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It was made for the June 2006 Monthly AGS Competition, which unfortunately means the game is rather on the short side - I for one would have liked it to be a full-length game. Nevertheless, it's an excellent game that's well worth a try - even if you can easily solve it within about an hour (or possibly even less).
The Shivah is a nifty little independent game, one I had a lot of fun playing. It is strong in its design and has excellent voice acting, especially considering this is no big-budget title. The game is short and the puzzles are on the easy side, but these are things easily forgiven when you have interesting characters and an unfolding storyline. I expect big things are in store from Davegil games. I can't wait! The game deserves an A-.
I keep mentioning over and over again the fact that this game was created in a month, but it is really important to keep that in mind when playing it. Not as an excuse because it did some things really wrong, but because it does a lot of things right, and that is an incredible accomplishment. Moreover, at the price that it is being offered, you really get your money's worth, even if its length is a couple of hours at most. This is a game which proves the old motto "Quality over quantity" true. If you are a fan of point and click adventures and do not mind the outdated graphics, you will most likely find the Shivah to be one of the most entertaining games you have played recently.
Aventura y Cía
Muestra del buen estado del panorama independiente —o casi subterráneo— en cuanto a las aventuras gráficas, muestra de la cantidad de sabiduría que tiene Dave Gilbert en cuanto al género y muestra de muchas otras cosas en un juego muy reducido, The Shivah vuelve a poner los puntos en su sitio en cuanto a lo que debe ser una aventura gráfica clásica en 2D. Puzzles equilibrados, diálogos memorables, historia dramática con toques irónicos, y sobre todo, muchísima inteligencia en el mejor mimetismo de la novela negra clásica que haya tenido jamás el ordenador.
The story and detective-style investigation will keep you hooked and the multiple endings give the game some much-needed replayability. It is too short to be one of those epic, full-priced games, but in terms of value, it is more than worth the selling price. There will be those that argue such a short game shouldn't deserve a high grade, but if short films can get Oscars for being the best in their field, then The Shivah has earned the right to stand tall among its higher-priced contemporaries.
Have I ever mentioned, my dear readers, how much I hate giving glowing reviews? Not only does it make me lose my street-cred, but it’s just, in general, boring. But let’s face it—when your biggest problem is that, on occasion, it takes you almost 15 seconds to figure out how to get out of a room, you’ve got a good title on your hand. If you don't give this man money, you’re doing a disservice to not only yourself, but to the genre as a whole, which—need I remind you again?—needs support badly.
Between this and The Blackwell Legacy, Gilbert has proved he is a force to be reckoned with not just in the independent game circuit, but it the entire adventure gaming world. With the DS causing a resurgence of this kind of gameplay, it’s no better time to start staking your claim to be one of the best out there. Some developers out there are going to be kicking themselves for not releasing something of this quality. For the rest of us, a few clicks to a website and then dropping five dollars on a game that entertains and offers loads more than 90% of the generic “big man vs. the aliens” first person shooters available to the PC is the smallest price to pay for such a great adventure game. You’d be a fool to not try it.
The Shivah is a fairly short, esthetically bland adventure title. Granted, it's not as fleshed out as the Wadjet Eye games that came after (like Emerald City Confidential and the Blackwell series), but to take on this kind of mature and difficult subject matter elevates The Shivah to something greater than the sum of its parts.