Avadon: The Black Fortress is an epic, Indie fantasy role-playing saga.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (248 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 17, 2011

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Packages that include this game

Buy Spiderweb Software Complete Pack

Includes 13 items: Avadon 2: The Corruption, Avadon: The Black Fortress, Avernum 2: Crystal Souls, Avernum 4, Avernum 5, Avernum 6, Avernum: Escape From the Pit, Geneforge 1, Geneforge 2, Geneforge 3, Geneforge 4: Rebellion, Geneforge 5: Overthrow, Nethergate: Resurrection

 

Recommended By Curators

"Old school fantasy RPG, well thought out story, dialog and characters, turn based combat, free character development. Shorter than other Spiderweb games"
Read the full review here.

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 This 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.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • 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
    • OS: OS X 10.5 or later
    • 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
8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
30.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 23
Classic Spiderweb RPG - although a little worse than Avernum: Escape from the Pit which I played previously.

+ Long and rich story with decisions
+ many quests and companion quests
+ character development

- linear story with same locations
- very easy difficulty compared to Avernum

If you are a fan of these games you should play it.
If you are not familiar with Spiderweb games - try Avernum: Escape from the Pit instead!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
50.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
after 50ish long hours of fun and often intense gameplay i have beaten my first spidweb game.
I highly recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of turnbased strategy rpg games. the story is very good the lore is awesome and its not too hard once you learn the basics. there are a few incredibly tough fights even on normal mode. i managed to get the keeper ending the servant of avadon ending. now im off to the sequel.
but if there is one thing i dislike about this game is the fact that is contains multiple endings. now some people like or even love multiple ending games. as for me i rather despise them. for starters i like to have a canon ending and i also like to see all the story and when there is multiple endings that means the story branches which means i have to play even more. and while i love playing this game i do not like having to repeat the story only to go down a slightly different path. but now im just nitpicking, all things considered i HIGHLY recommend this game, and all the other products of this company.(granted i have only played demos of the other games but they are still fun.)
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299 of 366 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
40.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 27, 2014
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.
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50 of 52 people (96%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
100.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014
IT'S ABOUT TIME!

Frankly this is probably old news to many of you reading this. I'm ashamed that I didn't know about these Spiderweb titles previously.

Gather round me children, for there's a tale I'd like to share. Once there was a time when video games entertained the player an immersive story and provocative challenges that kept you playing for hours.

I've never liked the term "dungeon crawler". To me the crawler part implies slow which let's be honest, is generally associated with boring in the world of books, movies and video games. When was the last time you couldn't wait to dig in to a slow book someone recommended?
So when I saw that genre ascribed to this and other Spiderweb titles I dismissed them pretty quickly. I didn't feel like click-spamming my way through another shallow DC chasing the next-best weapon for hours on end - mindlessly racing to the next waypoint, only taking breaks to managing a mountain of gear (/cough...torchlight)...

So as I was browsing my games library through titles I'll never get to and I barely recognize, the term "turn-based" caught my eye.
"Turn-based"...dungeon-crawler?
Now that's a name I"ve not heard in a long time. A long time.

I must have played through "Planescape: Torment" three times since it's release. The same can be said for "Fallout 1/2".
I can't chalk up their awesome replayablility to nostalgia any more. These are simply incredibly entertaining titles and the reason I've played them all so often is that nothing after (to my knowledge) ever properly took up where they left off. Well that was until I discovered this game.

This game, like Planescape and Fallout 1&2 focus on story depth, simple, intuitive UI/game mechanics, and challenging "strategic" (yet simple) combat. I don't mean simple as in "easy", I just mean you will very quickly become well-versed your battle playbook and the challenge lies in making good decisions as it is turn-based.
If you're familiar Fallout 1 & 2 or Planescape Torment then to put it simply this game is very similar to those but in a classic fantasy setting. It's also a nice reminder of the days when RPG titles didn't hold your hand every step of the way. The quest descriptions are clear, but the objectives are kept broad enough keep the players guessing as to how exactly to complete them.

Combine all of the above with perfectly classic "if-it-ain't-broke" fantasy RPG elements and you have this surprisingly impressive game. I can't recommend this title enough for old-school PC nerds like myself as well as newcomers.

I could go on and on but I gotta get back to the game.
I give it 2 ogre-thumbs up
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55 of 69 people (80%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2013
Avadon: The Black Fortress is a fine modern RPG made in the old-school style. Except better: no swapping floppy disks or CDs! But it makes me a little sad to say that it feels like a chore to play.

Visually, Avadon exists in a 1995 timewarp: Better looking than the SSI "Gold Box" D&D RPGs, but not as nice as the Baldur's Gate era games from Bioware/Black Isle.

But Avadon isn't so concerned about appearances. What makes this old-looking game work in 2013 is how fluid the experience is. It looks dated, but it streamlines gameplay, and adds modern features like skill trees, and the ability to scale the game difficulty if you want to move more quickly through the game's difficult bits. And your character speeds around the screen! No more waiting as your party trudges around the map; this game respects your time, as your characters hustle around in loose formation.

But this fast game pace brings me to the part that I don't like. Avadon is big on prose, like RPGs used to be. Avadon makes up for its stick-figure graphics by providing rich, descriptive storytelling. There's a lot of reading to be done, and no voice acting. So far, so good.

But in Avadon, your character moves so quickly from encounter to encounter, you find yourself reading constantly. There's no break. It's like reading a book. Frankly, I find myself resenting how much reading this game is asking me to do. And I kept nodding off as I was playing.

Baldur's Gate was probably a 80 hour game. Avadon makes me wonder how much of that time was just trudging around on the screen, revealing the dark parts. Walking from place to place. The pace was slow, but maybe that was an intentional break from all the reading we were asked to do back then. Walk a little, fight a little, walk a little, read a little. In Avadon, it feels like read-run-read-run-read-run. So... much... reading.

I recommend Avadon, because I respect how fine of a job Spiderweb has done to streamline old game mechanics, while still maintaining a flavorful, old-school feeling. And the story's good! But bring your spectacles; you're going to be doing a lot of reading as you play.

On a related note, I recently purchased a pack of classic Bioware RPGs from GOG.com. I plan to go back and finish the games from that era that I never played -- Baldur's Gate 2, Icewind Dale. I look forward to seeing how I feel about playing these games 15 years later. Will the pacing feel better than Avadon? Stay tuned to find out.
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