Have you ever yearned to solve major conflicts without violence? Do you love language, history, and puzzles? If so, Chants of Sennaar could be a must-have. Developed by Rundisc and published by Focus Entertainment, this upcoming indie adventure pulls from deep historical roots with a unique result.
Chants of Sennaar is based on the myth of Babel, in which a great tower was built in an attempt to reach the gods. The builders were punished with a curse that made them speak different languages. As a newcomer to this tower, it’s up to you to learn the ways of these divided people, decipher their languages, and try to bring them back together.
Chants of Sennaar will release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC on September 5, 2023. While the objective of the game seems straightforward, this wholesome and timeless quest likely has more secrets to unveil. In the meantime, here’s everything we know about this unique take on cultural exchange and exploration.
Solve big problems… using small words
In many games, you save the world with the tip of a sword. In Chants of Sennaar, you use the tip of your tongue and your pointed wit to unify a tower of divided peoples. Explore the many sections of the tower. Discover through solving puzzles that languages “are both the lock and the key” to this breathtaking, plural world. As you make your way through the labyrinthine halls of a giant tower, the fragmented cultures within reveal an ominous and unifying history.
Rundisc, an independent studio out of Toulouse, France, developed the game. It’s a real departure from their first effort, a fast-paced, online battle-royale called Varion. Chants of Sennaar has a relaxed pace, tranquil environments, and a style that encourages peaceful solutions to problems.
A video interview filmed during the Tribeca Games Spotlight features co-creators Julien Moya and Thomas Panuel explaining the concept. Their game was part of the Official Selections of the 2023 Tribeca Games and Immersive Experience, which featured a demo of the game itself.
Your brain is your greatest weapon
Translating unknown languages is a complicated task. However, connections between the symbols and their meaning become clear as you solve the puzzles all around you. An in-game journal helps you keep track of everything you encounter. The more you explore and decipher, the more you can communicate with the five distinct peoples.
Chants of Sennaar also features missions that require stealth and action timing. There are guardians that block the entrances to certain forbidden zones. It seems the game will definitely require some cunning in order to beat. While generally straightforward, the gameplay seems varied and engaging.
Everything in the game is elegantly shrouded in mystery, including the mini games along the way. In a demo posted to YouTube by Fredericma45gaming, a child asks to play hide and seek. A man sitting at a table offers free card games. Everything, down to the art on the wall, helps build your understanding of these new places. At the center of it all? Learning their unique language and writing. In just an hour, there’s dozens of symbols to decipher and many areas to navigate.
Chants of Sennaar launches this September!
An undeniably striking feature of this game is its gorgeous art style. With bright, cascading colors, the fashion and architecture is inspired by European comics from the 70s and 80s. It seems to draw particular inspiration from North Africa, the Middle East, and India. There’s minimalism, brutalism, and more. The art style bears similarities to the stunning epic, Journey. The music composed by Thomas Brunet also lends to the revelatory atmosphere.
Though not yet available for pre-order, you can put Chants of Sennaar on your wishlist on the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch or PC via Steam. Will you be the one to remind a people of their past? Will you restore the Balance?