Russell Stone is a Jewish Rabbi at a poor synagogue in New York City. He is a devout man with a problem. Membership is way down and he lacks the funds to keep his synagogue open. Things are looking very bleak, and he has grown progressively more cynical and bitter with the passage of time.
User reviews: Very Positive (252 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 21, 2013
Popular user-defined tags for this product:

Sign in to add this game to your wishlist or mark as not interested

Buy The Shivah

AUTUMN SALE! Offer ends December 2

-60%
$4.99
$1.99
 

Recommended By Curators

"... it will be an enjoyable and thought provoking experience anchored by a strong and memorable main character."
Read the full review here.

Reviews

“The Shivah fits a compelling moral conscience over a tight decision tree, and compared to [other titles], its rewards are subtler and more satisfying.”
B – Onion AV Club

“It's in games like this that gaming really starts to measure up to conventional literature for emotional and intellectual integrity.”
PC Gamer

“The Shivah's interesting clues system, well-written dialog, logical puzzles and fascinating commentary make it easy to recommend.”
4/5 – Adventure Gamers

About This Game

Russell Stone is a Jewish Rabbi at a poor synagogue in New York City. He is a devout man with a problem. Membership is way down and he lacks the funds to keep his synagogue open. Things are looking very bleak, and he has grown progressively more cynical and bitter with the passage of time.

Just as he is on the verge of packing it all in, he receives some interesting news. A former member of his congregation has died and left the Rabbi a significant amount of money. A blessing? Or the start of something far more sinister? Can Rabbi Stone just accept the money and move on? His conscience says no. Step into his shoes as he travels all over Manhattan in his attempt to uncover the truth.

Features rabbinical conversation methods, a unique method of fighting, an original score, and three different endings!

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Win 2000 or higher
    • Processor: Pentium or higher
    • Memory: 64 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 256-colour: 266 Mhz or above
    • Hard Drive: 150 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Supports all DirectX-compatible sound cards
Helpful customer reviews
25 of 31 people (81%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
Oy vey, goyim, only a complete momzer would not buy this. Look, it is only $4.99, what a wonderfull deal! Now be a good mensch and get it.
On a serious note, it is a pretty good game, just way too short.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
Intelligent but very short mystery adventure game dealing with themes of justice and human faultiness.

I really don't want to give away anything from the plot because sadly this game is very short. It feels a bit like the developer started working on something greater but gave up and decided to wrap it up abruptly.

Gameplay follows standard point'n'click idioms; left click to walk and interact and right click for a description or protagonist's thoughts. There is also a clue system which allows you to ask characters about key topics and combine them to form new clues. Not quite as ingenious and practical as the long- and short-term memory system in Resonance, but it's a break from the more traditional object-oriented approach. The clues, dialogues and terminals are your main interfaces to solving puzzles in this game.

Regarding the story, suffice it to say that the main protagonist finds himself unexpectedly and rather uninvitingly dragged into an ambivalent situation that motivates him to set out to seek answers to ever-increasing questions and gradually gets more involved in the mystery.

Then, it's over.

But I liked the ending.

I just wish there was more story, environments and characters in this game. The premise is good, the writing and dialogue are generally good and managed to evoke my interest in both the characters and their interpersonal affairs and the unfolding plot, art is good, music was perhaps on the forgettable side but not bad by any means, and you get to make some choices that breathe a bit of extra life into the dynamics and work together with the philosophical contemplation present in the dialogue (or monologue). There is no voice acting and I don't miss it.

Besides scantiness of content, there is one more complaint I have: The god damn terminals. Accessing information through in-game terminals is a pet peeve of Wadjet Eye Games', and The Shivah takes it a step too far forcing you to do a lot of "office work" to follow up on clues. It wouldn't be so bad if the game was lengthier, but as it is I find it hard to justify the current office work to exploration ratio. That said, it still feels satisfying to pull off a fruitful day at the office.

I can't comment on the price as the question of whether it's reasonable is so relative. Let's just say if there was a sequel of same quality with twice the amount of content, at the same price, I would shell out my cash without a blink.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 24
tl;dr: Don't get it if you have a problem with short, old, adventure games. For everyone else that's even considering it, don't hesitate.

The Shivah is a short noir detective adventure starring a rabbi. It's a traditional point & click, intelligent, well-written, with an understated sense of humor. Its storytelling actually does a surprising amount of justice to the themes of faith and morality. The puzzles (sleuthing mostly, no item combinations or enviromental puzzles) are all logical and solvable, so resist the occasional headscratching and stick with them, you shouldn't really need a walkthrough. I have a special soft spot for its voice acting, I personally find it absolutely brilliant (don't miss the voiceacting bloopers!). The remastered edition completely redid the game's graphics, and if you like the WadjetEye style, you will appreciate them, even though they're nothing to phone home about. They also added new music, which I really enjoyed in how perfectly it sets the mood. Despite how short it is, The Shiva feels like a complete experience, in the same way a good short story does, so it won't leave you unsatisfied. If you are intrerested in replaying it for the achievements and the alternate endings, I'd suggest playing it with the commentary on (Kibbitz Mode), it is short and non intrusive to the playthrough and offers a bit of background story.

This game was the starting off point for WadjetEye Games (Gemini Rue, Blackwell series, Resonance, etc) and as far as I am concerned it by now belongs to the cannon for lovers of adventure games, as an interesting example for understanding the evolution of the genre and as one of the few games that touches religious topics in a mature way. I have been replaying it once in a while since it first came out and despite its small flaws, it is a lovable little gem and as much of a treat to play today as it ever was.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
Nice game in quite an interesting setting. Totally recommended.

It's a short detective story, designed in style of the other developer's product, Gemini Rue.
You are free to travel between locations, you're a rabbi and you have no quest markers, no "mission journal", no flashy coloured lines in your dialogues. You have to find the solution _by yourself_. And this feeling, that you are actually conducting your own investigation, is great.

Well, there are some cons, including bad graphics. Although the stylization is nice, the game seems to be running in like a 640x480 and have no option to run in window mode.

ps. yes, there IS an option to always answer a question with a question. In case of two rabbies talking this may cause brain cancer... or something
Was this review helpful? Yes No
15 of 28 people (54%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
oy vey dis is a gud gaem for u goyim never 4get da 6000000000000 semetic peoples brutually tortued and murdered by da evil adolf hitler

i rate this game 9 out of 11, because da jews did 9/11
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
The Shivah is a great little point-and-click game. It presents the user, who plays a rabbi with a dwindling congregation, with a murder mystery to solve.

Good things:
- The actual puzzles are fairly fun to solve, although some are ridiculously hard to work out. You may need a walkthrough guide, especially to get the acheivements!
- The voice acting is good (although I skipped through most of it to play through quickly)
- References to religion and deeper meanings (although I'll admit there weren't many and they weren't that deep. But there was a whole Torah in here compared to CoD or Pacman)
- Storyline. It was fun and engaging

Bad things:
- This game is ridiculously short. Without a walkthrough (or if you're a bit slow to grasp things) it will take no longer than 2 hours to finish, and probably much less. You will probably have to use a guide anyway, so there's really only an hour or so of playtime here.
- Alternative endings. Unlike, for example, The Stanley Parable, the alternative endings require extremely specific sets of actions to complete, making finding them pretty dull.
- Storyline. It was a very cliched plot. Although, to be honest, this is a tried and tested formula and it worked alright.
- Graphics. This is actually the nicest looking port of the game, but it does look like it was made in 1990. With that being said, the graphics aren't massively important to the gameplay anyway.

So I would recommend it, but preferably on sale. £4 is probably too much to pay for a couple of hours of gaming with little to no replay value. I got it in a Humble Bundle, so it was well worth my money!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
I am not jewish. This helped me experience some jewish words. I enjoyed my time. You probably will too. No promises.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
A fun, quick game that kept me interested all the way through.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 7 people (29%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
Anti-semetic and the goyim know!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 5 people (20%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
קָנָה, רָכַשׁ
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 6 people (17%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
Bad game. Not worth any money.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
86 of 136 people (63%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
silly goyims
keep buying our game ironically
rabbi stone needs everyone's money
Was this review helpful? Yes No
21 of 28 people (75%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
Mixing the OCD of point-and-click adventure games with the OCD of Judaism is a pairing sweeter than apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
The story is quite short but still solid and dramatic. Should not miss this one.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
50 of 84 people (60%) found this review helpful
35.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
oy vey only a buck goyim
Was this review helpful? Yes No
20 of 31 people (65%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 30
Oy vey, don't be meshugga but be a mensch and buy this game, you momzer. Rabbi Stone needs your shekels to repair the synagogue so be a good goy and put on your yamaka and get ready for this exciting tale.
(TL Note: Momzer is Jewish for goyim)
Was this review helpful? Yes No
9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
(Following review only reflects my personal experience & opinions.)
This is a short game, but a mental delight for sure.

You are more likely to like it if you:
-...are looking for a game with interesting dialogs, rather than action-filled one.
-...enjoy old-school graphics.
-...are okay with short games.
-...think having a calm background music in games is neat.
-...might enjoy roleplaying as a lonely & confused rabbi.

You are less likely to like it if you:
-...are looking for a very dynamic game with lots of action.
-...hate long dialogs.
-...expect high graphic quality.

Was this review helpful? Yes No
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
Well, this is another (short) adventure masterpiece of WadgetEYE. The graphics are well remastered comparing the original.
The story plays in the Jewish community of New York and you are a Rabbi. It starts with the commissioner is asking you some questions about a murder. There you first can use the funniest feature - to answer the rabbical way - which means to ask in return. Alltogether the atmosphere in this game is melancholic and criminal, but nicely done. It's hard to find out some login passwords but if you come to the final scene 3 different endings awaiting you. There's also a little jewish dictionary in this game - nice.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 23
After completing this game and I now fully prepared to begin my life now as a Jew!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
Excellent point and click adventure game. It's a bit short (can be beaten in an hour or so if you choose the right options), but the story is actually pretty captivating and I don't think I've ever played a game where your character is a rabbi. Also, if you're into that sort of thing, you can get all the achievements pretty easily (though it will take a few reloads before the final scene to get them all)

My recommendation: Wait for it to go on sale or into a bundle (although at this price, it's still pretty affordable) and enjoy it, you momzer!
Was this review helpful? Yes No