This review is going up later than I usually aim for because I got so deeply engrossed in Sethian that I couldn’t put it down. Sethian is a near perfect game for my tastes. Tasking you with deciphering an alien language through an extended conversation with a computer. It’s a text adventure where the text itself is the puzzle you’re trying to solve. It’s a fun concept, and it’s incredibly well executed. The presentation is well polished, the interface feels nice to use and the sounds are effective yet understated. The Sethianese language feels dynamic with all its weird grammar rules.
Unfortunately for the puzzle solver in me, Sethian is clearly intended more so to deliver a narrative than a lot of puzzles. There’s a large amount of hand holding, in the form of a journal where your character writes their interpretations of the language, and what they think you should ask next. It leads you through a very linear experience with no real chance to diverge or explore the language on your own. With most phrases off the set path giving a generic response. Beyond that, you’re presented with an incredibly large set of symbols, of which you only use about a quarter during the game.
Sethian is a very good game, which could have been a great game. I loved it, but can’t help but wish it was a little bit deeper.