User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 38 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 38
  2. Negative: 3 out of 38

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  1. Apr 17, 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.
  2. Apr 13, 2012
    Never heard of this before, picked it up of steam, its very very good, nice retro graphics, decent interface, and seems like a VERY long game. The writing in game and stories seem much better written than most. Glad i stumbled across this one steam.
  3. Apr 13, 2012
    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. Expand
  4. Jul 22, 2012
    I got this for £1.74 in a Steam sale so can't complain too much! However, Avernum's slavish devotion to early RPG tropes doesn't do it any favours. For instance, the (non) scrolling is enough to give one a headache: I've seen better on a Commodore 64... Nevertheless the familiar levelling-up and treasure-hunting rewards system is there to encourage you to keep on exploring and there's some satisfaction to be found in doing so. Just don't expect an Ultima 7 or even an SSI Gold Box type adventure and, for the low price, you won't be disappointed.

    I really do hope though that Spiderweb make a bit more effort in evolving the underlying engine and game mechanics in future. Retro doesn't have to mean ugly, uninspired graphics and monotonous sound fx either...
  5. Jul 11, 2012
    Avernum: Escape From the Pit is a turn-based 90s style RPG, and is a throwback to games like Fallout and Baldur's Gate. This game has a ton of content, with loads of towns, NPCs, quests, items, spells and skills. There are a lot of choices for customizing your party of 4 adventurers. You can choose to specialize each character, or spread out your skill points and make a hybrid type character if you want to. The story is well written, and there's around 40 hours of total content. Even though the graphics have been updated from the previous version of the game, it still looks like it was made in the 90s. I did like the character sheet artwork though. The music is pretty sparse, only playing during the title screen and during loading screens, but it fits really well with the game. The ambient sounds in towns play in a loop, which gets a little bit annoying after a while. The pathing during combat is a little weird, and occasionally one of your characters will run in the wrong direction. The menus system takes a little bit of getting used to, but everything can be accessed with hotkeys, which is pretty nice. This game reminds me a lot of Fallout (only without the great voice acting). I'd recommend this to anybody who's a fan of that era's RPG games. Expand
  6. Jun 27, 2012
    It's simply a Great Game! don't judge a book by it's cover, but you need to read it first! a book maybe outdated and have a very bad cover and didn't typed very neat, but the most interesting in a book is the content. i believe you can find the same on this game.
  7. Jul 17, 2013
    I've put +65 hours in this game, and I haven't finished it yet.
    The writing is good, the story as well is just fine.
    Once you get the mechanics and get into it, you'll forget about the poor graphics
    Plain old 90 's RPG, with tons of game hours.
  8. Nov 15, 2013
    This game is GREAT! have only played the first geneforge and avadon game from spider web but this is probably my favourite. Even though it shares the same mechanics and graphics as avadon this game feels more like ultima or morrowind to me. Easy to get into, interesting setting and a ton of freedom and conent. You will like it
  9. Nov 19, 2012
    If people aren't familiar if the Avernum series, it's a nostalgia fest for old-school gamers who want a sense of epic adventure and a rich environment to explore.
    Avernum: Escape from the Pit takes you on a journey as four adventurers, sent to the underworld of Avernum by the iron-fisted empire. Avernum is basically the solution of all of the Empire's problem. In the eyes of the empire,
    stealing bread from some poor merchant and killing off an important nobleman means the same punishment: banishment to Avernum. However, it's not as bad as it seems. Although demons, lizard-people and cat-people want to give you a nasty welcome, the prisoners have formed a subterranean world away from the empire.
    As the four adventurers, you are free to explore Avernum. However, the most important thing is to complete the Three Great Quests. Kill a nasty demon lord, kill the emperor, get out of Avernum.

    Now, does it have lots of replay value? Not really. To be honest, I had lots of fun exploring Avernum. That was the most enjoyable part, the game world is vast and takes me twenty hours to explore everything. However, there is nothing that really forces me to join another side. It's not like Spiderweb Software's other game Geneforge, where your choices matter. Avernum basically has one concrete ending (because you need to finish the three quests to finish the game, that or die) you killed a demon lord, killed the emperor and got out of Avernum. That's it. No, you chose this side and now you made a big difference in the war. It's the same, static ending. However, I did enjoy the character customization. If you've ever played any Spiderweb Game, they have this really annoying character sheet that always ticked me. Avernum had revamped that broken system with a more dungeon crawler-like arrangement. If you level up, you train a few points in stats, then a few points in certain skills trees and in certain levels you get traits. Pretty simple, but there's A LOT of customization. Especially the treasure. Each item was very unique and I had an obsession to collect them all. For example, Demonslayer isn't actually a very good item. It had mediocre stats and really didn't fit my warrior character. However, demons are a pain in the ass, so the plus 75% damage really gave a huge punch. There are also "Alien Blades" that deal poison damage and have really good stats. There are even rare artifacts that really help your quest, like the Orb of Thralni which gives your characters the power to fly. However, Avernum: Escape from the Pit isn't all perfect. I really didn't like the lack of music. There were only a few soundtracks and the rest of the sound was winds blowing and walking sounds. I guess it's suppose to build atmosphere, like you're in this desolate wasteland trying to survive. However, I just ignored the winds after ten hours into the game. I was kept on the edge of my seat because of its fantastic storytelling. Every time a random event popped up, I always was startled over what could happen next. This game is a nice thing to have. Knowing that you finished it will give a nice feeling. It's pretty cheap and it's good for its price. It's not a very replayable game, so the price is sort of okay.
  10. Jan 17, 2013
    This was a great game. The plotline never fails, the various cave and things never bore, it's very fun. HOWEVER. I did not like the outdoor travel. Part of the fun of playing Avernum 6 (the one a played before this) was traveling between cities and finding a bunch of secret caves and small groups of enemies. You can still do that now, but it's flare seems to have been taken away somehow.
  11. Aug 7, 2013
    A very fun and basic RPG of sorts with many interesting ideas.

    Okey, here's the set up. The world is being oppressed by the empire and people who commit crimes get thrown into a one-way portal that leads into a underworld deep beneither the ground. You start with a group of 4 people (of different classes and looks you can change) who were all thrown down here in this hellhole, but you
    soon learn that this prison thrives with cities and villages, however there are of course many monsters that make like down in Avernum difficult.

    You have Goblins, Niphilim (cat people), Ogres, Dragons, Giant Vermin, humans and many, many more threats making life in Avernum hell. I highly recommend this game for anyone who is a fan of RPGs. It's pretty open with you being allowed to hunt down and kill whatever you like in case you want to kill monsters and steal their loot or kill the townsfolk and steal their loot, though you won't get any quests from them.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 4 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jun 11, 2012
    Spiderweb 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.
  2. May 16, 2012
    Jeff 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]
  3. Apr 10, 2012
    Overall, 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.