First published in CubedGamers (Printed Edition): May 2015
The Shivah is probably the only video game ever to have starred a rabbi. Originally an entry to the Adventure Game Studio forums’ Game of the Month competition by developer Dave Gilbert, the title was considered strong enough to be released commercially. Gilbert formed Wadjet Eye Games in 2006 to do so, and ten years later, the company goes from strength to strength, releasing a series of adventure games in the “pixelated background art nostalgia” genre.
Though ten years old, The Shivah still stands out for the sheer uniqueness of its setting. You play Russell Stone, a Rabbi struggling with his faith amidst dwindling attendances. One day however, he is visited by the police and informed that a former member of his flock has been murdered, and has named Stone as a financial beneficiary in his will. Curious, Stone sets out to investigate the murder, and clear his name of any suspicion. So begins a dangerous journey through the New York criminal underground.
Conclusion: 7/10: A fulfilling diversion through one man’s struggle with faith and criminality.