Posted: November 24, 2014
tl;dr: Don't get it if you have a problem with short, old, adventure games. For everyone else that's even considering it, don't hesitate.
The Shivah is a short noir detective adventure starring a rabbi. It's a traditional point & click, intelligent, well-written, with an understated sense of humor. Its storytelling actually does a surprising amount of justice to the themes of faith and morality. The puzzles (sleuthing mostly, no item combinations or enviromental puzzles) are all logical and solvable, so resist the occasional headscratching and stick with them, you shouldn't really need a walkthrough. I have a special soft spot for its voice acting, I personally find it absolutely brilliant (don't miss the voiceacting bloopers!). The remastered edition completely redid the game's graphics, and if you like the WadjetEye style, you will appreciate them, even though they're nothing to phone home about. They also added new music, which I really enjoyed in how perfectly it sets the mood. Despite how short it is, The Shivah feels like a complete experience, in the same way a good short story does, so it won't leave you unsatisfied. If you are intrerested in replaying it for the achievements and the alternate endings, I'd suggest playing it with the commentary on (Kibbitz Mode), it is short and non intrusive to the playthrough and offers a bit of background story.
This game was the starting off point for WadjetEye Games (Gemini Rue, Blackwell series, Resonance, etc) and as far as I am concerned it by now belongs to the cannon for lovers of adventure games, as an interesting example for understanding the evolution of the genre and as one of the few games that touches religious topics in a mature way. I have been replaying it once in a while since it first came out and despite its small flaws, it is a lovable little gem and as much of a treat to play today as it ever was.