Avadon: The Black Fortress is an epic, Indie fantasy role-playing saga.
User reviews:
Very Positive (317 reviews) - 81% of the 317 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 17, 2011

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“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

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
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (317 reviews)
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257 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
453 of 584 people (78%) found this review helpful
20 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
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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68 of 72 people (94%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
100.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014

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.
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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49 of 55 people (89%) found this review helpful
53.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2013
If you're familiar with Spiderweb Software's RPGs, it will come as no surprise that Avadon: The Black Fortress is another extensive old school party-based trek through areas full of nooks and crannies with unique encounters and secret loot caches to be had, as well as exciting set piece encounters and an intriguing overall narrative. That's pretty much true of everything they put out. The big changes to the formula are: a new world; a significantly more linear progression than most of the other entries in their lineup, a class-and-skill-tree approach to character builds, and party members who are fully fledged NPCs that contribute insights and dialogue throughout the plot as you move through it, can be spoken to between missions, and have their own side agendas you will have to deal with.

The new world is an intriguing fantasy setting where five disparate and feuding lands have banded together in a defensive pact against pirates, invading empires, marauding humanoids and dragons, a blighted magical corruption, and other exterior threats. The pact is held together by the dictatorial enforcement of the Black Fortress Avadon, and they maintain a network of spies and enforcement agents to ensure compliance. The fairly unique conceit of this particular entry (and who knows, perhaps followup games in the series) is that you play Hands of Avadon, sent to enforce the laws of the pact and defend it from threats within and without. This gives you rather more authority and a much more fearsome reputation than your typical band of wandering adventurers, and this is used to good effect throughout, although alas you still have to contend with buying your own supplies, a tired RPG trope that seems even more out of place in this context (though they do attempt to explain it).

The linearity is somewhat unfortunate, but things do open up as you gain access to more of the areas and return to zones on new missions, and most of the sidequests can be done at your leisure. Still, the flipside of linearity is that you're always being sent into challenges that you should be equipped to handle, and it's always clear what you're expected to do next, neither of which are guaranteed in more open formats.

I am personally a big fan of Avadon's approach to skills and classes. I find the structure of new ability at rank 1, additional effect(s) at later ranks, and unlocking a secondary ability at a late rank very rewarding and I never feel like my points are wasted or that I have to save points from level to level just to advance at all, which have been issues I've historically had with the more freeform skill approach earlier Spiderweb games took (and other games with skill systems, for that matter). And Avernum in particular suffered from boring fighter syndrome where spellcasters got huge suites of spells to cast for a varied combat experience and fighters...got to hit things. Not here. The Blademaster class even passively is a blast, with heavy passive investment rewarding cleaves, a hilariously effective level of hit prevention, and the chance to riposte, curse enemies, or begin regenerating if hit, and then on top of that gets group buffs and debuffs and attacks with additional secondary effects. The Shadowwalker hurls shurikens, teleports around, throws pots of acid and smoke bombs, backstabs and poisons, and is a huge fountain of damage in general. (Needless to say, I was pleased when the Avernum remake cribbed from this system, albeit in a more Avernum-y way.)

As for the NPCs - there's one of every type, you get them all pretty nearly immediately, they stay levelled with you even if you're not using them, and they all have interesting personalities and backstories. I've never been a huge fan of the "party too large for everyone to simultaneously adventure with you" thing, but this is about as good as it gets considering that.

So all in all, another classic RPG. It's not quite as old school as previous series from Spiderweb, but the deviations from that formula mostly are in the vein of improvements in RPG design, in my book, not stepping away from the core appeal.
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59 of 76 people (78%) 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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35 of 38 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
53.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 3, 2014
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.
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22 of 22 people (100%) found this review helpful
24.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 18, 2014
My recommendation comes with a caveat, I am only recommending this to people who enjoy turn-based cRPGs. I personally am not a fan of turn based combat, which is the reason I eventually gave up on finishing the game.

Visually and audibly, the game is nothing to write home about, being made by one person it is understanable and they are functional enough not to detract from the game in any major way.

Gameplay in my opinion is bland and uninspired, the turn based combat is quite slow and you are often faced with trash mobs that make the game stutter along at a slow pace. Later battles are frustratingly difficult, as you have to spend a long time clicking through the turns before you sometimes realise you haven't a hope of winning and have to reload. I eventually got sick of trying to beat a particular fight and called it quits.

Where the game shines is in its writing and story, I really enjoyed pouring over the descriptions of locations and the characterisation is pretty good in the people you meet. I find it a shame I couldn't bring myself to finish the game because I would have liked to know what happens.

So I will recommend this game to people who are into old school turn-based cRPGs, but if slow pacing and turn-based combat make you yawn you might want to check elsewhere.
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21 of 24 people (88%) found this review helpful
70.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2013
If you like (old-school) RPGs and lots of reading then this is the thing just for you.
Play time for this game is about 70-80h which is "normal" for that sort of game I would say.
The only problems I found were the lack of music and that some choices you were given werent actual choices at all. Meaning that whether you choose this or that made no difference whatsoever.

Dont even bother trying to fight Redbeard. IMPOSSIBLE is the understatement of the century.
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21 of 24 people (88%) found this review helpful
41.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 29, 2014
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.
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20 of 24 people (83%) found this review helpful
130.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 22, 2015
For all the RPG's Funs out there... This is a fair game in a reasonable price for the hours of gameplay that offers (100+).
Grapics : 6/10 (outdated reminds me of 90's)
Sound : 3/10 (No music, no Speaking voice... just a repeative soundtrack in loading screen and ugly sounds during playtime)
Story : 8/10 (the best asset of the game... It's intriguing, it feels like a Hand of Avadon indeed - There are decisions to be made and there is the feeling that the game is affected by them... (even if thats not the case)
Gameplay: 6/10 (action points system + leveling up characters + abilities in each type of character and in each level = fair enough but could be a lot better.. How many AP's is exacly one attack? I finished the game and still don't Know 8? 7? or 1?)
Duration: 7/10 (100+ hours and you dont get borred)
SO FINAL SCORE --> 6 = (6+3+8+6+7)/5
for RPG Funs would go like this (if you thinking like me) --> 7.6 =[6+3+(8*2)+6+7]/5
(the story carries more weight on final score thats why I multiplied it by 2)
If you dont like RPGs dont buy it
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17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
50.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 26, 2015
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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Recently Posted
66.9 hrs
Posted: October 14

Avadon is a new series among the games from Spiderweb Software. Unlike the Avernum series, Avadon is not a remake.

It shares many similarities to the Avernum games, both in appearance and gameplay, but there are still some differences. For instance, this time you have fixed classes - Blademaster, Shadowwalker, Shaman and Sorceress - rather than being able to fully build your character the way you want, and abilities greatly vary between each class. One other difference is that while battle is still turn-based, when outside battle, enemies and NPCs can move freely (while in Avernum they only move when you do).

Each class has their own strenghts and weaknesses, though I personally believe the Shadowwalker stands out as he's able to pick locks, deals good damage, has good defense and good area attacks. The Blademaster is a tanker and melee attacker, the Sorceress is a glass cannon and the Shaman is a mixture of healer, summoner and warlock as she's able to summon creatures, heal/buff allies, curse enemies and deal some damage. And regardless of which character you choose to be your main character, you can recruit NPCs to fill in the missing roles.

The game has a good ammount of exploration involved, along with side-quests and even quests specific to certain characters in your party. The story is average - neither bad nor good and a little predictable at times.

One thing that has to be said is that this game has one of the hardest boss fights I've ever had to face - not even kidding. Explanation in spoiler tag: basically, as you're fighting the last boss in the game, he'll start to take less and less damage each time until he's barely taking any damage at all, then absolutely no damage at all. You then have to press a button to reveal hidden passages in one of the walls, where you'll find that there are some strange "vases" which you need to destroy. They don't move, but they attack if you get too close. For each one of these "vases" that are standing, the boss gains damage reduction - with 3 up he takes barely any damage and with 4, he's entirely immune to all damage. So you destroy the vases - except they respawn after some turns... So you have to spend the entire fight dealing with the boss AND these vases. Be ready to use everything you got, it's not an easy fight at all.

I still prefer the Avernum series, but Avadon is still a game I'd recommend.
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26.0 hrs
Posted: October 12
So, I personally liked Geneforge better, but I can honestly say I enjoyed this. Typical fantasy setting, with good moral consequences from what I remember. Characters are somewhat typical. This doesn't break out of the fantasy genre too hard but then again, it doesn't seem to be aiming for that.
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38.3 hrs
Posted: October 11
I absolutely love this game, I cannot say enough good things about it. It is just the right level of decision making and character choices without getting bogged down. Graphics are simple and very retro computer game style, which adds charm to the game, rather than relying on them. Seriously this is an amazing rpg, very much so in the realm of Baulders gate, but refined enough that you wont be bored or grinding to get to a better point in the game. Seriously recommend this game!!!!
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Little Phoneix
8.1 hrs
Posted: September 30
Avernum and Avadon are the better two series that Spiderweb have ever produced. Essentially, they share many eleents with exceptions of class differences and part style set up. In Avadon: The Black fortress, you pick from 1 of 4 classes as your starting character and then take 1-4 of 4 additional characters from the same group.

There is a little confusion if you play both series, as Spiderweb uses the same models for both games in places, changing a few objects as to what they are. So if you get used to a object looking like one thing in Avadon, do not presume its the same item in Avernum and vice versa.

If one is to go after any Spiderweb games, stick with these two.
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49.7 hrs
Posted: September 27
I really like the moment, when after some hours spent in game I stop noticing outdated indie graphic and sound and completely immerse myself in the game more than I though is even possible nowadays, it so reminds me of old good gaming years, when our own fantasy was needed and the games were simply more fun because of that.... the same for Avadon, simple visuals, complex story, excelent writing, good rpg system, many items... heaven for RolePlay lovers.
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29.3 hrs
Posted: September 24
Product received for free
Possibly the dullest of the Spiderweb games, but still a fantastic and lengthy adventure. Cannot go wrong with Spiderweb even if they are dull! Fantastic game.
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190.2 hrs
Posted: September 24
An excellent start to a brilliant trilogy. Avadon: The Black Fortess tells an enthrawling story of war, corruption, and political intrigue, with wonderfully realized and memorable characters brought to life through quality writing. The combat is addicting turn-based tactical fun, and gives an enjoyable challenge while never being frustrating. I can't recommend this game enough to anyone who loves tactical RPGs.
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46.3 hrs
Posted: September 16
There are a lot of flaws, questionable design decisions (e.g. vitality and skill tree) and limitations (mostly on the user interface) but all those can be easily ignored if one focus on what really matters here: plot and story.
If you enjoy being imaginative, reading a lot of text and between the lines, this is a good game. Even though the character decisions doesn't seem to impact game progress all that much, there are plenty of incentives and hooks that just make you keep exploring it.
Overall the game is quite enjoyable.
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1.1 hrs
Posted: September 5
A callback to old fasioned over head games like baulders gate, this game... isn't all it is cracked up to be. It's fine, and has some good mechanics. But it feels a little lacking. Could just be me though, and I still recomend it.
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83.2 hrs
Posted: July 28
Awesome story, with plenty of dungeon hacking. Can't stop playing!
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