Avadon: The Black Fortress PC

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 61 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 61
  2. Negative: 5 out of 61

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  1. Dec 22, 2011
    8
    A brilliant old-school indie gem, lack of music and sometimes too much text to bother reading are its only major flaws. When you do read the text you will find it well written. The game has a deep story and the game play has a good pace to it. I would rate it a 7 buy I feel it needs a higher score due to the load of rubbish review by RogerEbertJr
  2. Mar 28, 2012
    9
    If you read for fun, you should enjoy this retro-style RPG. Solid plot, character development, and strategic combat sequences. There is a significant amount of text to read, but if you're going to cry about it, don't buy the game. For all others, the plot twists are worth it. The dungeon audio does get a bit redundant.
  3. 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.
  4. Aug 18, 2011
    10
    Fantastic old school atmospheric RPG...graphics are very good for an indie title. Story is amazing. My only complaint would be lack of music. I believe Jeff has made a personal decision to not include music which is fine as he is the creative force. However, with $99 royalty free licensing options available for great fantasy music I couldn't help but think that for me the game would haveFantastic old school atmospheric RPG...graphics are very good for an indie title. Story is amazing. My only complaint would be lack of music. I believe Jeff has made a personal decision to not include music which is fine as he is the creative force. However, with $99 royalty free licensing options available for great fantasy music I couldn't help but think that for me the game would have benefited for a score fitting for the fantastic story it tells.

    As mentioned the graphics are good for an Indie game and certainly the best that Spiderweb has provided to date. The engine is stable and the game in general has few technical issues. I had a slight pause in windowed mode that i was able to trace to a a process and going full screen fixed it.

    If you like old school rpgs like Bards Tale, Phantasie, Ultima, Might and Magic etc then you owe it to yourself to try this. It mixes what made those games great with what a lot of those games lacked, an engrossing story.
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  5. 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. ItIn 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
  6. Aug 18, 2011
    9
    I've been playing SpiderWeb Software games for a long time now. They all share the same qualities - amazingly deep, intelligent story-lines which thrust the player into a world in conflict, however devoid of simplistic black-and-white separation. Through this world, the player has to actually employ critical thinking to make choices.

    As mentioned in other reviews, don't expect fancy
    I've been playing SpiderWeb Software games for a long time now. They all share the same qualities - amazingly deep, intelligent story-lines which thrust the player into a world in conflict, however devoid of simplistic black-and-white separation. Through this world, the player has to actually employ critical thinking to make choices.

    As mentioned in other reviews, don't expect fancy graphics, that's not where the focus of this game is. Expect to read a lot of text, and expect a HUGE playing time and replay value. On the desktops, this is one of the best old-school RPGs out there. On the iPad, it is head-and-shoulders over anything else. Get the demo, get sucked in, go and try it.
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  7. 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 isOne 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
  8. Oct 16, 2011
    9
    Excellent old-school style RPG. If you're looking for fancy graphics or music look elsewhere however if you are after a good story and enjoy turn-based combat then this game is an excellent choice.
  9. Aug 16, 2011
    10
    Baldur's Gate on the iPad. Don't expect fancy graphics, expect a deep engrossing old-school rpg, where you will actually read the text. You will feel your decisions weighing on you as you journey through this intricate and huge gameworld. Best rpg I've played on the iPad yet. Bless Spiderweb software for developing this sort of game.
  10. 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 anAvadon 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.
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  11. 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.
  12. Feb 28, 2015
    8
    If you are fan of old-school RPG games like Baldurs Gate 1 and 2, Fallout 1 and 2, chances are you will enjoy this game.

    What you will get: - A nice and interesting story (I recommend you to read the codex to understand the political setting better); - A nice RPG experience: you start small and anonymous and as the game progresses your character becomes more important in the
    If you are fan of old-school RPG games like Baldurs Gate 1 and 2, Fallout 1 and 2, chances are you will enjoy this game.

    What you will get:

    - A nice and interesting story (I recommend you to read the codex to understand the political setting better);

    - A nice RPG experience: you start small and anonymous and as the game progresses your character becomes more important in the scheme of things. Also your party members have personalities (they are not brain dead followers);

    - The combat can become quite tactical especially as you progress and your enemies have more diverse skills. Boss fights are decent.

    - The graphics are not as bad as people are complaining. Surely they are rough on the edges, but certainly not that bad for this type of game.

    - The sounds are awful...

    A:TBF is in my opinion a solid 8/10.'

    To put like this I won't replay it, but I've decided to buy the sequel and probably other Spiderweb games.
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  13. Coq
    Dec 13, 2012
    9
    I didn't expect much from this game, I thought I'd maybe put a few hours in and get bored, boy was I wrong.
    Compelling story, interesting and addictive game play, this is an old-school RPG that would have been a gem if it came out several years ago. Sadly nowadays, the masses have left the genre, and simply showing a screenshot of the game would be enough to convince 95% of video game
    I didn't expect much from this game, I thought I'd maybe put a few hours in and get bored, boy was I wrong.
    Compelling story, interesting and addictive game play, this is an old-school RPG that would have been a gem if it came out several years ago. Sadly nowadays, the masses have left the genre, and simply showing a screenshot of the game would be enough to convince 95% of video game players never to touch it.
    For people who manage to see through it though, if you feel, as I do, that the golden age of RPGs may very well have been in the SNES and PS1 era, you will be handsomely rewarded.
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  14. Sep 5, 2016
    10
    Another great game from Vogel. I doubt I'll ever give any of his games a mixed review at this rate. While I felt there were a lack of 'impossible but possible' fights compared to his Exile and Geneforge series games, I still enjoyed it heavily.

    Great writing, decent graphics, fun combat as always. Though I don't suggest attempting to beat the last boss on nightmare difficulty with
    Another great game from Vogel. I doubt I'll ever give any of his games a mixed review at this rate. While I felt there were a lack of 'impossible but possible' fights compared to his Exile and Geneforge series games, I still enjoyed it heavily.

    Great writing, decent graphics, fun combat as always. Though I don't suggest attempting to beat the last boss on nightmare difficulty with just one character. I've heard that while it's possible, it takes a few hours and all you get is a sentence or two change in the epilogue.

    Vogel took a risk on a new story line instead of just rehashing Exile for the 9th time and he got a solid winner. We can only hope it does it more often.
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Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. PC Master (Greece)
    Mar 1, 2012
    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]
  2. Pelit (Finland)
    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. 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.