Shivers Two: Harvest of Souls

Posted by Philip Jong.
First posted on 12 September 1997. Last updated on 12 August 2009.
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Shivers Two: Harvest of Souls
The sacred kiva is hidden with danger.
Shivers Two: Harvest of Souls
The faces of kachina are the key to the mystery of Cyclone.
Shivers Two: Harvest of Souls
Beautifully drawn puzzles give to the challenges!

Sierra On-Line has clearly listened to the many criticisms by gamers on Shivers during the design of this sequel. Based on a brand new and more congruent story, Shivers Two: Harvest of Souls succeeds in expanding on the elements that have made its predecessor a sleeper hit. The unique nonlinear and non-repetitive puzzle design, complete freedom of exploration, and the use of a life essence bar have all been updated. Players can even chat online on the internet with others for clues from within the game. These efforts by the design team clearly contribute to the delights of fans of the series who should find this sequel a joy to play.

You have just checked into the hotel for the night in an odd little town of Cyclone, Arizona. You are supposed to meet your friends, members of a rock band coincidentally called Trip Cyclone, who are in town to shoot a series of music videos. Unable to leave town because of a landslide, you soon become aware that the residents of Cyclone have vanished, along with your friends. Clues from notes and journals left behind, recorded messages on the answering machines, music video broadcasts on television, and strange apparitions lead you to the discovery of a mysterious Native American figure named Darkcloud who appears to be responsible for the town's trouble. To foil his evil curse and rescue the residents of Cyclone and your friends, you must search for all the prayer sticks called bahos and return them to the correct petroglyphs (Native American spiritual graffiti) in the kiva before your life essence is drained out by the curse.

With high resolution SVGA graphics and stereophonic surround sound, Shivers Two: Harvest of Souls marks the debut of 2 brand new game engines to control the visual and audio effects of the game. The "Vision 360" engine allows for stunning panoramic views of each locales, while the "Dynamic Sounds" technology simulates the effect of surround sound without multidirectional speakers. The game features a number of music video and audio clips that are themselves laden with clues to solving the puzzles.

Navigation in Shivers Two: Harvest of Souls is done through simple point and click. The puzzles are both logic and inventory based. A novel twist to the puzzles in this game is the ability to redesign them, storing them as .txt files and then email them to your friends to try. A "Solve Current Puzzle" button is available for those who may be completely stumped by a puzzle in order to bypass it and move forward in the game. The game features three different endings, with many ways to reach each one. With Sierra Internet Gaming System or SIS, players can chat in real-time online for clues while still playing the game! SIGS requires a working Internet PPP connection that supports WinSock32 and works in Windows 95 only.

For the novice player, the nonlinear gameplay and fragmented storytelling in Shivers Two: Harvest of Souls can appear confusing. One wonders if a more linear approach in the storytelling may better showcase the game's complexity. The lyrics from the music videos are sometimes difficult to understand. However, the lyrics are provided with the game's documentation for your reference. The direction to create the new puzzles is unclear and does not work with all puzzles. Many of the logic puzzles themselves bear no relationship to the game itself. Some puzzles, such as the one matching the correct bahos with the petroglyph, can be tedious and repetitive. The life essence bar can also be irritating since it unnecessarily places time limits on solving the puzzles.

Shivers Two: Harvest of Souls is both a visual and an audio feast for the eyes and ears. The high quality breathtaking graphics and atmospheric soundtrack successfully provide an immersing gaming experience. The music videos are well directed and a joy to watch. As a bonus, even the original soundtrack CD is included with the game. Shivers Two: Harvest of Souls is an interesting and immersing horror adventure, backed by rock music mixed with Native American history.

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