The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav – Review
Follow Genre: Point & Click
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Platform: PC

The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav – Review

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Good: Great art
Bad: Nothing new, never memorable
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Recently I’ve enjoyed my fair share of Daedalic Entertainment’s adventure games. And truth be told, they do offer quite a variety of themes. Take The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav for instance. A game offering a trip to the Middle Ages, and enough fantasy to satisfy any geek’s needs.


Geron, a.k.a. the character whose strings you’ll be pulling, is an outcast, scorned by practically the entire kingdom of Anderghast. All, just because an evil Seer labeled him a bad omen. Moments later the same prophet was burned at the stake by Geron’s stepfather.

You’d almost think he was holding a grudge.

Ever since then, Geron’s life took a turn for the worst. With no friends to speak of and an entire village that would rather see him either dead or very far away, Geron’s only option was to keep his head held high, to keep trying to prove he’s not the carrier of bad luck everyone makes him out to be.

Although, counting Geron’s affinity for magic, his nose for mischief and an encounter with a naïve fairy that’s hunted by the forces of darkness, you might be prone to forgive people for keeping a safe distance.

With one thing leading to another, Geron finds himself on a quest to prevent the resurrection of the seer that once condemned him to his current lonely life.



The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav offers plenty breath-taking hand-drawn scenes. It’s hard not to praise the game for it, since obviously an enormous amount of work and time must have gone into them.

It’s also a very fitting art-style. Geron’s life has always been miserable and lonely, and the locations and other scenery of the game seem to largely mirror those experiences. There are abandoned huts, worn down environments, broken-down rooms and plain filthy streets just to name a few things.

Another metaphorical red line throughout the game is the bleak colors that seem to reflect on Geron’s loneliness.

It’s all very fitting and the entire art-direction can be counted amongst the very best Daedalic released so far.

Less polished are the animations. Mainly movement often seems stiff and forced, with characters walking up straight, all the while moving their arms as if they’re hunching.



When talking music there’s not that much to say about Chains of Satinav. It delivers an air of desolation and urgency when it has to, can be majestic at all the right moments and hits the right notes for lighter moods as well.

While the soundtrack delivers everything it’s expected to, it’s never memorable enough to be placed amongst Daedalic’s masterpieces.

Let’s put it this way: we still have Needle & Stitch (or Nadel & Faden for German readers) from Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes on repeat, while not a single tune from The Dark Eye made itself heard on our playlist.



The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav hasn’t been made to satisfy newcomers to the genre. It’s a game that requires some real thinking and that’s decidedly more difficult than other recent point & click-outings.

It’s also quite an inconsistent game that’ll have you running around with an enormous list of random items for nearly half the game, only to abruptly remove them from your inventory when moving to another chapter.

Another quip worth mentioning is the way usable objects are indistinguishable from the background. This was barely passable in the nineteen-nineties and it’s something the twenty-first century does not need in the slightest. Great art is important for adventure games, but having the same art cater to the gameplay is an even greater requirement.



Chains of Satinav is an adventure-game made to please veterans of the genre. And newcomers are better off choosing one of Daedalic’s other titles. But even for timeworn gamers, this game may feel too much like a been-there-done-that situation full of fantasy tropes that have been visited many times before. It’s still a game worth picking up though, if only to praise the great art-direction.



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