User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 45
  2. Negative: 3 out of 45

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  1. 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.
  2. 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, butah, 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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  3. 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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  4. 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
    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.
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  5. 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.
  6. Mar 9, 2012
    7
    The graphics are still quite subpar in this game (Spiderweb never really was much into graphics) but the game makes up for it in its gameplay and depth. It's old-school but it's well done and catchy enough, story-wise.
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. Nov 26, 2011
    6
    Graphically, 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 ofGraphically, 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. Expand
  10. 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.
  11. 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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  12. Sep 5, 2011
    7
    Overall, this game is only for die-hard RPG fans who have already played all the classics. If you haven't played the Baldur's Gate series or other games from that era they are much better games and and can be bought at the same price as this one, now. This was my first Spiderweb game and I was pleasantly surprised. All my prior experiences with small developers had been negative; this isOverall, this game is only for die-hard RPG fans who have already played all the classics. If you haven't played the Baldur's Gate series or other games from that era they are much better games and and can be bought at the same price as this one, now. This was my first Spiderweb game and I was pleasantly surprised. All my prior experiences with small developers had been negative; this is the first person I thought that truly put a professional effort in. Having said that, the kinks still show. It's not just the lack of music but the details that suffer. For example, you can hit the key "I" to access your inventory but you cannot hit the "I" button again to close it, you have to click the mouse button. Annoying. The writing is uneven. The plot convoluted. Despite the developers efforts to make the game less intimidating at the beginning I think this is a game that is very much targeted towards a niche. If you love that niche, the price is a steal. If you don't it's not worth a dime. If you're not sure, start with other games that have more spit and polish. Overall, I am giving this a seven because it is the best effort I have ever seen from a two-person studio and because I like this style of game. Expand
  13. 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
  14. Aug 21, 2011
    5
    This is very old school RPG'ing. Reminded me of the original Fallout. Lotsa text, no zooming graphics, looping atmospheric sounds. I would have eaten this title up 20 years ago, and maybe if I had the free time I did in my youth, I would have been able to invest more interest into it. It's a game that storyline buffs will dig, but as more of a puzzle/strategy gamer, this just wasn't my cup of tea.
  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Aug 6, 2011
    0
    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.
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. 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. 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.