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aka: Shivers: La Terreur Révèlera les Secrets des Ténêbres, Shivers: What Darkness Conceals, Terror Reveals
Moby ID: 663
Windows Specs
Buy on Windows
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Description official descriptions

Surviving a dare by your friends to spend the night in a haunted museum is how Shivers begins, but it soon turns into a challenge of capturing the evil Ixupi, ghosts of South American legend, in pots scattered throughout the museum.

The game is similar to Myst in many aspects in that it's an adventure game with a 1st-person slideshow-type presentation. Though unlike Myst, you have a life meter and the Ixupi can steal life from it if you aren't careful.

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Credits (Windows version)

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Average score: 70% (based on 21 ratings)


Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 48 ratings with 6 reviews)

One of the hardest games I’ve ever played. But, well worth it!

The Good
If you are expecting another Sierra whimsical fantasy, you’ll be totally surprised with Shivers. It is not played in 3rd person, but rather in 1st – another change for Sierra. This is a mystery that takes place in an old museum, complete with ghosts and all the atmosphere that goes with them. As you find books and other clues, the story unfolds gradually and ends with a punch.

There are numerous floors and rooms to explore in the museum. Hidden passages and secret rooms make it even more interesting. The scenery itself is beautifully done and the interface is easy to learn. The game will give you shivers at times, too. It is imaginatively spooky and suspenseful and this is reflected in the musical score, which is wonderful, and in the rich, realistic graphics.

I especially loved the “flashback” feature. You can review the cut scene movies as often as you like. Sometimes that’s the only way to find a clue you may have forgotten.

The puzzles are really creative and challenging. Rather than conversation or inventory based puzzles, you’ll need to use your skills in math, logic and common sense to solve the ones in this game. Some may even disturb your sleep!

Each time you begin a new game the locations of the illusive Ixupi spirits change. This means that even a walkthrough may not help you with your game. The game itself takes quite awhile to finish and you’ll be taking plenty of notes. (I filled up 2 legal pads with my notes and drawings!)

The Bad
You are only able to carry around one object at a time – a pot or a lid to catch an Ixupi. This means that you must remember where you hid the matching pot (or lid). Of course, this lengthened the game playing time, which is a good thing rather than bad.

The Bottom Line
If you have been looking for a great interactive puzzle game, you’ve found it! Shivers is one of the best, and hardest, games I’ve ever played. But it’s more than just puzzles. The story will keep you interested up until the very end. You’ll feel a great sense of satisfaction when you’re done.

Windows 3.x · by Jeanne (75925) · 2005

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.

Windows · by ETJB (428) · 2014

A seemingly campy horror mystery that is more than meets the eye

The Good
Shivers is an interesting departure for Sierra. Following the immense success and popularity of Myst, the veteran AGs company decided it was time to venture into uncharted territory, and thus Shivers was conceived.

Featuring 1st person perspective and a Myst-esque solitude, Shivers is quite a change from the traditional 3rd person, characters-laden earlier and contemporary Sierra titles. Moreover, only one item can be carried in the inventory at a time, which is limited to one type of objects.

So how did Sierra fare in this new yet perilous path? The answer, after experiencing Shivers, is well, very well indeed.

The first impression that one might get is that of a pretty much hackneyed, even cheesy teen horror slasher. But as one delves deeper into the bowels of the haunted museum, one learns there's much more here. True to its name, the museum/mansion you're marooned at by your friends (as shown in the introduction) is a treasure trove of the bizarre, the mysterious and the macabre. As for the latter, don't expect the standard set by games like Phantasmagoria, the content is comparatively mild and unharmful, nothing on the same scale as those titles at any rate.

As you explore the vast interior of the complex that is the museum, you'll encounter a wide gamut of interesting factoids and tidbits about an even wider range of ancient civilizations, arcane myths, occult stories and legendary figures and beings. Beside these are pieces of information about the late owner and curator of the museum, as well as a couple of adolescents who went missing there years ago. They come in the form of journals and books usually authored by the characters themselves, and make the bulk of the plot.

Of course, everything is crucial to peeling the layers of the mystery. As with many games of its kind, keen observation and great attention to detail are key in Shivers. Figuring out and uncovering all those secrets lying about provides a wonderful sense of accomplishment and gratification. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to mess around with all those exhibits in the museums you've been to? Play Shivers and you'll probably find out.

As said, the inventory is limited to one single item, which is invariably either a pot or its matching lid, or the combination of the two used for ensnaring the evil spirits (or Ixupi) that haunt the museum - which is the main objective of the game. This, of course, requires finding the two parts of the pot, and then locating the tangible manifestation of the element the newly assembled vessel represents, which is where the Ixupi lingers. The fractured parts are hidden all over the place, and mostly a puzzle is required to be solved before they can be obtained. Puzzles and riddles mostly reflect each section's central theme. Gameplay is non-linear, in that it's possible to work on multiple problems simultaneously - there's no rigid order in which to play, and you get free access to all the rooms.

The inventory may allow for only one item, however there's an extremely useful tool that is actually a more than adequate alternative. What I'm referring to is the Flashback menu. In addition to keeping track of all the viewed cut-scenes, it also records all of the important documents found (books, letters, journals).

The graphics are pre-renders, very reminiscent of Phantasmagoria - a little bit tacky and kitsch, but good enough. Movement is done via directional arrows, and is slideshow-style a la Myst. FMV cut-scenes use live actors, to varying qualities of acting and performing, but this is not really the point here anyway. The graphics may not be all that impressive per se, especially in comparison to the Myst series, but the awesome design compensates for this: The museum is a colossal assortment of neat and varied exhibits which attract the eye from the second you enter a new area. It's all very eclectic and diverse; you never get bored - what more do you need?

The Bad
Apparently, Shivers was marketed to teens, and indeed this is quite evident throughout the game. There's this very prominent side-flavour of campiness, the same evoked by Phantasmagoria.

For one, the Ixupi, which are supposed to be foul, menacing wicked spirits, look too cartoonish and are poorly animated - their physical appearance is far from how they're described. This diminishes greatly from the game's serious, horrific premise and tone.

Another issue is the puzzles. They vary too much in quality and difficulty, two criteria which don't necessarily go together. For example, the marble solitaire and pinball machine pose quite a challenge, but they're not nearly as interesting as the contextual, plot-based puzzles. And this is the weakest point here - unlike its inspiration, Myst, Shivers is fraught with self-contained, independent and unrelated challenges (e.g. jigsaw puzzles). This lends it a sort of a mini-games arena side-taste that is unwelcome.

Yet again we have a point n' click mania due to absent hotspots indication, not unlike Riven, but at least directional arrows do make an appearance here, fortunately. This leads to much frustration at times, especially in the library, for obvious reasons.

The Bottom Line
Phantasmagoria for kids, Myst in a horror setting, Alone in the Dark sans combat - whatever moniker you choose for it, and whatever comparison you make, Shivers will rise up to the challenge and prove it stands on its own as a fantastic experience for any adventure games player.

Just don't let the first impression mislead you, or the less-inspired puzzles dismay you. Shivers holds in it many surprises which are mostly pleasant, and it's enthralling and engrossing regardless of the few drawbacks.

Windows · by Tal Cohen (31) · 2009

[ View all 6 player reviews ]


The random play factor of this game was influenced by Mixed-Up Mother Goose Deluxe, according to Marcia Bales, the game designer.


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Benjamin Tucker.

Windows added by Dragom. Macintosh added by Scaryfun.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, jean-louis, Zeppin.

Game added January 3, 2000. Last modified February 8, 2024.