Defend the Highlands – Review
Follow Genre: Indie real-time strategy game
Developer: Kilted Camel
Publisher: KISS ltd
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Tested on: PC

Defend the Highlands – Review

Site Score
Good: Funny, challenging strategy elements
Bad: Dated graphics, lack of story
User Score
(0 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Now out of Early Access, not much has changed in Defend the Highlands– not that it needed much more tweaking, since it was essentially a completed game in the first instance. So, without any ado, let us head straight back to Scotland to beat the British into submission, and keep the land of William Wallace free.

Defend the Highlands logo


As one might expect in a real-time strategy game, there isn’t exactly a story to speak of- apart from the fact that the British (meaning the Irish, Welsh and English at this point) have come to invade for whatever reason. What happens instead is that you get sent around various areas, with some being simply part of the narrative set by the game (such as Alfredo’s pub, the village, the golf course, etc.). Others are particular landmarks that those familiar with Scotland and its history will know, such as Stirling Bridge or Loch Ness, and definitely adds to the general atmosphere. It is safe to say, however, that if you like a strategy game that has a narrative, you would be better off avoiding this one. Most levels may hence leave players feeling like they are in a rinse-and-repeat situation which, when the levels get harder, might put one off from being bothered about completing every level.



It is rather obvious that graphics were not necessarily the focus of this title. They are fairly reminiscent of early strategy games, where characters aren’t very well defined and some of the trees and rocks aren’t very sharp. Considering though that this is something where you would probably spend the majority of the time zoomed out, this is not a massive issue.

Additionally, the UI is also simplistic, but it does its job well- which is more than can be said for other titles in the same genre. It’s easy to read, and to understand. Overall, Defend the Highlands is not a graphically superior game, but it works nicely.



Sound has a larger impact upon Defend the Highlands than the graphics, that’s for certain. Although the accents on occasion sound rather fake, hearing Irishmen shout about shamrocks and potatoes, and Scots swearing on their sporrans is all in all pretty hilarious. It would be nice to hear more from the Welsh though- they seem to be the silent assassins of the game!

The music isn’t entirely special; it’s the same looped, 8-bit sounding theme that does get a little too repetitive as it is replayed at the end of each level when you are upgrading your skills in the shop. Members of your troop can also play music on their bagpipes, which is thankfully a bit more varied and features some good old Scottish tunes. However, to be honest, when the focus really is upon the voices, the music does not matter all that much, as all it needs to do is set the atmosphere (which it does satisfactorily).



Defend the Highlands is a real-time strategy Tower Defence game where you must build barricades and manage porridge in order to defend Scotland successfully from the British invaders. The title starts with a tutorial level, in your hero Alfredo’s pub, to teach you the basics. The standard WSAD keys allow you to scour the land, whilst the middle mouse button allows you to zoom in and out, and scrolling the mouse wheel lifts the camera up and down. Left clicking a Scotsman highlights them for use, and you can use the right mouse button to assign them a position; for example, behind a particular barricade, or in an oat field- which is a major mechanic of the game.

Oat farming, and managing your porridge level, is actually a lot harder than it sounds, especially with the more men you have onside. You need to ensure that it doesn’t hit zero, or you’ll lose the members of your company, and defeating your enemies will suddenly become that much harder. You can alternatively have one man playing the bagpipes to call more Scots to your side once you have more porridge, although if you have a small band already, you might not want to leave him playing all day long.


Along with trying to farm oats, playing bagpipes and getting more men, you need money to be able to place obstacles and weaponry on the field- as these will be vital in defeating those nasty Brits. Simple table barricades start off at $50, and each new item increases in price. You can buy whiskey bars, porridge cannons, golf clubs…the possibilities are endless, so long as you can manage your dosh well! A small nitpick here, however, is that the use of dollars is a bit alien to the British Isles- maybe some more realistic, local currency would have been a good idea to implement for that true Scottish experience.

Each of the twenty levels vary in difficulty, as expected, and you will need to get upgrades to make sure you can keep up with your enemies. At the end of each level, you get a number of skill points that can be spent to upgrade things from the accuracy of your Scotsmen, to giving your weapons an explosive quality to cause maximum damage.

Overall, the title is clearly sufficiently challenging to keep fans of strategist games happy- principally concerning the sheer number of things that the player needs to keep their eye on. However, the levels can sometimes feel a bit repetitive, even if there is a change of scenery.



Defend the Highlands is a fun title that uses stereotypes in a way that doesn’t feel at all insulting. Whilst it might have been nice to have better graphics and something by way of a proper narrative, and perhaps more variation in levels, it will be something that you’ll want to play again and again- just so you can beat those damned Brits.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.