This game was not for me, but maybe it will be for you!
Chants of Sennarr is an extremely innovative puzzle and adventure game set in an ancient and mythic time. In Chants of Sennnaar, you take control of a traveller as you explore the world and solve puzzles in order to progress further. The most unique and interesting aspect of this game would be how you go about solving the puzzles throughout the world. The player is presented with an ancient language (they have a very similar style to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics) called Glyphs and the player must guess as to what the Glyphs mean in English in order to solve puzzles, understand NPCs or to be able to read signs. At the beginning of the game I did enjoy this unique feature as it made the game much more difficult yet interesting to play as if you guess wrong then you would be stuck trying to figure out what the Glyphs mean before being able to complete the puzzle and progress. I say I enjoyed this at the beginning because as I progressed further into the game, this mechanic started to become more of a chore to do than something fun so I shall start with what I did enjoy throughout.
The soundtrack in Chants of Sennaar fit the aesthetic perfectly as it felt very mystical and Egyptian which allowed to me want to learn more about the world and the story behind the game. Even though I didn’t enjoy my playthrough of the game the music did help me stick with it longer than I expected I would. Another aspect of the game that I liked was the story. You play as a traveller who is new to the world and from what I could gather by translating certain Glyphs, in the world there are Devotees who devote themselves to some sort of religion. However, the Devotees have been banished from entering a tower which is their religious landmark and it is your job to help these people re-enter their tower and defeat those who are trying to stop them. As Chants of Sennaar is an indie game, I felt like there could be more to this world and this story to explore with perhaps a second game or a DLC extension. I enjoyed with the game would be the graphics. Although the graphics were very simple and one dimensional, they helped me get invested in the world. The setting is very yellow and grainy which also influences my link to the Egyptian time period. Finally, I did quite enjoy the stealth system in the game. It felt reminiscent of Far Cry as the game allows you to distract enemies by throwing objects in different points in order to get away. The game also features a meter which shows you how close and likely the guards are to spot you, green meaning you’ll be safe, orange meaning you may need to hide and red obviously meaning you’ve been spotted and you were not sneaky enough.
Now onto my least favourite part of the game, the Glyphs. As I progressed further in the game, I was presented with more and more Glyphs in which I was required to translate. What made this so difficult for me was the fact the game gave you a specific point in which they tell you if you are right or not so there were certain points in the game where the characters or different signs made no sense to me as I had written the wrong translation for certain Glyphs. I was then extremely confused and angry as I struggled to further progress through the game without being stuck for what felt like hours at a time trying to figure out where I went wrong. Another thing in the game that grinds my gears was when I would finally progress to the next stage of the game after being stuck on a puzzle for ages, the game would then throw ten new unknown Glyphs at me in one go. I feel like if there was less Glyphs in the game at one time or if the game helped you translate the Glyphs better than I maybe would’ve enjoyed it more or maybe the game just isn’t my cup of tea as I can see this being appealing to those who enjoy a challenge.