Avadon - The Black Fortress

I’ve been playing the Avadon - The Black Fortress demo now that it’s out for Windows. I got the hang of it, levelled up a few times and saw how the core mechanics work. The game drew me in and I can already see the sinister potential the story holds under the rather straightforward introductory fluff I have to go through. Hopefully it does ramp up later on. It might not look it, but it’s been a joy to play after I got over the initial annoyances and disappointment with certain details here and there. It’s basically fun like Infinity Engine games used to be, though not as ambitious of course, the team isn’t exactly the size of Black Isle. It’s trying to be more accessible I guess, so don’t expect the same depth in every way (such as combat, it’s neat but it’s no d&d). The areas seem pretty large though, with multiple levels each, and the writing, while simple (I’m still basically in my first main quest, though you can do various simple side quests along the way) is better than most games.
Also, for those with a Mac, it’s a little cheaper on the Mac App Store
than it is through the official website. An iPad version should be coming soon for those interested.

I bought the game after exhausting the demo’s playability. It’s certainly been much more straightforward than previous Spiderweb games. You could say it’s their Icewind Dale of sorts. No major complaints from me, I loved that game even though it wasn’t an open RPG and so far this is pretty damn good too. I just got done with the third main story mission, though the situations in the second are sure to be revisited later, too many loose ends were left over. I only didn’t like having no choice to stand against an obviously malicious character, but other than that so far I like how the stories are told (there has been some decision making too, the conseqquences of which are not yet apparent) and the dungeon crawling is fun and challenging. I die a few times here and there until I figure out how to beat a boss or other strong enemy. I’m only playing on Hard (not the highest difficulty).

I finished the shaman companion chick’s homeland quests (and a few side quests here and there before moving on with the main plot), that was pretty good (and tough, maybe I went too early?). Maybe I suck at this because I’m reading online how people manage to go through whatever area, on Torment difficulty, without using skills or consumables, to claim that the system is apparently too easy, but I often have trouble on Hard and resort to using up many consumables (like group healing scrolls, blessing stones, etc), which aren’t virtually infinite as in other games, money is limited despite selling all that loot. Traders only sell limited supplies anyway, and you’ll want to spend the money on armor and other things depending on the part you’re on (I just got to a castle and there’s a tailor and a smith that sell some good stuff and I only have enough money for a few pieces, nowhere near enough to get things for all my party, not that they even sell enough for all of them).

Anyway, I’m having a lot of fun with this so far, I only have minor complaints, for what it is, which is a rare, if not near extinct breed of RPG. I found an old blog post from 2009 saying the company’s Geneforge 4 only sold something like 4000 copies. It wasn’t their best selling title by a long shot as it was one of the few they only sold through their own website alone rather than also via third party digital distribution portals and services, but apparently at that point it was just about profitable and it kept selling. Seriously though. 4000 copies! Thank God they keep making these for as long as they have (over 15 years!). It’s a shame more fans of the genre don’t even know they exist, or don’t try the games due to the visuals.

Some more 800p screens, I didn’t have any showing the inventory and other menu screens.