When it comes to survival games, we always think of some post-apocalyptic zombie outbreaks. Most of these games follow the same formula of being one of the few survivors who must find their way to escape before being eaten alive. Interestingly, Netflix Games recently launched a very unique survival game. Highwater takes you to yet another global catastrophe but instead of flesh-eating zombies and mutants, your enemy here is nature. Due to an inevitable global climate catastrophe, the world submerged into water, leaving only a few survivors.
There is a place called Hightower that serves as one of the safe zones. There is also a rumor that rich people are preparing to escape Earth and will travel all the way to planet Mars. In this game, you will play the role of Nikos, a young boy who aims not just to survive the high water but also to find his way to the alleged Rocketship that will bring people to Mars. If you are up for a unique survival experience, feel free to explore High Water and see how far you can go.
The mechanics for Highwater are generally simple. It works similarly to a typical horror survival but you will most likely spend most of your time navigating the high flood and exploring one ruin to another. As soon as the game starts, you will Nikos riding his rescue boat. From here, your journey begins. Navigating the map is simple yet quite tricky at the same time. You can navigate around using the virtual joypad and you can use the compass to guide you. Be mindful that even though there is a guide map, it is not interactable and it is quite hard to identify where exactly are you heading.
The compass, however, can be an excellent guide in navigation. The yellow dot indicates your quest line while the white dots indicate nearby places that you can freely explore to scout or hunt for valuable resources. As you explore different areas in this game, you will encounter many scenarios. You might encounter hostile scavengers, goons, and many other survivors who are also fighting for their lives. During these scenes, you will be engaged in a combat sequence. The battle or combat system for High Water is turn-based.
Classic Combat System
Once the battle starts, the player will have the option to choose his preferred action. Located in the lower left corner are the possible movements or actions that can be performed during the battle. The combat system is very similar to games like the Langrisser which prompts you to an interactive battlefield. Depending on your chosen action, the game shows you a colored grid to indicate all possible areas that your character can move. For instance, if your character is equipped with a melee weapon, you must move one grid close to the enemy.
You can also take advantage of some interactable objects on the grid. You can pick up shields, and throwable weapons, or position yourself strategically on some barricades to prevent the enemy’s attack. While most battles are not really intense or too much of a challenge, this element compliments the game’s survival theme and makes you feel that you are indeed in a catastrophic situation. If you feel that you made a wrong move, you can always tap the restart icon to undo your last action.
Compelling Plot, Amazing Visuals, and Impressive Music
What really separates High Water from other survival games is the unique story itself. There were only a few known games that are utilizing natural elements as the center of their plot. High Water offers a very compelling plot that is delivered impressively through narrations and dialogues. To top it all off, the game is accompanied by a well-fitting piece of music and voice-overs. As you play the game, you will constantly hear a radio station playing in the background (The Highwater Pirate Radio). Along with the updates on the world’s current situation and some motivational bits of advice in between, the radio station will also play a relaxing set of music and songs that are exclusively composed and written for the game.
Appearance-wise, Highwater is also an absolute visual delight. It treats players with a remarkable and unique art style. The game managed to create a great balance of storytelling with a good amount of eeriness, intensity, and challenge, giving players a unique gaming experience. It is definitely a great addition to Netflix Games’ growing library. The game, by the way, is developed by Demagog Studio, the same team behind the well-acclaimed Golf Club Wasteland that features the same enigmatic theme and atmosphere.
If you are looking for a unique survival experience, Highwater is surely a great fit. Since this is part of the Netflix Library, Highwater is only accessible if you are a Netflix Subscriber. Good luck and have fun!
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