גוט נייַעס: The Shivah – Kosher Edition

By John Walker on November 13th, 2013 at 9:00 am.

The very first game I played by the excellent Dave “Wadjet Eye” Gilbert was The Shivah. Released in 2006, it was in what adventure gamers know as The Shut Up About Them Being Dead Years. And I’d not kept up with the thriving AGS scene, I’m ashamed to say. So The Shivah was such a fantastic surprise. A sad, careful and deeply smart game about an older Rabbi struggling in his faith. It was also a murder mystery, complete with crime cartels and moral quandaries. So I’m really rather pleased to learn that Gilbert and his team of industrious squirrels have remade the game from scratch.

That’s new pixel art, backgrounds, music, the lot. Same fantastic story, and new non-hissy voice recordings. Of course, this is still a Gilbert game, so that update really is the equivalent of an EGA game getting an SVGA overhaul. And if you’re too young to understand what that means, then high five yourself and enjoy not having that weird heavy feeling on your heart.

So yes, it still looks like something from 1991, but that’s obviously completely unimportant. The new version is heading to Steam (as well as iThings), and can be pre-ordered on Wadjet’s site now for just $4, Steam key included. It’s a great little game, but if you don’t trust me for some ghastly reason, you can download the demo of the new version from here.

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25 Comments »

  1. phlebas says:

    I’m not honestly sure how much a prettiness update will add, but really looking forward to playing this (again). A wonderful little adventure game, quite unlike anything else.

    • Hahaha says:

      Pretty sure it was mentioned somewhere that it will be coming to ios and the original sprites were way to small, one reason.

  2. Didden says:

    Cool. My very own game bar mitzvah.

  3. Commander Gun says:

    The Shivah was the 1st game i played that was developpd by Dave Gilbert. Unfortunately, it was in my opinion also his best game :s
    Love that he updated this little gem, though i am a bit surprised by the voice of the Rabbi. I imagined it being a little bit ‘softer’. Anyway, still going to purchase it :)

  4. BurningPet says:

    My ancestors are rolling in their graves. i had to use google translate for that yidish headline.

  5. DrMcCoy says:

    Is it still using AGS? I.e. can I expect it to work with the community-improved open source version of AGS on GNU/Linux?

    • yochaigal says:

      I believe it does – and FYI, I was able to get their last two versions working with the FOSS AGS, but I had some random issues (sounds not working) so I ended up playing them in WINE, which worked flawlessly. Their forums are full of linux users talking about this sort of thing, there is always help there (and the devs regularly comment).

      PS I love the “Good News!” header of this article. Very funny.

      • SD says:

        Yeah, we’re working on the sound thing. It doesn’t happen to everyone, and is worse on 32-bit systems for some reason.

        This particular version of The Shivah (the demo, at least) uses some Wadjet Eye libraries that came out of the iOS porting effort, which cause the interpreter to error out when they fail to load, so a small amount of tweaking would be required by Wadjet Eye to prepre it once Linux AGS is all good and solid.

        On the good side, we’ll also be getting the Mac version updated as well, so that *both* Linux and Mac folks will be able to enjoy commercial AGS games :-)

    • Charles de Goal says:

      Well, I don’t know if that can make you feel better, but the demo at least works fine with Wine (the full game probably should, then, as well).

  6. boxfish says:

    FYI I got a virus warning when I tried to go to the guy’s website.

    • DaveGilbert says:

      Hi. Dave of Wadjet Eye here. Boxfish, could you email me (dave AT wadjeteyegames DOT com) and tell me what warning you got and what antivirus software you use? We just updated the website so if there’s something wrong we will try and fix it ASAP.

      • MichaelGC says:

        Seems OK here – my firewall/AV setup (I don’t pretend to know the ins-&-outs) tends to be on something of a hair-trigger when it comes to any site less well-established than e.g. google.com, but it is making no complaints about the Wadjet Eye site.

      • DrMcCoy says:

        Hey, while you’re here and all: How about officially supporting GNU/Linux ports of your games? :)

        I mean, since the engine has already been mostly ported, sans some glitches here and there, and is free and open now…

        • DaveGilbert says:

          We’re working on it! :-) We’re only two people, so we can only port one game at a time, one platform at a time. But we’ll get there.

        • SD says:

          Hey, DrMcCoy! There’s a really nasty glitch remaining which renders the audio complete rubbish on some systems. It’s worse for some reason on 32-bit distributions. There are a few much smaller and easier issues to solve, too, but its really only the audio bug that is blocking a commercial-quality release of any AGS game.

          It’s really frustrating to work on because it’s working so well on most other systems, but it would be wrong to not address it first. On the good side, loads of folks are waiting on these fixes, so when it’s really solid, we should see lots of cool titles, and ones from multiple studios, even!

          • DrMcCoy says:

            Well, I didn’t see any such issues with The Cat Lady on my 2005 x86 laptop, a few months ago.
            The only thing wrong I saw there was that it was far too slow to play. I mucked about in the source a bit and saw that you only instantiate a software scaler, no hardware one, for Linux.

            Anyway, kudos to you all for getting the sources working and cleaned up quite a bit. I’ve seen the original sources, they weren’t exactly pretty. I don’t exactly have a good track record with the people in the AGS community / on the AGS forums (and I still don’t think very highly of most of them), but I do have a lot of respect for you who are actually working with the source. :)

  7. Dave Tosser says:

    As my real name is David Ezra Tosserstein, I love the Shivah. I’ll take this as a golden opportunity to send a little fiscal love their way. It’s extra kosher and everything.

  8. Stellar Duck says:

    I got the mail yesterday and instantly bought it without a moments thought.

    Then I remembered that I had an email conversation with someone from Wadjet Eye a couple of weeks ago about getting a new download link for the original as the one I had was defunct. Aside from fixing that in a damn hurry the nice lady also told me that this game was on its way and that as an owner of the game already I’d be entitled to copy of the new one.

    Then I realised that I didn’t care. Sending 4$ to Wadjet Eye was the right thing for me as their games has been such great experiences to me and the few times I’ve had any issues Dave Gilbert has been really cool and everything really fast and sorted me out with Steam keys for Blackwell 1 -3 they got on Steam. Aside from a key to Primordia that I think got lost in the shuffle around release I’ve got nothing but praise.

    So yea, I love Wadjet Eye a whole lot and I’m really looking forward to playing The Shiva again.

  9. Chillz says:

    Do get this and support Wadjet Eye :) They’re great at what they do!

  10. substationradio says:

    I bought this years ago but I couldn’t play it for more than a half hour or so, because I couldn’t stand the voice acting. The rabbi has this sort of constantly sighing contemptuous intonation that felt more libertarian video blogger than down-on-his-luck grown-ass man. Are they re-recording the dialogue? This game could not be more up my alley, maybe if nothing else I can just turn off the voices and make it extra retro that way.

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