHIC & MUSIC
The graphics and audio are of the highest level… The stunning visuals and immersive audio will captivate you from start to finish.