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Avadon: The Black Fortress is an epic, Indie fantasy role-playing saga.
Release Date: Aug 17, 2011
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$9.99
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Packages that include this game

Buy Spiderweb Software Complete Pack

Includes 12 items: Avadon: The Black Fortress, Geneforge 1, Geneforge 2, Geneforge 3, Geneforge 4: Rebellion, Geneforge 5: Overthrow, Avernum 4, Avernum 5, Avernum 6, Avernum: Escape From the Pit, Nethergate: Resurrection, Avadon 2: The Corruption

Reviews

“Offers a classic RPG experience. Engrossing narrative. Hours of enjoyable gameplay.”
4/5 – Mac|Life

“As simple as it looks, it’s one of those games that’s very easy to fire up for a few minutes, only to be magically transported without supper to 5AM the next day.”
– Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“In the end, Avadon: The Black Fortress has everything a good RPG needs. Strong story and characters, great combat, excellent quests, addictive loot and leveling and high replayability.”
– Inside Mac Games

“I want an immersive game backed by a developer with integrity, and a desire to win fans one at a time. Spiderweb has that, and I hope they continue to honor us with games such as this one.”
5/5 – Adrenaline Vault

“This is a big, chunky game that retro RPG fans should absolutely adore.”
4.5/5 – Digitally Downloaded

“Anybody who pines for the days of the older, massive classics and decries the state of the new streamlined, big-budget RPGs needs to put their money where their mouth is and buy this game.”
90% – RPGFan

About the Game

Avadon: The Black Fortress is an epic, Indie fantasy role-playing saga. Form a band of skilled warriors, explore dungeons, hunt for treasure, learn many unique and powerful skills, and attempt to unravel a conspiracy that threatens to destroy your homeland!


Five great nations have banded together to form The Pact. The Pact is defended by Avadon, a secretive sect of spies and assassins. Its agents are everywhere. Its word is law.


You have been recruited as a Hand of Avadon, charged with missions that require swift action and a heavy fist. However, the enemies of the Pact have plans of their own, and Hands of Avadon are being picked off one by one. It will fall to you to struggle to survive and to reveal that plot that could shatter the safety of The Pact and plunge your homeland into chaos.


Beware! Allies are few. Traitors are everywhere. And the closer you come to the truth, the closer their assassins will come to you.


Key features:

  • Epic, Indie fantasy role-playing adventure in an enormous and unique world.
  • Four different character classes, with dozens of unique spells and abilities.
  • Uncover the fascinating history of Avadon and the land of Lynaeus.
  • Many different endings. Your choices will change the world.
  • Dozens of side quests, hidden dungeons, and secrets to discover.
  • Hundreds of magical items to find. Use enchanted crystals to make your artifacts even more powerful.
  • Huge adventure with lots of replay value.

PC System Requirements

    • Operating system:Windows® XP / Vista™ / Windows® 7
    • Processor:1.6 GHz CPU
    • Memory:512 MB
    • Hard disk space:300MB
    • Video: OpenGL compliant graphics card
    • Sound:Sound card

Mac System Requirements

    • OS: OS X 10.5 or later

Linux System Requirements

    • Operating system:Ubuntu 12.04 or equivalent
    • Processor:1.6 GHz CPU
    • Memory:512 MB
    • Hard disk space:300MB
    • Video: OpenGL compliant graphics card
    • Sound:Sound card
Helpful customer reviews
193 of 237 people (81%) found this review helpful
303 products in account
7 reviews
40.1 hrs on record
I bought this game a long time ago for a decent amount of money, but since it's a long game, I postponed playing it... Until recently.

Many of the "recommended" reviews here are from people who spent a very, very short time playing Avadon. Had I written such a review when I was only a couple of hours into the game, it would have been positive, too. It was very fun at the start... but then it became profoundly NOT fun.

You see, early on, you have a couple of quests and a couple of locations. You have various characters, you find items, battles are nice, you get better loot, your characters work in synergy... And then the game suddenly becomes a chore. Quests pile up. The quest texts never get updated. There are no indicators anywhere about the people you need to visit or return to. No indicator of what you need to do. I spent a lot of time going around and talking to people, only to find out that a quest isn't over. The loot doesn't scale up. Your damage doesn't scale up. And the game difficulty (I played on "normal") suddenly switches to "most frustrating game ever". You die. You die a lot. You are too weak. You need luck with the RNG, and you need potions and scrolls in greater amounts that you can obtain. Your abilities are on a large cooldown. Again, not enough potions to alleviate that. To add insult to injury, you spend vitality on abilities and vitality *does not recharge by itself*. You need to basically go back to the Avadon fortress on a semi-regular basis. There's no real quick-travel system, so every time you want to do that, you're looking at about five wasted minutes.

About 15 hours in, I seriously contemplated quitting right there and then; but I said to myself "you spent more on this than on many other games, so you NEED to finish it". I had a quest to follow a warrior into the woods and clear out some spiders. "Some" turned out to be about four nests of four to five spiders each. They were teleporting spiders which cast corrupting spells and thus did a lot of damage-over-time. Took me an hour to finally win that sidequest. Okay, I said, this is one of the harder battles; let's continue. Then I found what was an almost unbeatable Shade. Somehow managed to get that done as well. Then I found an evil Drake that spawned minions *and* mind-controlled several tough soldiers (EDIT: forgot to mention that it was HEALING those soldiers, so every time you came close to killing one, it would be healed to max HP; repeat 4-5 times, while your characters die and you've spent all of your potions). That... that was unbeatable, and it was the turning point at which I resorted to cheats: bumped my characters to level 30, then constantly used healing, shields and ability cooldown reset.

I gave up on the sidequests. I have no idea where I found most of the people and what I needed to do next (again - the quest system is extremely rudimentary and doesn't tell you anything). Even with constant cheating, it took me a total of 40 hours to finish the main story line.

Disregard the "recommended" reviews, honestly, and check the achievements:

Only 1/3 of the total number of players met a certain NPC called Redbeard, and that happens *very* early into the game.

Only 1/50 (a measly 2%) of the players finished Avadon. Two percent. Wow.

You see all those <40hr reviews? Yeah, they recommended a game they never finished. If it's so fun and great and awesome, why did they stop playing? Because of the issues I mentioned here. Let's not even get into "OMG BEST GAME EVER!!11" reviews from people with 1-5 hours in.

Skip this. Honestly. Even if you get this in a bundle, it's just not worth playing. Get an RPG that's actually fun.

If you *do* feel masochistic and try to play without cheating, I'll give you a tip: in this game, Dexterity rules. Get it to a minimum of 25.

Highly not recommended.
Posted: March 27
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40 of 58 people (69%) found this review helpful
187 products in account
5 reviews
50.9 hrs on record
It took me around 50 hours to play through this turn-based oldschool RPG made by Spiderweb Software. I bought it with 75% off, but I wouldn't recommend it. Only Linux users may find some value in this game. Windows users should pay GOG a visit and get some really classic RPGs. Why, you will ask. Let me explain:

The Good
The story about the Black Fortress that ensures peace in The Pact by bringing evils foes to justice really appealed to me. There are interesting characters, lots of background information and quickly I found myself playing for hours without even realising how much time went by. Thanks to unique boss fights, combat never gets too repeating. The skill trees are also easy to comprehend. Last but not least, the absence of question marks above NPCs to indicate aviable quests, whose destinations are not marked on the map, made the whole thing a bit more realistic. Just once or twice I wasn't 100% sure what to do, but in the end it became clear.

The Bad
Some fights are unbalanced and almost impossible to win. I played on "normal" difficulty, but I still had problems from time to time. You often get the feeling that the AI is cheating; they have so many more action points to spend every round, but your characters only manage to use one or two skills at most. Futhermore, skills that stun or immobilise your characters are in some cases so fatal that you can only watch your party die without being able to do anything. The dialoques with average NPCs never really matter; you can make them angry, so that they abort the conservation, but when you talk to them once more, everything's fine again. Only selected NPCs "listen" to what you have to say. Another major annoyance are the traders, whose inventory never replenishes. Bought all lockpicks? He/ she won't get new ones to sell...While playing you will end up with many locked doors that couldn't be opened. Some of them are even quest-related, which means you are not able to complete certain ones. Equipped items never change the appearence of the characters. So even if you gained the best gear you can possibly get, your party will always look like it just left Avadon for the first time.

Probably, there are even more things that ruin Avadon: The Black Fortress, but these were the ones that bugged me the most. However, it's not a bad game at all. It's just not for everyone and there are much better alternatives out there.
Posted: May 11
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18 of 24 people (75%) found this review helpful
896 products in account
99 reviews
76.7 hrs on record
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 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.

Avadon: The Black Fortress is okay.
Posted: March 20
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
174 products in account
2 reviews
53.9 hrs on record
A very well-crafted game world. What the writing lacks in concision it makes up for in quality. The RPG gameplay is engaging, if not a bit OCD-inducing. My major gripe with the game would be the repetitive ambient sounds used in place of music, but that mostly comes my having previously played other Spiderweb Software games that also recycled these sounds. Still, though, the gameplay and player-influenceable story are more than enough to make the game worth playing on their own.

Edit: after reading some of the other reviews, I should mention that I'm playing on Casual (not ashamed to admit it), so I'm not really experiencing some of the difficulty-related complaints that others are. Pretty much the only difficulty-related thing I'm running into is that I don't really have a chance to use up my consumables fast enough on Casual, so I probably waste more time managing my inventory than I might on a harder difficulty. But that's very minor.
Posted: July 3
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
125 products in account
1 review
41.3 hrs on record
Spiderwb Software is know for their old-school RPGs, and rightfully so. Intersting NPCs, well thought out story, and a well designed world that feels alive. Character advancment is solid and reminds me of Diablo 2. The combat is turn based and fairly well balanced. If you get stuck, or find it too easy, you can adjust the difficulty in game. I'm at 40+ hours at the time of writing this and I think I'm (maybe) half way through, so there's plenty of content for your money. Oh.. and no random encounters to frustrate you when you just trying to get around. Once you clear out an area, it stays clear.

That said, the graphics can be hard on the eyes. Literaly. If your screen isn't huge and you turn the resolution all the way up. It makes the text tiny (and there's lots of text!). Moving around gets a little tedious at times when quests have you running back and forth. (There is quick travel, but it only goes so far.)

This game isn't for everyone, but fans of classic PC RPGs will enjoy the nostalgia. I know I did.
Posted: June 29
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