Shiver Poltergeist

[Review] Shiver: Poltergeist (Android)

From the makers of one of the best* horror hidden object games ever created – Shiver: Vanishing Hitchhiker – comes its sequel, Shiver: Poltergeist, and it’s everything I had hoped for. Much like its predecessor, Poltergeist is atmospheric, mysterious and spooky. I certainly was anxious to play it, and excited when it recently went on sale on Google Play.

The Shiver series is actually a trilogy, which also includes the unsatisfactory and frankly inferior Moonlit Grove, a game I reviewed last fall. Poltergeist, the middle child in this series really continued where Vanishing Hitchhiker left off in terms of spooky imagery and gameplay and is a great addition to the Shiver franchise.

One day, you receive notice that you have inherited the Kengale Estate, a property on a private island that has a mysterious past. Sounds awesome sauce, until you approach the island by boat, and a big storm rolls in that never goes away. At first glance, the grounds look neglected. You are met by a kind butler who attempts to keep up the house, but the place is still a junk pile and in disrepair despite his efforts. You are free to tour the estate as you please, but as you do so, you have apparitions of a young unhappy woman. Every time she appears, strange phenomena take place – mysterious fires occur, mirrors shatter…In the story, you discover you have some semblance to a guy long dead who lived in the manor, and you spend the game trying to figure out who this woman is and how you are linked to her.

Shiver: Poltergeist was creepy in every way. Visually stunning, the game takes you to a macabre environment leaving you feeling unsettled and a bit frightened of what you might find. It’s a hidden object game with a bit of adventure attached. The game seemed longer than the average hidden object game (4 hours +), and the bonus gameplay at the end was a great surprise. Elements from Vanishing Hitchhiker were a nice touch, such as a flashlight that you use in pitch black rooms (scary!) or the old “look through the peephole to see another eye looking back at you” schtick (but, works every time!).

Aside from its imagery, what makes this game scary is the atmospheric music and sound effects. Listening to the game through headphones scared me enough to make me sweat at every turn, and heaven help me if I was playing in a dark room – gah! It sounded like a lot of work went into the game’s music – real piano, violin, and classical bass could be heard.

One element that I didn’t like terribly, that I found broke the mood of the game was when there was any voice acting. Total cheese. To be frank, it sounded forced and insincere to the story. I don’t say this often, but the game would have been better off with just subtitles!

Beside Android, this game is available on PC, Mac, and iOS devices. Overall, I recommend Shiver: Poltergeist, and place this game in the pantheon of great and scary hidden object games!

5/5

*I know, a matter of opinion – my opinion! hah! But, if you find a hidden object game that is even scarier then holla!

Shiver: Poltergeist
Developer: Artogon/ Big Fish Games
Released: 2012

More Shiver reviews:

Shiver: Vanishing Hitchhiker

Shiver: Moonlit Grove