Posts Tagged ‘The Shivah’

Clickuorice Allsorts: Making good detective games

Detective games are a strange genre because it’s so rare they manage to conjure up the feeling of you being a great detective. They fail for a range of reasons but my solution to the genre’s struggle has tended to be that you should play as Watson not Sherlock or Hastings not Poirot – there’s a reason the books are often from the perspective of a bystander – and yet that’s still a cop out. Mark Brown (formerly of Wired and Pocket Gamer, now of YouTube) has poked at the subject in a video* which was a good prompt to think more about the things which do work. If you like it, you can support Mark’s work via Patreon.

*Slight spoilers for Life is Strange. The Shivah and Discworld Noir.

Wot I Think: The Shivah

There’s something haunting about The Shivah‘s opening sequence. It starts like a terrible joke: with a rabbi, a cantor, a near barren synagogue and an unconscious old woman. But it doesn’t end that way. Where you’d expect a pun, we see instead the slow, hypnotic dissolution of a man’s faith.

“Why do bad things happen to good people?”

“How could God let this happen?”
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Mourning Glory: The Shivah – Kosher Edition

Wadjet Eye are situated within an extremely comfortable niche. I think it’s a niche. It’s bigger than a cranny or a nook but probably not big enough to be referred to as a rift. I haven’t played all of the company’s published output, which includes externally developed titles as well as their internal creations, but despite my fondness for the Blackwell series, The Shivah is the game that I always associate with founder Dave Gilbert. It’s a quiet game about mourning, morality and murder, starring a Rabbi who is grappling with questions of faith. News of the Kosher Edition’s release, with updated graphics and a new soundtrack, is reason enough to take on the role of hazzan and sing its praises once more, even if John did mention its existence just over a week ago. A demo is available and if you’d like to stroke a synagogue, the Kosher edition is also available for touchable screens, with a revamped interface.

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גוט נייַעס: The Shivah – Kosher Edition

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.

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Setting Sale: The Adventure Bundle (In A Box)

If they were nice, they'd do it for Planescape: Torment too.
Adventure, ho! In the sense of heading out, of course, not issuing a demand to an unimaginative lady of the night. This latest pay-more-or-less-what-you-want bundle to hit the net is a pretty good deal, with seven games for the usual pay-more-or-less-what-you want, including Gemini Rue and a brand new offering called The Sea Will Claim Everything, a bit of charity, and an interesting way to help kickstart a new developer without spending a penny extra.

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