The Shivah opens with a question, simultaneously straightforward and cosmic: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Lead writer and designer Dave Gilbert attempts to answer it with fuzzy pixel art, a jazz soundtrack, and the restrained and cynical story of Rabbi Russell Stone, who takes it upon himself to investigate the murder of a Jewish businessman. Gilbert is well versed in noir-tinged mysteries, but The Shivah is understated and realistically grounded when compared to Wadjet Eye’s science fiction games (like the great Gemini Rue). The Shivah dispenses with many of the adventure genre’s more cumbersome traditions, too, leaving room for investigation to drive the plot forward instead of awkward, arbitrary puzzles.
We’ve got a great variety of standout options this week, ranging from Disney’s updated platform classic Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse to Flick Kick Football Legends and an endless runner based on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. And if you’re looking for a point-and-click adventure game starring a New York City rabbi, then The Shivah: Kosher Edition is certainly for you. But if not, we’ve got other options in the mix.