Chants of Sennaar PC Review

Break several language barriers and reunite the people in a Babel-inspired world.

By R3GR3T, Posted 05 Sep 2023

Rundisc is a new contender in the vast ocean of game development, founded in 2018 in Toulouse, France, They definitely have big ambitions. Rundisc is still a relatively small studio with only one other release under their belt, Varion, which released in 2018. Varion didn’t quite get the attention it deserved for a casual local multiplayer game that relies heavily on arcade-style mechanics. But this didn’t stop Rundisc from pushing forward with their next release, Chants of Sennaar in collaboration with Focus Entertainment, which had been among one of the most anticipated games on our radar since its announcement

Chants of Sennaar, Review, Screenshots, Platformer, Puzzle, Adventure, NoobFeed

Chants of Sennaar was only announced in 2022, but based on the size of the world and how much detail is in the game, it’s clear that this has been in development for much longer. Luckily, it didn’t take a lot of teasing for Rundisc to finally release their latest creation on 5 September, 2023. Chants of Sennaar isn’t your everyday indie puzzle platformer; it’s actually so much more, and the plot keeps thickening as you explore the worlds ahead of you. Granted, the worlds at hand are, in a way, all part of a tower. Tower of Babel…. Get it? And as we all know, the myth of Babel is, in short, breaking the mother of all language barriers.

This is where you come as the Traveler, waking up in what looks like a coffin of sorts. Sadly, you won’t have much to run with at first; you’ll need to follow the tutorial initially and get a feel for the world around you while deciphering your first language, the Devotee Language. Mastering the language from each floor in the world is naturally the main objective but not mandatory, though it does help with learning more about the world around you.

Right off the bat, you’ll have to get used to the odd choice of controls. Chants of Sennaar uses a point and click system for those on mouse and keyboard, but you can also use the analogues if you’re on a console or using a controller. The very first thing to keep in mind with Chants of Sennaar, exploring is key, mostly for the sake of knowing what’s around you and to expand your glyph dictionary, but also to learn more about the people. The story doesn’t get told like with most conventional games, you’ll have to draw your own conclusions and piece everything together as you talk to the people and decipher their languages.

Chants of Sennaar, Review, Screenshots, Platformer, Puzzle, Adventure, NoobFeed

Next up in this strange world, you’ll need to explore also the biggest mechanic, deciphering the languages you’ll come across. Some might see this as somewhat odd, but it’s actually brilliantly done as you’ll need to pay attention to how the NPCs react and what they do to get a rough idea of what they’re saying. However, that’s only a small part of this gigantic puzzle you’ll need to solve. You’ll also have to pay attention to the surroundings and occasionally make guess what each glyph could mean just to have a rough idea of what’s happening.

Granted, this seems well and good, but you, as the traveler, will also draw from time to time in your journal, where you can connect glyphs to the drawings. Connecting the correct glyphs to their respective drawings will give you a definite answer as to their meaning and bring you one step closer to translating the entire language. Now, on the first floor, the land of the Devotees, it’s actually quite straightforward as the Devotees will mostly make what they’re saying obvious or semi-easy to understand. However, as you progress further up to the Warrior Barracks, for example, things become a bit more difficult, and you’ll need to find direct translations between your current floor and the previous one to give you a rough idea of what you’re dealing with.

In deciphering the glyphs, you’ll also need to pay attention to your surroundings and what’s happening. However, things will become a bit more complicated as you climb the tower, with things like sentence construction becoming a bit odder, for example – ‘Bring small box’ would then become ‘Small box, bring’. The languages also start gaining more complexity with adjectives and glyphs to indicate plurals and questions.

Chants of Sennaar, Review, Screenshots, Platformer, Puzzle, Adventure, NoobFeed

Now, while you’re out exploring and deciphering the languages in Chants of Sennaar, life would become a little boring if there wasn’t an extra challenge. This comes in the form of puzzles, glorious and sometimes confusing puzzles. Some of the puzzles you’ll come across are straightforward and easy, while others will require a bit more ‘out of the box thinking’ because anybody can slide a box or two around or go on a scavenger hunt, but you’ll also need to blend in with the people to get into other places just for the sake of progressing forward. Once again, pay attention to your surroundings but also the people.

One thing to keep in mind with Chants of Sennaar is that it’s sometimes a good idea to revisit conversations to, at the very least, try to guess the meaning behind the glyphs. This might slow down your progress slightly, but it’ll pay off in the long run, even more so when you start getting bombarded with new glyphs that have no meaning to you yet. Luckily, Chants of Sennaar will, in some places, allow you to repeat dialogues from the NPCs, even when they’re no longer there.

One of the strange things you’ll find in Chants of Sennaar is what looks to be a Fast Travel station, though these also serve other purposes that form part of the bigger picture. Remember that you need to explore everywhere? Clearing one floor isn’t enough, you’ll eventually get to a point where you’ll need to revisit previous floors to unlock doors and complete other objectives using items you find on other floors. However, it’s also just nice to be able to go back to previous floors for further exploration or just to see if you missed anything.

Chants of Sennaar, Review, Screenshots, Platformer, Puzzle, Adventure, NoobFeed

Now, these somewhat form part of the puzzle platformer side of Chants of Sennaar but you’ll also notice quite early on that you’ll need to either use stealth and distractions to progress, find a disguise, and sometimes even do things for the various people you’ll meet to open other paths. This is a nice change of pace in the puzzle platformer genre in general because you’re not just dealing with small puzzles, but instead, huge chunks of the world form part of a bigger puzzle that you need to solve.

With more progression through Chants of Sennaar comes even more to the story, and it becomes clear that there’s much more going on than a simple rivalry between people. Aside from what you’ll see on the different floors, you’ll also see something similar at each Fast Travel station. However, once again, it’s a puzzle that you’ll need to solve using the languages you decipher. Unfortunately, this goes quite deep into spoiler territory, and you’ll have to find out for yourself how it all comes together.

On a slightly more metaphorical note, Chants of Sennaar also touches on a different note that most people experience outside the game. With so many languages out there, it does get you thinking about the language barriers between everybody and how they are conquered or overcome in one way or another. However, the journey to the end is usually well worth it, provided you pay attention to the smaller details.

Chants of Sennaar, Review, Screenshots, Platformer, Puzzle, Adventure, NoobFeed

Chants of Sennaar takes on a different visual approach to the world at hand while giving you a little blast from the past with its 70s or 80s Euro Comic art style, relying heavily on a limited color palate consisting of strong contrasts and muted tones. The only thing that somewhat stands out in each world is you as the Traveler, once again using the strong contrasting colors. Chants of Sennaar's art style also make use of a minimalist art style while using complex architecture for the buildings throughout the game that really bring the world to life. The Journal the Traveler occasionally draws in will also lean more towards minimalist sketches, but this also plays on the direct contrasts of each floor and the world around you.

On the sound front, Chants of Sennaar once again takes a different approach to the soundtrack but still maintains a nice minimalist feel. The soundtrack for the background isn’t overbearing at all and actually compliments each floor you’re on. However, you might not always get to experience it. The reason behind this is because the background music only plays sometimes and even then, it tends to be very short-lived, albeit beautifully executed with the use of mainly traditional and instrumental music. On the other hand, while this isn’t exactly missed, Chants of Sennaar isn’t voiced and instead uses simple vocalizations for speech. This actually works oddly well and highlights the fact that there is a language issue. Luckily, subtitles are amazing when you need them as long as you translate the languages.


Overall, Chants of Sennaar is a brilliant puzzle platformer that will take you on one hell of an adventure through the lands of several people, cultures, and languages. Deciphering the languages adds a lot of intrigue to the game and makes it difficult to rush through the game and, instead, gets you thinking outside the box to reach the answer you need. The smaller puzzles, while mundane, do add a nice change of pace when you need it, but the bigger world-sized puzzle will always be there.

Jay Claassen (@R3GR3T_3NVY)
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Publisher(s): Focus Entertainment
Developer(s): Rundisc
Genres: Platformer
Themes: Puzzle, Adventure
Release Date: 2023-09-05

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