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Available Platform: Windows 3.x

Shivers is a horror point-and-click graphic adventure. Sierra On-Line produced and released the game in 1995 as a PC exclusive. Although it had a foray into the world of graphic ad...


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PublisherSierra On-Line
DeveloperSierra On-Line
OS supportedWin7 64 bit, Win8 64bit, Windows 10, MacOS 10.6+
Updated4 December 2020

Game Review

Shivers is a horror point-and-click graphic adventure. Sierra On-Line produced and released the game in 1995 as a PC exclusive.

Although it had a foray into the world of graphic adventures with Mystery House (1980), the company that would later become part of Activision had no background in the world of terror. Therefore, based on other popular installations such as the 11th hour and 7th guest, Shivers saw the light.

The premise of the game is somewhat cliché. After accepting a challenge from some friends, two teenagers are trapped in a haunted museum where two other young people and the institution's owner disappear. The story becomes more complicated when they discover that the place is inhabited by 13 spirits called Ixupi, and the player is tasked with locking them in their respective pots. As the character advances in the plot, topics related to madness, the arrogance of the scientific community, aliens, and even Atlantis are revealed.

Despite being inspired by contemporaries, Shivers had many characteristics that differentiated it from the rest. Firstly, a life bar on the screen must be continuously monitored so that the entities do not absorb the protagonist's soul. On the other hand, it's non-linear, so you can check the whole museum very quickly, which causes a considerable amount of backtracking. As if this wasn't enough, all the items found and stored in a small inventory of two spaces are randomly arranged, so every time the game starts from 0, it will be a different experience.

Being a graphic adventure, Shivers is full of puzzles. Some can be solved quickly, but this is not the norm. Their overall difficulty varies from complex to ridiculous, and the player must take note and be focused at all times if they want to win without a guide. It should also be noted that it inspired sagas such as Resident Evil. In its third entry, Resident Evil: Nemesis (1999), there is an almost identical puzzle that involves black and white gears placed in a particular way to make them work.

The strongest points appear in the graphics: the art comprises 2500 hand-drawn watercolor paintings. It is impossible to define a single style; at times, it can dominate a palette of intense reds, and in the next click, the player finds himself with a completely abstract background. This is because each room is painted exclusively by one artist from the creative group, which was made up of ten different ones. On the other hand, the art director in the game, Ron Spears, made sure that despite this survey of rooms, the museum as a whole does not feel fragmented, and the rooms remain connected to each other.

Other notable successes were found in the music and sounds. Guy Whitmore was the only one in charge of this and had the difficult task of doing everything: recording, composition, sound design, and even editing. The result of his work accompanies the images perfectly. It generates the same tense atmosphere with sounds that vary from pop, funk, and even rock. At times it is evoked, and from one moment to the next, it changes entirely and creates an aura of mysticism. Also, several voices were added as part of the tracks, where they can be mocking the player or begging for help. Even though one is aware that it is part of the music, with time, they blend, and you can't help but look for the origin of the voice in the rooms.

The critics received the game positively. They criticized negatively and positively that Sierra deviated from the titles it usually produced. The most significant praise came from the side of the images and sound, considered masterpieces.

If you are a point-and-click fan and want to face a real challenge, climb the hills of Mt. Pleasant, enter the doors of Professor Windlenot's Museum of the Strange and Unusual, and prepare yourself for a challenge that will go from the mathematical to the psychological. If you don't want to take such a long journey, you can download it here and play it now!

Review by: Gustavo
Published: 7 April 2020 10:14 pm

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