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:
Overall:
Very Positive (432 reviews) - 83% of the 432 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 21, 2013

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy The Shivah

 

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
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Supports all DirectX-compatible sound cards
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (432 reviews)
Recently Posted
cowboy bebop when im blastin'
( 2.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 7
*Slight Spoilers*

The Shivah starts out very promising. Atmospherically, it perfectly captures the mundane life of the city, but mixes in heady philosophical questions and a dash of murder. Throughout the story, Rabbi Stone wrestles with what it means to be a "true Jew" while figuring out why a recently murdered acquaintaince left his failing temple a large portion of inheritance money. The game takes you to a few locations in NYC, set to slow croning music that perfectly captures the noir theme. The characters are colorful, if not just a teeny bit stereotypical.

The game is your average point and click, but the game is based less on exploration and more on discovering clues through dialogue trees. It requires a heavy amount of critical thought otherwise you will definitely reach a point where you hit a wall and cannot advance without a walkthrough or something. The difficulty is refreshing, but certain solutions to the puzzles are extremely obscured and will frustrate you. However, if not for these, the game could probably be completed in 10-30 minutes on a blind run.

However, a critical junction of the game wherein it turns into a sort of action drama is where the game falls apart. Fighting is done through a series of dialogue trees, with your choices having minimal effect outside of lose conditions and achievements. It is at this point where the game tonally shifts completely and becomes almost a self-parody. The two fights in the game center upon a sort of tongue-in-cheek reference to rabbinical procedure (answering questions with questions) and characters are punished for not adhering to this. The motivations of the characters quickly unravel as the game becomes increasingly more ridiculous.

The games abrupt ending leaves you wondering if Rabbi Stone really learned anything; and I can't help but think if this game was expanded an hour more, chose to handle the action sequences more tactfully, and actually dwelled more on the rift between Stone and the changing realities of Jewish culture it would be an effective vehicle for a compelling story. But maybe its for the better that they did not dwell too much on the religious undertones. Stone is a good example of a flawed character and one of the best aspects of the game.

Don't pay full price for this.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Erev0s
( 2.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 2
I enjoyed it. Reminded me of some good times.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kefala
( 1.3 hrs on record )
Posted: April 21
The Shivah is an old adventure game made by now veteran game company, Wadjet Eye. I recommend it for:
- Those who are fans of Wadjet Eye, have played their newer offerings and are interested in seeing the progression in quality
- Those who are fans of Wadjet Eye and want to support them by purchasing an additional game
- Those who are interested in experiencing a very short story which captures a bit of Jewish NYC culture

It is very difficult to rate the Shivah because it hasn't aged very well in terms of game design and overall plot quality. The individual character interactions though are a delight. You can definitely see the roots of talent which the lead designer has refined over time. However, if you're new to adventure games or to Wadjet, I'd recommend one of their newer games. It is rough around the edges and may put you off the game mechanic genre or the developer.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Asti
( 3.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 17
I was hesitating about rating this game... it's good, but has pros and cons as well. Starting with cons: it's short and it has very few characters/locations to discover. It can be completed in a few hours, if we count only the walkthrough, without getting 100% of the achievements. But my overall experience was positive, because I liked the setting and the atmosphere. From Wadjet Eye point'n'click adventure games, I would rather recommend Primordia, which is one of my favourite adventure games, but if you can get The Shivah on a sale, you should buy it too, if you like this genre.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
In the hood
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: April 16
some jewish game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Animus Furandi
( 3.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 10
The Shivah starts out with the best of intentions, but ends up an ultimate disappointment, a truly stupid and halfassed game. For what it's worth, it actually begins rather well. It sets the stage for a good murder mystery, and the first half is a pretty satisfying detective adventure game requiring some modicum of cleverness. It instantly peters out from there, however, and reverts to what might just be the most base example of trial and error option picking I've ever seen. Interesting mechanics ultimately go nowhere, characters are left flat and uninteresting, and what we're left with is a story that culminates in worn-out platitudes and a game whose developers seem to have just given in on this whole video games thing and wrapped it up for the sake of getting it out the door. Skip this one.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
WeasleyTeets
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: April 10
Not a bad game if you click the point-and-click sytle.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
lewrker
( 1.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 7
Bit short.. Couldn't make it to 2h even retrying some sequences a few times, but it's reasonably priced at that length.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Slpy
( 3.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 28
Really nice noir detective story, it was short but well made and kept me wired!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ErwinFrickinRommel
( 2.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 24
The Shivah is a point and click game that starts off in a bland setting but soon gets interesting. This game has a unique story, and by the time you're finished it's too soon.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DAT BOI
( 2.0 hrs on record )
Posted: March 18
7/10 needs gefilte fish
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Raid
( 8.1 hrs on record )
Posted: March 17
3/5

The Shivah is a very interesting point and click adventure that is actually very challenging in sections. It includes puzzles that do not hold the player's hands, turning up the difficulty and forcing some real detective work. It also provides several interesting moral quandries, and multiple endings. It's relatively short once you have solved the puzzles and worked your way through it, though, until you do, you'll likely get several hours of point and click adventure.

Recommended for point and click fans who want a religious/noir/murdery mystery adventure.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
pineappleskewer
( 2.1 hrs on record )
Posted: March 7
I received this as a joke from a friend and was surprised to find that it was a very enjoyable experience! Even though it was fun, it was quite a short little adventure where I was able to go through and get all three endings in a few hours. The voice acting was very nice and Abe Goldfarb as Rabbi Russell Stone delivered his lines wonderfully. I was interested in the story, but do wish it had a bit more twists and turns or it at least wasn't so glaringly obvious who the true villain was.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[myg0t] kATZBY
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: February 13
oven ending was a disgrace to the jewish community this game shouldnt be on steam
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dovre
( 4.6 hrs on record )
Posted: February 9
Nice but short

This is a sweet little game that does a lot of things right. From the start, the game works hard to build up a noir atmosphere, complete with the heavy voiceover. The jewish bits work fine with it as well, as a lot of the fun in the story comes from protagonist Russel Stone, wrestling with heavy moral issues. This he does, while balancing his role as a rabbi with his new role as a brooding noir detective, and i have to admit that i enjoyed that mix quite a lot. The semitic bits never gets in the way of the game though, and i appreciate that a little part of the game consists of learning some jiddisch for example. Also, it takes a lot of place in the dialog, and there is fun to be had seeing things from, and acting from the perspective of a rabbi, and the dilemmas they face.
This does a lot for pushing the story along, and i enjoyed interacting with the character, and slowly unravelling the thread of the investigation. The problem is that the game is over when you are just getting started.
It’s not that you don’t see the end coming, though. The game is paced very nicely. When mucking about with the investigation, you always feel like you are making progress, and you get that little AHA-feeling of discovering something new, and when you finally reach the end, there are no loose ends. But it also feels like you just got the hang of things, and now, you're all done. And that's a bit of a bummer.
The game is also pretty good looking. The visuals might get a little bit flat sometimes, but everything looks and feels nice and atmospheric, with it's glorified sierra look. It also made me miss a point system, for added replayability.
The voice acting and writing can get a bit hammy, but all that stuff is forgivable considering this is a game from a studio of just a few people. Considering that, i don’t expect Hollywood performances, but instead enjoy it for what it is.
The shivah is not an epic, but that's kind of sad, for it has potential for a far bigger and more involved story in it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
butch
( 2.3 hrs on record )
Posted: February 2
short and good. liked the atmosphere and the philosophy of the game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Plastic Dreams
( 8.0 hrs on record )
Posted: January 31
This game is nice, but nothing special about it.
I sure love playing indie games such this one, yet the plot is not that original.
You could also switch the rabbi to a priest, with christian motives, and the plot would not even change at all.

The game is really short - you can finish it in 40 - 45 minutes, and can play a little longer to discover the other endings it has to offer, or just wait for trading cards to drop.

I don't think it is worth paying 5$ for..
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sarkany
( 3.0 hrs on record )
Posted: January 25
If video game ratings were less about morality and more about maturity, The Shivah would be rated Adults Only. I wish more games wrestled with—or boxed—issues that adults face as they get older like The Shivah does.

From the get-go, with Rabbi Stone's self-interrupted sermon, to his immediate ruminations on the state of his life, The Shivah establishes a mature theme that the player soon discovers will play out in a hardboiled detective genre adventure. While that adventure maybe loses control of itself as it spins wider and wider into a mafioso plot culminating in a series of deaths or possibilities of death, up to the reception of Rabbi Zelig's business card/the opportunity to visit Paddy O' Hare's, The Shivah does a great job of exploring the desperation many adults reach as their lives are overwhelmed by unfortunate events. In fact, all that staccato bloodshed and mafioso plotting at the end, though helping to place The Shivah in the tradition of Martin Scorsese—the ending of Taxi Driver immediately comes to mind—ultimately shoves too much plot into too brief a game, lessening the impact for me.

I could also tell from the get-go that this was a literary sort of game, in part due to the literary roots of its genre. And while The Shivah can be hit and miss in its writing—the barcode reader metaphor near the beginning stands out in a bad way, and the overblown feeling I get from the ending is largely fueled by the dialogue between the Rabbis—I appreciate the attempt. With video games drawing so much time from so many of us that could be spent reading great stories or books, such attention to game writing is a praiseworthy endeavor.


I greatly respect what Dave Gilbert attempted here. I only wish he fleshed The Shivah out into a novel, rather than a short story. This mature, modest adventure game made me want to play more like it, and maybe even design one myself!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Friendly Trader
( 2.2 hrs on record )
Posted: January 25
did you know that old jews are allowed to suck blood from baby ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥? that's pretty cool
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 7
*Slight Spoilers*

The Shivah starts out very promising. Atmospherically, it perfectly captures the mundane life of the city, but mixes in heady philosophical questions and a dash of murder. Throughout the story, Rabbi Stone wrestles with what it means to be a "true Jew" while figuring out why a recently murdered acquaintaince left his failing temple a large portion of inheritance money. The game takes you to a few locations in NYC, set to slow croning music that perfectly captures the noir theme. The characters are colorful, if not just a teeny bit stereotypical.

The game is your average point and click, but the game is based less on exploration and more on discovering clues through dialogue trees. It requires a heavy amount of critical thought otherwise you will definitely reach a point where you hit a wall and cannot advance without a walkthrough or something. The difficulty is refreshing, but certain solutions to the puzzles are extremely obscured and will frustrate you. However, if not for these, the game could probably be completed in 10-30 minutes on a blind run.

However, a critical junction of the game wherein it turns into a sort of action drama is where the game falls apart. Fighting is done through a series of dialogue trees, with your choices having minimal effect outside of lose conditions and achievements. It is at this point where the game tonally shifts completely and becomes almost a self-parody. The two fights in the game center upon a sort of tongue-in-cheek reference to rabbinical procedure (answering questions with questions) and characters are punished for not adhering to this. The motivations of the characters quickly unravel as the game becomes increasingly more ridiculous.

The games abrupt ending leaves you wondering if Rabbi Stone really learned anything; and I can't help but think if this game was expanded an hour more, chose to handle the action sequences more tactfully, and actually dwelled more on the rift between Stone and the changing realities of Jewish culture it would be an effective vehicle for a compelling story. But maybe its for the better that they did not dwell too much on the religious undertones. Stone is a good example of a flawed character and one of the best aspects of the game.

Don't pay full price for this.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 21
The Shivah is an old adventure game made by now veteran game company, Wadjet Eye. I recommend it for:
- Those who are fans of Wadjet Eye, have played their newer offerings and are interested in seeing the progression in quality
- Those who are fans of Wadjet Eye and want to support them by purchasing an additional game
- Those who are interested in experiencing a very short story which captures a bit of Jewish NYC culture

It is very difficult to rate the Shivah because it hasn't aged very well in terms of game design and overall plot quality. The individual character interactions though are a delight. You can definitely see the roots of talent which the lead designer has refined over time. However, if you're new to adventure games or to Wadjet, I'd recommend one of their newer games. It is rough around the edges and may put you off the game mechanic genre or the developer.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 10
The Shivah starts out with the best of intentions, but ends up an ultimate disappointment, a truly stupid and halfassed game. For what it's worth, it actually begins rather well. It sets the stage for a good murder mystery, and the first half is a pretty satisfying detective adventure game requiring some modicum of cleverness. It instantly peters out from there, however, and reverts to what might just be the most base example of trial and error option picking I've ever seen. Interesting mechanics ultimately go nowhere, characters are left flat and uninteresting, and what we're left with is a story that culminates in worn-out platitudes and a game whose developers seem to have just given in on this whole video games thing and wrapped it up for the sake of getting it out the door. Skip this one.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 17
I was hesitating about rating this game... it's good, but has pros and cons as well. Starting with cons: it's short and it has very few characters/locations to discover. It can be completed in a few hours, if we count only the walkthrough, without getting 100% of the achievements. But my overall experience was positive, because I liked the setting and the atmosphere. From Wadjet Eye point'n'click adventure games, I would rather recommend Primordia, which is one of my favourite adventure games, but if you can get The Shivah on a sale, you should buy it too, if you like this genre.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 17
3/5

The Shivah is a very interesting point and click adventure that is actually very challenging in sections. It includes puzzles that do not hold the player's hands, turning up the difficulty and forcing some real detective work. It also provides several interesting moral quandries, and multiple endings. It's relatively short once you have solved the puzzles and worked your way through it, though, until you do, you'll likely get several hours of point and click adventure.

Recommended for point and click fans who want a religious/noir/murdery mystery adventure.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 7
I received this as a joke from a friend and was surprised to find that it was a very enjoyable experience! Even though it was fun, it was quite a short little adventure where I was able to go through and get all three endings in a few hours. The voice acting was very nice and Abe Goldfarb as Rabbi Russell Stone delivered his lines wonderfully. I was interested in the story, but do wish it had a bit more twists and turns or it at least wasn't so glaringly obvious who the true villain was.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 9
Nice but short

This is a sweet little game that does a lot of things right. From the start, the game works hard to build up a noir atmosphere, complete with the heavy voiceover. The jewish bits work fine with it as well, as a lot of the fun in the story comes from protagonist Russel Stone, wrestling with heavy moral issues. This he does, while balancing his role as a rabbi with his new role as a brooding noir detective, and i have to admit that i enjoyed that mix quite a lot. The semitic bits never gets in the way of the game though, and i appreciate that a little part of the game consists of learning some jiddisch for example. Also, it takes a lot of place in the dialog, and there is fun to be had seeing things from, and acting from the perspective of a rabbi, and the dilemmas they face.
This does a lot for pushing the story along, and i enjoyed interacting with the character, and slowly unravelling the thread of the investigation. The problem is that the game is over when you are just getting started.
It’s not that you don’t see the end coming, though. The game is paced very nicely. When mucking about with the investigation, you always feel like you are making progress, and you get that little AHA-feeling of discovering something new, and when you finally reach the end, there are no loose ends. But it also feels like you just got the hang of things, and now, you're all done. And that's a bit of a bummer.
The game is also pretty good looking. The visuals might get a little bit flat sometimes, but everything looks and feels nice and atmospheric, with it's glorified sierra look. It also made me miss a point system, for added replayability.
The voice acting and writing can get a bit hammy, but all that stuff is forgivable considering this is a game from a studio of just a few people. Considering that, i don’t expect Hollywood performances, but instead enjoy it for what it is.
The shivah is not an epic, but that's kind of sad, for it has potential for a far bigger and more involved story in it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
12 of 22 people (55%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
1,043.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 7, 2015
First Thoughts:

This game allows you to play as a Rabbi in NYC. You can perform many rabbinical duties, however, you can't perform a virtual metzitzah b'peh. Because of that, i have no choice but to rate this otherwise perfect game a 9/10.

1,000+ Hour update:

This game gets more amazing every hour i play it. So many easter eggs to be found. The city this game is set in (NYC) is MASSIVE. At around 800 hours in game, the NPC's which generate side quests started to give me duplicate quests. At that point, i thought i was going to have to put this game down for good. Luckily there is a mod you can download for online multiplayer, which ups this games life ten fold (add and message me for details). I expect i will put around 8,000 hours into this game before it gets old.


9/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 25
If video game ratings were less about morality and more about maturity, The Shivah would be rated Adults Only. I wish more games wrestled with—or boxed—issues that adults face as they get older like The Shivah does.

From the get-go, with Rabbi Stone's self-interrupted sermon, to his immediate ruminations on the state of his life, The Shivah establishes a mature theme that the player soon discovers will play out in a hardboiled detective genre adventure. While that adventure maybe loses control of itself as it spins wider and wider into a mafioso plot culminating in a series of deaths or possibilities of death, up to the reception of Rabbi Zelig's business card/the opportunity to visit Paddy O' Hare's, The Shivah does a great job of exploring the desperation many adults reach as their lives are overwhelmed by unfortunate events. In fact, all that staccato bloodshed and mafioso plotting at the end, though helping to place The Shivah in the tradition of Martin Scorsese—the ending of Taxi Driver immediately comes to mind—ultimately shoves too much plot into too brief a game, lessening the impact for me.

I could also tell from the get-go that this was a literary sort of game, in part due to the literary roots of its genre. And while The Shivah can be hit and miss in its writing—the barcode reader metaphor near the beginning stands out in a bad way, and the overblown feeling I get from the ending is largely fueled by the dialogue between the Rabbis—I appreciate the attempt. With video games drawing so much time from so many of us that could be spent reading great stories or books, such attention to game writing is a praiseworthy endeavor.


I greatly respect what Dave Gilbert attempted here. I only wish he fleshed The Shivah out into a novel, rather than a short story. This mature, modest adventure game made me want to play more like it, and maybe even design one myself!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2015
This is the best rabbi simulator ever. Accept no substitute.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2015
Why not get this game?

Are you sure you don't want to?

Are my rabbi powers overwhelming?

(Short, silly, grab on sale)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
211 of 262 people (81%) found this review helpful
88 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
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 Funny
182 of 236 people (77%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 24, 2014
Oy Vey, Goyim! Why haven't you donated your shekels towards this game!? You bring shonda to your kind.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
65 of 85 people (76%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 1, 2014
pretty excellent game for only 5 shekels
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
44 of 52 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 24, 2014
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 Shivah 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 Funny
46 of 56 people (82%) found this review helpful
21 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 3, 2015
Didn't pay any shekels to get this, a friend goy got it for me, and I must say Toda rabah to him.
This is a very nice game, although very short, but fun to get the achievements.
Would definitevely reccomend getting this game, wether if you're jewish or not.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
118 of 178 people (66%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 22, 2014
silly goyims
keep buying our game ironically
rabbi stone needs everyone's money
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
49 of 66 people (74%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 18, 2014
I really want to recommend this game, but honestly, I just can't.

The game's story is a pretty solid murder mystery, and reminds me heavily of the Ace Attorney investigations. You collect clues to progress, and can combine them in a sort of logic system.

But, throughout the entire game, you'll only actually recieve one inventory item, and collect 4 total clues.

The Shivah's length absolutely is it's own worse enemy. While there's no filler or downtime to chug through, the game can easily be completed in less than an hour if you know what you're doing.

The only real length to the game would be the trial and error combat sections. You fight two different people in the game, and both of them can only be beaten with an exact choice of words.

Over all, the game wasn't bad, just extremely short. You don't really have enough time with Rabbi Stone to really resonate with him, which is a shame, because the premise at the start seemed really interesting.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
43 of 56 people (77%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 27, 2014
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 Funny
27 of 30 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 20, 2015
Dislikes:

--The slow, unskippable monologue you have to sit through every single time the game starts. Or if you die and need to load a save, you have to sit through it AGAIN before you can get to the load menu.

--Final confrontation feels a little too trial and error.

--UI/HUD elements feel a bit rough.

--Extreeemely short.

Likes:

--A rabbi having a crisis of faith is a character type I've never played before, and judaism more generally is a theme I've never played before, so I was very happy playing as a new type of protagonist in a new type of backdrop.

--Two cameos from Rosa Blackwell!!! And a cameo from Sam Durkin!!! Also, the apartment that the Lauders live in is Emil's apartment from Blackwell Epiphany! I LOVE IT!!!

--I like that the game has "moral choices", but that choices are not intended to be a question of whether you (i.e. Rabbi Stone) are good or evil (you're a good guy no matter what), but more a question of faith and principles. You're not just choosing between good/evil or goodcop/badcop. You're choosing between the human response and the faith response. Because you/Stone are depicted as having a crisis of faith and are therefore sitting on the fence in this regard, both choices make perfect sense and seem equally acceptable. It feels less like the game is judging your choice than it often does with the blunt good/evil type scenarios you usually get. And when I say "crisis of faith", it's not that Rabbi Stone is becoming an atheist or anything like that. It's not that kind of crisis of faith. He's just reached a point where he's unhappy with his life and starts to feel that his faith is not getting him anywhere, so he's having trouble putting his faith in god's will instead of his own. So your "moral choices" are a choice between giving a situation to god's will or giving a situation to your own will. I like that this gives the moral decisions a slightly different flavor than usual and it's something I wish would have been even more pronounced. (Although I am not religious myself, I still found this very interesting in character exploration terms.)

--In the final encounter, I was impressed with how many different outcomes that encounter could have depending on the choices you make in that scene and the choices you made in earlier scenes. I was also extremely shocked and saddened with one particular outcome of one particular choice.... daaaaang that was harsh. Fortunately I was able to avoid it on another attempt. Whew.

Final Thoughts:

While it didn't quite blow my mind the way that the Blackwell games did, it was an interesting new character and subject, and looking at moral choices through the lens of a crisis of faith was a kinda refreshing take on a tired old gaming trope.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny