Avadon: The Black Fortress Image
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 44 Ratings

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  • Summary: You are a servant of Avadon. The Black Fortress. Your job is to protect the Pact, five nations that have banded together in a fragile alliance. The purpose of the Pact: To hold back the waves of invaders that seek to destroy you. Outside the lands of the Pact, there are limitless threats. Barbarians. Fading, jealous empires. Titans and unspeakable horrors. The warriors and spies of Avadon are charged to keep them at bay, weak and divided. You fight in the shadows, rooting out small threats before they have the chance to grow. Your resources are unlimited, and your word is law. But a dark time is coming. Assassins are killing Avadon's warriors, and a hidden enemy plots to unite all of your homeland's foes. If you cannot discover and destroy this conspiracy, and soon, your people face total destruction. But beware. The defenders of Avadon are being picked off, one by one, and you are the next target. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. May 9, 2011
    91
    What I do know is this: despite the million dollar game budgets that have taken us to this age of gaming, we are still in a place where a studio like Spiderweb Software exists to give us Avadon: The Black Fortress. This game reminded me of some of the best games I've ever played. Perhaps most importantly, it made me want more. Despite the fact that it probably won't be for everybody, and despite the fact that the mainstream may have moved away from this type of game forever, I'm still giving it an Editor's Choice award.
  2. Oct 19, 2011
    85
    Spiderweb's new RPG series is also Jeff Vogel's first game for iPad. The game is a relic from the past, but in a good way. Although most of the games for iPad cost a nickel, there's definately room for little more expensive hardcore games. [Sept 2011]
  3. Aug 22, 2011
    80
    Avadon: The Black Fortress is like a time capsule waiting to be unlocked. The sparse visuals, uncompromising interface, and lack of tutorials will likely prevent those who cling to polygons and sweeping orchestral themes from embarking on its adventure. But those who venture into Avadon with an open mind will be transported to one of the richest fantasy worlds to grace gaming in many years. They just don't make games like this anymore.
  4. Aug 8, 2011
    70
    Don't write this off as glorified shareware. Avadon has charm, as if it were an old gem unearthed. [Sept 2011, p.58]
  5. Sep 9, 2011
    70
    Avadon: The Black Fortress offers up some good old-fashioned role-playing, as long as you can handle the dated production values and a few design quirks.
  6. 66
    Avadon's lore and setting are promising , but it's all ambition until the developers decide once and for all, if they want to stick to the hardcore or if they prefer to turn to a wider crowd. You can't win them all. [March 2012]
  7. May 18, 2011
    63
    Avadon: The Black Fortress is a an exciting new adventure that delivers around 30+ hours of gameplay (depending on frequency) and tells a great story.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. Sep 2, 2011
    10
    One of the best Spiderweb Software games, Avadon: The Black Fortress definitely fulfills my day with an astonishing open-ended game that leaves me contemplating the outcome of my very decisions within the game. Excellent graphics for an indie game made by one sole person (Jeff Vogel). Very smooth game, and an even smoother feel to the game. The demo is fairly large, and the game itself is humongous (though smaller than the other Spiderweb Software games). Aside from all those perks, the thing that really got me with this game was the deep, incredible story. If you like RPG's with superb story-lines and don't fuss too much about graphics, then I implore you to try Avadon: The Black Fortress. I assure you, it won't disappoint. Expand
  2. Aug 6, 2011
    10
    An incredible and thought-provoking RPG, following in that classic Bioware tradition. Easily comparable to classics in the genre, which is amazing considering it was all done by a single person. If you like Western RPGs, do yourself a favor and try this game. With a large demo available, there's really no excuse not to check it out. Expand
  3. Oct 10, 2011
    9
    Avadon is a great game if you like RPGs in a somewhat old-timey sense. The writing and encounter design are excellent - as they always are in a Spiderweb game. The combat is classic turn and grid-based tactical RPG party fighting, well done, although without some of the party flexibility seen in other Spiderweb games. The graphics are great, but they are Spiderweb great, and that's an important distinction: no flashy 3d images, amazing textures, scenic vistas, etc. These are low-power isometric graphics that hearken back to the days of old. For me, that's a good thing; there's a reason many of my favorite games have or at least allow the option of top-down views. If you want amazing textures, brilliant lighting, and breath-taking first-person scenes, this is not the game (or studio) for you. On the other hand, if you're willing to take clean and appealing but very much not groundbreaking graphics, heavily supplemented by excellent writing and a strong gameplay experience, you'll love it. Avadon is ultimately caught in a strange intersection between modern and classic. Many of Spiderweb's games tend strongly towards the classic. Avadon keeps essential classic elements - turn-based tactical combat, the style and writing, character and party development and statistics, equipment and looting, and so on. However, it adopts certain elements of the more modern experience of many RPGs - more strongly defined class roles and linear area progression than their previous games are reminiscent of a "streamlined" experience, the codex system appears to have jumped right out of BioWareland, and so on.

    Some of this (such as the codex) works well and adds a huge amount to the experience. Some of it such as the restricted roles and area progression, I am less excited about. But at the end of the day, it is good that Spiderweb is willing to experiment and try new things. Avadon feels like a game that wants to retain the core beauty of classic RPGs while simultaneously surviving the tastes of modern audiences. Spiderweb has produced some incredible games, and I think Avadon will provide a little bit of practice that sets the stage for some games down the line that walk the tightrope very well. In the meantime, despite some 'streamlining,' it is a very enjoyable and well-written RPG experience, and absolutely worth checking out if you like classic RPGs.
    Expand
  4. Dec 29, 2011
    9
    In short, this game is a masterpiece. It is an elegantly designed RPG with exactly those elements that make RPGs great: excellent storytelling, thought-provoking decisions, challenging (but not too difficult) combat that requires strategy, and an immersing game experience that draws you in and keeps you coming back for more. Avadon gives you power and waits to see if you will misuse it. It makes you question your morality at every turn. It plays on human emotions such as jealousy, kindness, and rage as masterfully as a storyteller, and it provides a fantastically rewarding experience if you let yourself become drawn in. I highly recommend this to any fan of RPGs or even anyone who thinks they could be interested in RPGs. This is a titan of the gaming world, and it deserves all the praise it gets. Expand
  5. Oct 16, 2013
    8
    Kind of wish it was 1995 again but with slightly posher graphics? Year for those old school isometric RPGs with tons of text and lots of monsters to kill. Yeah, then this is pretty much for you. Don't expect any crazy surprises or insanely original ideas. Do expect an old school fun RPG in the vein of the old black isle and bioware ilk and just as good. Expand
  6. May 21, 2012
    7
    I would have given this game a 6.5. But rounded - it is still 7 :)
    In any case - very nice implementation of the old-style RPG walkies.
    However, the developers should work more on the story (writing style of imperative priority), and depth, because so far the game does not keep me involved and submerged: combat is the same, characters do not really differ in their skills, trading system is shaky... This is when improved will become a fine example of a classical RPG. But NOT YET. Expand
  7. Apr 28, 2013
    4
    ah, spiderweb games. i remember playing the shareware versions when i was a wee little kid and finding them so very addictive and rewarding. after buying avadon, i fired it up hoping for the same magical experience. but i was sorely disappointed. i stuck with it for around ~15 hours, but i couldn't get over all its flaws and just gave up. yes, the graphics aren't the prettiest, but that's not why you play spiderweb games. the real flaw, for me, was the execution; everything felt dumbed-down, including the combat mechanics and the spelled-out plot. i do applaud the developer for the inter-party dialogues and the side-quests that do flesh-out each character, ala mass effect, but i didn't enjoy that gameplay itself, which just made it painful to play through. in the end, i couldn't plow-through with nostalgia and sheer willpower alone; i didn't find it enjoyable and decided to stop playing.

    maybe if this is your first time with a spiderweb game in which case you might really like it. but if you've played other games from the dev in the past, i'd suggest skipping this particular one.
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See all 18 User Reviews