Shivers is a bit of a departure for Sierra. Rather than doing another traditional point-and-click graphic adventure game, they opted to try a Myst like puzzle/adventure game filled with lots of mystery, intrigue and, well, shivers. And while it's not an entirely bad game, it's sorely lacking in a few areas.
The whole plot of the game puts you in Professor Windlenot's museum filled with rare, unusual and mystical artifacts. Your character was basically summoned there to spend the night as a friendly dare. Unfortunately, some bad mojo went down there one night and two kids and the professor himself were never seen or heard from again. And as soon as you step foot inside the museum, you know something's not right and you decide to figure out the mystery of what really went down so many years ago. And to do this, you'll have to explore the museum thoroughly. The museum is fairly large and complex with many rooms to explore and lots of neat things to look at. And in order to solve the mystery, you'll need to find the various lxupi, spirits, that are floating around the house. Once you find one, you'll have to seek out the magical urn it belongs in and place it back in it's rightful container. Of course, you won't be able to just "find" a lxupi; you'll have to solve various puzzles in order to obtain one.
While this sounds pretty good, the actual gameplay of the game is a bit tedious and annoying. Sure, the museum is fun to explore for a while but then you have to start backtracking and picking up the same objects that you've already seen. Needless to say, it becomes excessively boring and uninteresting. You'll have to travel to the same places over and over because you can only have one item in your inventory at a time. And because of this, you may have to solve the same exact puzzle multiple times throughout the duration of the game. Fortunately, the puzzles are all fairly simple artificial intelligence puzzles and do not require too much thought to solve them. The game also lacks depth. All you really do is find the spirits, put them in their corresponding urns, and solve puzzles. That's it. The storyline isn't nearly interesting enough, there is minimal interaction in the museum and the game feels overly underachieved when it could have been so much more.
On a more positive note, the visuals are pretty nice looking and the music is moody and creepy and really fits the game nicely. But this alone isn't enough to save Shivers from mediocrity. It's just too bland and the annoying gameplay really hampers the overall experience.
Graphics: The hand-drawn and rendered backgrounds are lush looking and feature high resolution. The museum itself is pretty spooky looking in some places.
Sound: The sound track is creepy and dark which really fits into the setting of the game.
Enjoyment: Unfortunately, Shivers doesn't have enough depth to make it entirely enjoyable. There's also a few gameplay issues that are quite sloppy, like only being able to carry one item at a time and the fact that you have to do so much backtracking. Sometimes it feels like playing one tedious chore, rather than a game
Replay Value: Once you complete this game, it'll just collect dust on a shelf.
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.
People who downloaded Shivers have also downloaded:
Shivers Two: Harvest of Souls, Phantasmagoria, Lighthouse: The Dark Being, 7th Guest, The, 11th Hour, The, Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh, Riven: The Sequel to Myst, Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within
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