Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Sep 9, 2011
    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.
  2. Aug 22, 2011
    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.
  3. Pelit (Finland)
    Oct 19, 2011
    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]
  4. Jun 30, 2011
    They say the end justifies the means. With Avadon : The Black Fortress, Spiderweb offers a large choice of both. It falls upon you to get through it.
  5. May 18, 2011
    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.
  6. May 9, 2011
    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.
  7. PC PowerPlay
    Aug 8, 2011
    Don't write this off as glorified shareware. Avadon has charm, as if it were an old gem unearthed. [Sept 2011, p.58]
  8. PC Master (Greece)
    Mar 1, 2012
    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]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 61 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 61
  2. Negative: 5 out of 61
  1. Aug 6, 2011
    An incredible and thought-provoking RPG, following in that classic Bioware tradition. Easily comparable to classics in the genre, which isAn 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. Full Review »
  2. Nov 26, 2011
    Graphically, Avadon is very basic and quite primitive. The sounds also bear this same basic style, with the only music you will hear beingGraphically, Avadon is very basic and quite primitive. The sounds also bear this same basic style, with the only music you will hear being from the main menu. All in-game sounds are done adequately though. You will hear your enemies roar and groan, coins, equipment, magic, and all other sounds you may come to expect from a fantasy setting. You should expect to do an immense amount of reading throughout the game. Because of this, the overall gameplay experience seems notably slow paced. While the story and gameplay are rudimentary, Avadon does flow, and there is fun to be had with the turn based combat, item looting, and enhancing the members of your party. Mouse clicking gets severely unresponsive as you play, causing the user to click each action three times or more. This is a major problem. To correct this, all one could do is play the game fresh from a system reboot. Within ten to fifteen minutes after the reboot, the mouse clicking and performance problems will return and stay. Very slowly, the game becomes more interesting and more challenging. The way quests are completed is somewhat awkward. You must go back to the exact place where the quest originated from, and go through the NPC dialog, exclaiming that whatever deed has been done. This would be okay if the map marked where these places are located, or where such NPCs are, but map markings are far from complete. Some quests are so ambiguous, that I found no other way to complete them other than looking at maps made available online. Several of the quests were created in such a way that they nitpick the player into minute details that are very difficult to discern. Avadon seems to drag itself most of the way, mostly because of its slow pace and repetitive game play, but also because of its drab visuals and minimal sounds. Some enemies can be challenging, and interesting to fight against. The variety in creatures is not expansive nor creative, but Avadon manages to keep the encounters enjoyable. The boss battles are difficult, exciting, and fun. The way abilities, spells, and vitality work together is both fair and balanced, providing for an appealing strategy between the usage of weapons and the rest of each character's repertoire. Ultimately, you will become acquainted with your character's powers, and you will eventually appreciate the game's subtle entertainment. The storyline is not very imaginative, nor is it very absorbing. It is conventional in every way imaginable. Also, once you defeat enemies located in a certain area, they will not respawn. Some of the keyboard shortcuts only allow you to activate their respective windows. Pressing the same keyboard shortcut does not deactivate the window. This is minor, but it is still a problem nonetheless. The quests are varied, but feel repetitive in execution. This is mostly because the environs and enemies look very similar from one to the next. Some of your adversaries are so arrogant that you will hate them and enjoy being the reason for their ultimate demise. The most rewarding part of Avadon involves leveling up your characters, equipping the discovered loot, and enhancing their specific abilities. The game often causes serious temporary problems with Windows if you Alt-Tab out of it. Performance issues are borderline ridiculous for a game with such a minimalist design and coarse implementation. In addition, the developer programmed the game to change the speakers' settings in Windows and not return them to the setup it was originally saved to. This is totally unacceptable. The performance problems in conjunction with the other developmental issues is proof of clearly awful programming, or at the very least inadequate porting from the original Mac version. There is basically no creativity whatsoever in Avadon. Every aspect of the game has been done before, for PC and consoles, even in the 80s. After a long while of repetitive, bland, and lackluster gameplay, you will hope for the game to end as soon as possible, but it doesn't. Avadon is clearly 50 hours too long. Much could have been condensed to save players from the tedium. After withstanding the exaggerated amount of hours, the final battle is incredibly frustrating, boring, and poorly implemented. In the end, I decided to quit trying and take a different dialogue path to complete the game. It is that bad. If you would like to read about how poorly designed the final battle is and how much players have complained, peruse the official forums. You won't have anything spoiled, as the ending could have been foreseen from the first half hour of play. This is all quite unfortunate. The finale left me with a feelings of time wasted and disappointment. I understand that the game was designed by one person, but with independent developers often excelling the multi-million Dollar studios, there is no excuse for poor execution anymore. It took me about 76 hours to complete. Full Review »
  3. Apr 28, 2013
    ah, spiderweb games. i remember playing the shareware versions when i was a wee little kid and finding them so very addictive and rewarding.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.
    Full Review »