Shivers (Windows)

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Written by  :  ETJB (450)
Written on  :  Apr 01, 2014
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars

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Shivers down your spine

The Good

Adventure gaming took a slightly darker tone in the 1990s, with the introduction of CD-ROM technology and a willingness to target a older, more sophisticated audience interested in more then just cute mascots or damsel in distress storylines.

Shivers is one of these game's and, for the most part, the results are extremely well done. The early 1990s graphics, including some full-motion-video, may seem quaint today, but it was quite impressive when the game was originally published.

The game starts with you being "peer pressured" into spending the night at an old, haunted museum. The big and gaudy building has got a rather shady past, mostly due to the ethical lapse of museums founder.

The dangers of archaeology being used for unethical, even racist and elitist ends, is one of the ideas explored in the game. It is a pretty sophisticated plotline in a video game and well done.

The game creates an atmosphere that is creepy, with a truly eeiry look for the mysterious museum and it's exhibits.

The pre-rendered graphics are impressive and better then using all full-motion-video. Their is not tons of full-motion-video in the game, but the video and voice acting helps to tell the story, instead of being a distraction.

The game is hard! The story is engaging and well told, but even the most seasoned adventure gamers will struggle to get too far. To survive the adventure, you must find a series of ancient jars and figure out how to set the right spirits free. It's a tricky proposal when items are not always in the same place and you cannot carry many items at once.

Hence, you spend quite a bit of time going back and forth with jars, holding one at a time, and hoping that you can help bring some peace to the ghosts and ensure that certain dark and sinister powers do not fall into the wrong hands.

The Bad

Shivers is a tough and somewhat unforgiving game. The puzzles are tricky in themselves, and made more so by the lack of a traditional inventory.

Where as most adventure games assume that you can hold numerous items at once, this game generally limits you to one item. Maybe it is more realistic, but it can feel like a cheap way to increase the difficulty level.

The Bottom Line

Shivers is a sophisticated, early 1990s adventure game, offering up tough puzzles, a creepy museum setting and some thought-provoking commentary on the dark side of archaeology. If this describes your type of game, then give it a try. It may just send shivers down your spine.