Chants of Sennaar is a language translation-focused, puzzle adventure title from Toulouse, France-based developer Rundisc. You take on the role of a lone traveller that has been foretold will reunite the people of the Tower by translating their dialects and breaking down their language barriers.

For eight to 12 hours, you’ll be exploring various gardens, graveyards, palaces, mines, and more, meeting people and discovering their languages along the way. These languages are portrayed to you as various symbols, each one inspired by a different culture: Middle Eastern, European, Nordic, etc. The way languages are written is well portrayed; the ordering of words, questions, negatives, and plurals all make for some enjoyably puzzling translation scenarios. You must decipher each ideogram one by one to gain understanding and become somewhat fluent in each group’s mode of communication to be able to solve puzzles. It’s a unique idea that very few other games have explored — the closest we can think of is the alien language translating in No Man’s Sky.

To help with translating, you’re equipped with a journal that can be opened at any time to make note of your interpretation of the symbols presented. The journal pages also contain key details for puzzle solving and pictures that can be matched with symbols to uncover their meaning. If a full page — three to four symbols — is matched correctly then they’ll be validated and auto-translated for the remainder of your journey.

The minimalistic art style and very calming background music don’t distract from the focus on the translation of languages and puzzle solving. Puzzles consist of lever pulling, button pressing, math problems, item fetch quests and the occasional irritating insta-fail stealth sections — they all rely heavily on your translations being correct. There’s also a handful of enjoyable minigames scattered along the way that aid with translating: a game of cards, a take on the once popular mobile app Flappy Bird, and old-school Punch & Judy mini theatres to name just a few.

Chants of Sennaar has a terrifically unique focus on translation, portraying the differences between various cultures’ languages excellently through its enjoyable puzzle-solving. With no other game quite like it, we’d highly recommend getting lost in translation here.