EXPLORE NORSE MYTHOLOGY IN A CAPTIVATING SNOW GLOBE-BOUND PUZZLE GAME
by CATY MCCARTHY (Kill Screen)
From January 20th to the 22nd, the annual Global Game Jam blanketed the entire world as developers from every corner of every country quickly devised games. In total, 7217 games saw completion—which according to Global Game Jam, accounts to about 60 percent of Steam’s entire library. Some games were about knife-wielding crabs, others were calming vignettes, but every project found itself carefully crafted in accordance to a single theme: waves. In Australia-based developers Jennifer Scheurle, Gerard Delaney, and Emri Can Deniz’s entry, waves took shape in a familiar place: Norse mythology.
The Serpent Cycle is a game of vignettes, taking place entirely within a perfectly rounded circle, a window for peeking into its mysterious, monochromatic world. On the game’s Global Game Jam page, its creators describe it as a “snow globe puzzle game about Ragnarok and the end of the world.” The bite-sized narrative tells the story of the Jormungandr, a giant sea serpent from Norse mythology, who by legend begins Ragnarok, also known as the end of the world, by releasing its own tail.
But Deniz has a different description for the project: an interactive poem. It’s easy to see how The Serpent Cycle easily fits both breeds: the game is mythological like the Norse story it depicts, while remaining simple and rhythmic, like a poem. The Serpent Cycle gives the player an abbreviated, aesthetically captivating version of Norse mythology, one that’s only a click-through puzzle away.