(ags) The Shivah – Rabbi Detectives?!? Oy vey! – AGS

Today’s review is about an adventure game called “The Shivah” from Wadjet Eye Games.  But before we get to that let me tell you a little story about me.  Adventure games in ages past were a bit part of why I became a programmer.  Great classics such as Sierra’s Space Quest Series, and the King’s Quest Series, The Secret of Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, and Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle, as well as Sam and Max hit the road had inspired me to get into making games.  At the time it was hard to find information about programming because the internet was still in it’s infancy and you had to use bulletin board systems to communicate with people.  In any case I pressed on slowly but surely learning a craft that I hope would allow me to make these kinds of games.  Soon I was making games, and that was about the time in the late 90’s that adventure games stopped being produced by major companies.


More people kept saying that adventure games were dead, but little did they know that there was a dedicated few that still loved them, thus some different programmers built adventure game authoring systems.  No longer did they have to wait to play their favorite type of computer game.  Fast forward to the mid-nineties.  I’ve had an idea for an adventure game for a while now, got characters and plots written down, but I’m always busy, so I always feel sad because the bar keeps being raised in terms of amateur authors building adventure games.  It seems like it passed me by again.  Since I’m not making an adventure game now, I decided I wanted to start this review blog.  A good way to pass the time is playing these amateur (and now not so-amateur) adventures, while I *wait* (well I”m not exactly waiting my non-adventure game is still in production, and if I wanted to I could just stop all to finish my own game, but I digress)…ShivahSS02

A couple of years ago a little known developer (or at least he was little known to me) named Dave Gilbert started playing around with AGS a free adventure game authoring system, and produced a retro (320×240 res) styled traditional point and click game called “The Shivah“.  It seemed to get good critical reviews, and the AGS community loved it.  I was too busy with my own stuff to play this, but now that I’ve got this review blog started, I decided to give the demo a shot.ShivahSS03

In the game you play Rabbi Russell Elijah Stone, a rabbi who works in (runs?) a poor synagogue who’s membership is way down.  He lacks money to keep it open, and he becomes decreasingly depressed.  His sermons reflect his attitude and soon there’s almost no one left.  Just as he’s about to quit and move on he receives some news that a former member of his congregation has just died and left him money.  Is this the miracle he needs to solve his financial problems and keep the synagogue open?  Or is there something more afoot.  Well this is pretty much where the demo ends.  I won’t tell you the solutions to the demos puzzles, but I will say that up until the end of the demo, the game wasn’t frustrating, and I didn’t get stuck.  There was a little bit of pixel hunting, but that’s to be expected on these old style games.ShivahSS04

The music and voice acting was pretty good given the fact that I think this sort of started as an amateur effort, which ended up being sold online.  The graphics were fairly adequate too, about what you would expect from an early to mid nineties graphical adventure game.  They’re not particularly stunning, but I think that’s partly because of the nature of the game, being in New York, in a poor side of town (or something like).  The animations and portraits were well done.  All-in-All a solid first effort.  Probably better than I will do on my first adventure game.ShivahSS05

Now the real question is, would it be worth it to buy the full game.  Well the game is only $4.99 (US) which is pretty cheap considering that this (assuming it’s not too short) would probably have run about 50 or 60 bucks in the early nineties.  The only real issue I had was the fact that to me the demo was a bit to small for me to get into the story.  When you find one location it’s over.  I do suppose that’s enough to get a good feel about the game though.  Now the thing about these reviews is that I’m mostly doing demos, and freeware.  Doing a demo is probably more like doing a preview, except it’s been finished and released to the public.  I will still call it a review though.  If I do manage to buy the whole game, I will see about giving it a more proper review.

Name: The Shivah

Developer: Wadjet Eye Games

Price: $4.99

Final Analysis: A decent first adventure, in the style of the early nineties games, from a (then) amateur developer.

Where you can get it: Demo here. Buy it now here!

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3 Responses to “(ags) The Shivah – Rabbi Detectives?!? Oy vey! – AGS”

  1. […] (ags) The Shivah – Rabbi Detectives?!? Oy vey! – AGS […]

  2. […] story. How about another AGS game by Wadjet Eye Games.  From the developer of the The Shivah and the Blackwell Legacy, comes another Blackwell game called Blackwell Unbound.  Let’s go […]

  3. […] next game review is about another AGS game by Wadjet Eye Games.  From the company that brought you The Shivah, comes another interesting adventure game called The Blackwell Legacy.  Also set in New York […]

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