The single-player game is quite unforgiving, as heroes cannot be killed and the enemies gain strength rapidly. Hero units are moved around the map to engage enemies and capture territory; heroes can also build defenses and heal units. Enemies will automatically attack territories that are not adequately defended. Captured territories provide resources that are used to recruit additional units, heal existing units, or craft items. Extremely careful balance of healing and construction with forward advancement is required to have any chance at victory. During combat, dice rolls deal out damage each turn, and one character is designated to receive all of the enemy attacks. Items can be used during combat as well. While Highlands has some engaging mechanics, the difficulty level is very high, even with a patched-in “casual” difficulty level.