Family movie night? There's an app for that
Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
There are themes of teamwork, helping those in need, and overcoming obstacles to survive.
Positive Role Models
The female protagonist adapts to unusual, dangerous situations to survive. She also makes personal sacrifices to help others in need.
A female protagonist leads a small cast of primarily white, female characters.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Ease of Play
Some unique elements, like a mind meter that must be monitored and managed, take some getting used to, but gameplay should generally feel familiar to anyone who's played a third-person action-adventure.
Violence & Scariness
Masked characters and creepy monsters chase and attack the player. Gore is minimal, but there's plenty of blood and some graphic death animations. Human corpses and dead animals also appear. Panic attacks and other mental/emotional distress are a focus.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
There's some focus and mystery surrounding a pregnant woman.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Frequent use of "f--k" and "s--t," and occasional use of "hell" and "goddamn."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
References to being "drugged" and "smoking something," as well as lore and story elements surrounding prescription and recreational drugs. Characters also experience hallucinations after drinking an herbal tea.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Chant is a third-person survival horror action-adventure game available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Windows PCs. Its story blends cosmic horror, creepy cults, and psychedelic hallucinations. Players fight disturbing monsters, plant-like creatures, and possessed humans in scary masks using a variety of unconventional, holistic weapons, such as sage and salt, as well as magic-like spiritual powers. Violent melees result in plenty of blood, as well as some gore and graphic death animations. Human corpses and dead animals are shown. Language includes frequent use of "f--k" and "s--t." Drugs, both recreational and prescription, are referenced, and characters talk about "smoking" and being "drugged." There's also a strong focus on mental distress, including a game mechanic that has you managing panic attacks.
Is It Any Good?
This latest trek into survival horror territory immediately earns points for its fresh setting and story. Foregoing the usual derelict space ships and zombie apocalypses, The Chant drops players on a remote island, where a peace-seeking spiritual retreat has gone very wrong. But more than just an inspired idea -- complete with creepy cultists and cosmic horrors -- the title organically ties its engaging concept to its gameplay. Brave gamers battle possessed humans, mutated creatures, and plant-like monsters with an unconventional assortment of weapons, such as crafted bundles of burning sage and handfuls of tossed salt, while monitoring and managing their increasingly fragile psyches. Scary situations can trigger panic attacks, so fleeing or finding a spot to meditate can prove as beneficial as unleashing a prism ability, magic-like powers unlocked throughout the game.
Ultimately, players must balance these varied, evolving combat options against the protagonist's mind, body, and spirit, represented by a trio of meters that can deplete depending on the unfortunate situation they find themselves in. It's a novel approach that nicely complements the The Chant's mysterious island and its cultist inhabitants. While the unique concept is welcome, the execution can fall short. Combat can feel imprecise and clunky, and animations often look awkward. Toss in stilted character performances, and the game -- while exclusive to next-gen consoles and PCs -- looks and feels a bit behind the curve. When not battling psychedelic threats, players sort out light puzzles and explore the island to interact with its unhinged denizens and uncover its mysteries. The former activity is serviceable, if familiar fare, but the latter effectively pulls you in with creepy interactions, lore-filled film reels, cryptic notes, and bestiary journal entries. The Chant isn't without flaws, but if you're craving a fresh, cosmic horror spin on the genre, you could do worse than drinking its Kool Aid.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.