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 (431 reviews) - 83% of the 431 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 21, 2013

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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
Helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
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.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
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.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
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.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
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!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
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.
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