Apr 10, 201290Overall, though, Avernum: Escape from the Pit is a rather good game. It captures the feel of 90s RPGs better than pretty much any other game out there, and scratches the nostalgia itch that players who grew up in the days of Black Isle might have. It's not without some minor flaws, but they don't do much to subtract from an otherwise excellent package.
Mar 31, 201280Overall, Avernum: Escape From the Pit is a solid RPG experience that combines classic style, a compelling story, and generous content to create an indie game that is very much worth your time. If you're looking for a complex single player RPG and value content at the expense of visuals, don't miss this title.
Jun 11, 201260Spiderweb relaunches its AVernum series updated with the gameplay originally developed for Avadon. Sadly, this first episode still has too many shortcomings because of its old age; a complete reboot wouldn't have been too much. Avernum still remains a nice dungeon crawler in an exciting world.
May 16, 201275Jeff Vogel's ability to conjure interesting settings is really brought forward in this game. It is extremely interesting to wander Avernum's world, collecting information about the inhabitants that managed to build a new society from zero. [May 2012]
This game is in the interesting position of being a remake of a remake. It started life in (I think) 1995 as 'Exile: Escape From the Pit. It was later remade as simply 'Avernum'. I played the original incarnation and I loved it. Alright, so there were a lot of things wrong with it, but I loved it. I also played the remake and, whilst I enjoyed it for a while, it just wasn't as fun as Exile and I never finished it. This was a shame, as the new engine 'Avernum' was built on ironed out most of the small problems present in the original.
Avernum: Escape From the Pit, surpasses the original in every way. I'll now break this review into the different aspects of the game.
Graphics: 8/10. Despite the nostalgic appeal of Exile's old sprites, I can't deny that these new graphics are far superior, An isometric view of the world of Avernum is so much more pleasant and flexible than the old 2d sort-of-top-down view (in fairness to the original Avernum, it introduced this) and far, far nicer than the old Avernum's graphics. My only complaint is that the caves of Avernum seem a bit too brightly lit, but it's nothing jarring.
Gameplay: 10/10. The most important aspect of any game, and where this one truly excels. In Avernum: Escape From the Pit, you control a party of four people (less if you want). As with any RPG worth it's salt, you can customise the skills and abilities of all of your characters, and there is much scope for creating several diversely different characters.
Combat is a simple turn-based affair and is also very enjoyable. There is a wide variety of enemies for you to fight and the fight against regular enemies is interspersed with challenging and engaging pseudo-boss-battles. My only complaint with combat is that it isn't uncommon for you to accidentally target the wrong enemy, though this rarely has catastrophic consequences (it might on the higher difficulties, though).
The movement system is much more pleasant and fluid than in the older games, allowing you to click on a location not too far away from you and have your characters walk there, rather than having to literally guide them every step of the way.
Storyline: 9/10. The storyline is the same as the previous two incarnations of the game, though tweaked and expanded in some areas. This is, simply put, a good thing. In this game, you take the role of some of those banished to live in the underground cave system of Avernum as punishment for a political crime of some sort. I won't say anything else specific, but I will say that the storyline is both engaging and rewarding, ensuring that you play the game to its conclusion. There are also many sidequests and dungeons to explore.
Sounds: 7.5/10. The game's weakest area, but that isn't to say that the sounds are bad. They're just a little lacking. For example, there are some perfectly good pieces of music that play at the title screen and during loading screens, but there's no music at any other time. The sound effects are good, though they can become repetitive.
Replay Value: 9/10. Whilst you're unlikely to play the whole game more than once (except perhaps on the highest difficulty (if you didn't do so first time), with a single character (again, if you didn't do so first time) or simply having not played it for a while), the large number of sidequests and dungeons to explore will see you investing many hours of your time into this game. There are also several medals (which double as achievements if you buy from Steam) for to earn, providing further reason to stick with the game.
Overall, a truly excellent game, worthy of anyone's time. 9.5/10, rounded up to 10 for this review.… Full Review »
I've been a fan of the Avernum games for a long time, all the way back to when they were known as Exile, released as shareware, and had a simplistic 2-d interface. Since then, the engine has been improved multiple times, and just about everything seems to flow better while retaining the core gameplay and aesthetic. If you're new to the series, this particular Avernum is the first, and is a great place to start. The storyline is good, the setting unique, and if you're a fan of old school RPGs, you will probably enjoy it. My only complaints are that it's a bit hard to click on the small characters, and I really wish the party size could be increased to 6.… Full Review »