Avernum is a land underground, a subterranean nation full of rogues, misfits, and brigands, struggling for survival in the monster-infested darkness.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (472 reviews) - 93% of the 472 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 11, 2012

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Avernum: Escape From the Pit

 

Reviews

“The game's strong writing carries it through, and earns it a place among the greatest indie RPGs.”
9.0/10 – Game Chronicles

“Fans looking to get into the Avernum series will do very well with Escape from the Pit, and while the improvements beyond the game engine and visuals are relatively modest, there's still a lot to enjoy even if you've played through the game once before already.”
GameBanshee

“It is a tribute to indie gaming as a whole that a game made by such a tiny team can swell into such an involving, engrossing and glorious fantasy epic.”
9.0/10 – The Digital Fix

“If you're looking for a complex single player RPG and value content at the expense of visuals, don't miss this title.”
8.0/10 – Impulse Gamer

“Spiderweb Software have provided a vast world in which to get lost, and a hefty quest in which to sink your teeth, which will reward those who can overlook its lack of finesse with many hours of enjoyable adventure.”
Indie Game Magazine

About This Game

Avernum is an epic fantasy role-playing adventurer set in an enormous, subterranean nation. Avernum is a land underground, a subterranean nation full of rogues, misfits, and brigands, struggling for survival and wealth in the monster-infested darkness.

You have been banished to the underworld, never to see the light of day again.

The surface is ruled by the cruel Emperor Hawthorne, master of the Empire. All of the known lands are subject to his brutal command. Everyone who speaks out, misbehaves or doesn’t fit in is cast into the dark, volcanic pits of Avernum, far below the surface. There, you are expected to die, a victim of starvation, horrible monsters, or simple despair.

But not all of the Avernites have surrendered. With magic and steel, they are forging a new nation deep underground. You can join them and fight for safety. Or freedom. Or, if you dare, revenge on the surface-worlders who tried to destroy you. Join your new countrymen, explore a huge game world, hunt for hundreds of magical artifacts, choose from hundreds of quests, and become the hero of the underworld!

Key features

  • Epic fantasy adventure in an enormous underworld.
  • Huge outdoors, eighty towns and dungeons, and hundreds of quests.
  • Three separate game-winning quests. Seek safety, escape or revenge. Complete just one or all three!
  • Unique races and settings make Avernum different from any adventure out there.
  • Hundreds of side quests and magical artifacts to discover.
  • Rich game system with over 50 spells and battle disciplines and a multitude of beneficial character traits to choose from.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM, 512 MB Recommended
    • Hard Disk Space: 300 MB
    • Video Card: 3D accelerated graphics card, Open GL compliant
    • OS: OS X 10.5 or later
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM, 512 MB Recommended
    • Hard Disk Space: 300 MB
    • Video Card: 3D accelerated graphics card, Open GL compliant
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (472 reviews)
Recently Posted
Numor
19.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 11
Decent game with interesting world and challenging combat. Progression is terrible though skill tree is very linear and maxed out very quickly.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
jakedraugelis
57.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 9
Excellent game. If you love world building and don't care about graphics; this is the one for you.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Viathon
60.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 5
Solid classic RPG, what's not to like about the good old games. Very charming.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Goutfoot
46.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 31
I felt like reliving games I liked in the early 90s. Games like The Magic Candle and old SSI and Ultima games.
Spider Web games taps into this nostalgia. They've released over a dozen isometric rpgs that offer hundreds if not thousands of hours of gameplay.

I've put in 30+ hours into this title alone, one of 7 full titles in Avernum (I think), and that's not counting the Abadon games that take place in the same world. I'm estimating I'm about 25-30% into the game, though there are 3 completely different ways to win, so I really have no idea. The map is truly massive.

A couple huge issues: The clumsy pathfinding will drive you nuts. Characters often take the long way around to a place with a misclick, ruining a battle and forcing you to restart. The boat pathfinding is ridiculously awful. If you are patient enough to get accustomed to these old school mechanics, you'll be fine. Save. A. Lot.

The world is dangerous. Don't expect clearcut level caps between regions, though the game is designed for widening challenges the further you venture. Money is hard to earn, and you get a real sense of accomplishment when you get a nice weapon or learn a new spell. While the starting area around Formello is relatively safe, the rest of the world is not. If it's a rich, nostalgic, challenging world you're looking for, get these. Can't be beat for the price either.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Garbagecrone
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 5
Couldn't really get into it; the combat felt really repetitive and boring (coming from someone who regularly plays RPGs), not to mention the story was pretty bare. I could've gotten past all of it though if the game would literally even let me name my characters and pick a sprite for them. I mean, it's not like the dialogue EVER refers to them in any kind of individual sense. I get the feeling that there's an RPG someone would love hidden in here, but if you're at all like me this game's specific imperfections will leave you feeling perpetually unsatisfied.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sojex
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 30
Great Game, Tactical, Unforgiving and a blast to play. Highly recomended for those who want a Challenge.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Junk
26.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
I've enjoyed the hell out of this game over the years. I remember playing it way back in the day when it was known as Exile: Escape from the Pit back on Windows 98.

Fun then; still fun now!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Daw
20.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Wow!! One of the best turn based rpg games I've ever played, highly recommend.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
canat
93.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
If you dont mind the graphics, this is an excellent rpg. The story, setting and dialogues are unique, complex and interesting. You have total freedom to explore a huge map and there are lots of things to discover.
Gameplay and turn based combat are fun after you get used to them.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rhogog
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
I reallly didn't know what I was getting into when I bought this game, but it was cheap and looked interesting. After playing it for just a few hours I have to give it, and the devs, my support. This game is good, it encourages exploration, but also teaches you to be cautious and rewards not running head long into the enemy. So far, so good, with many expansions to keep me occupied.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
46.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 31
I felt like reliving games I liked in the early 90s. Games like The Magic Candle and old SSI and Ultima games.
Spider Web games taps into this nostalgia. They've released over a dozen isometric rpgs that offer hundreds if not thousands of hours of gameplay.

I've put in 30+ hours into this title alone, one of 7 full titles in Avernum (I think), and that's not counting the Abadon games that take place in the same world. I'm estimating I'm about 25-30% into the game, though there are 3 completely different ways to win, so I really have no idea. The map is truly massive.

A couple huge issues: The clumsy pathfinding will drive you nuts. Characters often take the long way around to a place with a misclick, ruining a battle and forcing you to restart. The boat pathfinding is ridiculously awful. If you are patient enough to get accustomed to these old school mechanics, you'll be fine. Save. A. Lot.

The world is dangerous. Don't expect clearcut level caps between regions, though the game is designed for widening challenges the further you venture. Money is hard to earn, and you get a real sense of accomplishment when you get a nice weapon or learn a new spell. While the starting area around Formello is relatively safe, the rest of the world is not. If it's a rich, nostalgic, challenging world you're looking for, get these. Can't be beat for the price either.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
161 of 168 people (96%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 16, 2015
I've been loving this game so far. I was recently reminded that I had this, because of the release of Crystal Souls just the other day.. and boy am I sorry I forgot about Avernum for this long. I should have played this ages ago!

First thing I wanted to do was clear up the order these games are supposed to be in, because with so many Spiderweb Software games, it can be a little confusing to newcomers (like myself, until I did some research)

This is a remake of "Avernum" which itself is a remake of "Exile: Escape From the Pit". The newly released Crystal Souls is a remake of Exile 2/Avernum 2. Exile 3/Avernum3 is also supposedly getting a second remake in the future.

I know that sounds confusing, so just know that this game, Avernum: EFtP is the first game, remade for the second time. Also, I've been told that the stories are self-contained, so you don't really HAVE to play them in order. Though, with a world as unique as Avernum, I bet it helps in understanding the lore a bit.

So what makes this world so unique? Most fantasy RPGs take place on the surface of a very earth-like world. There's plains, mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, etc.. it all looks very familiar. In Avernum, that sort of place exists.. but that's not where you play. You, your party, and countless other individuals have all been exiled to the underworld. It's a vast underground cavern, whose light comes from glowing moss on the ceiling.

People survive by growing edible mushrooms, and receiving occasional supply shipments from the Empire.. the very people who sent everyone down here. There are some cows, sent down by the empire, but without proper food, they grow sick and weak quite quickly. Mages have managed to create things that kinda look like trees, just so the citizens have wood to build with.

Magical equipment is extremely rare in this world.. It's all but impossible to create any, so most of it comes from adventurers who were sent down to Avernum with their gear, then were killed and looted. It's a harsh world.

Despite all the hardships, though, people have banded together to form towns, forts, and a government. Of course some still decide to rebel and become bandits, or seek a way to rise into a position of power, but most people seem to live in harmony and cooperate. And that's a good thing, because if they didn't work together, they'd never be able to fight off the Nephilim (cat people who hold a grudge against all humans for being sent down to Avernum) and the Sliths (lizard men, apparently native to Avernum, and most of them crave human flesh.)

The gameplay is exellent. At the beginning of the game, you create a party.. your people can be whatever class you want, or 'custom'. You spend a lot of your time walking around as a party, talking to people, getting quests, learning about the world, etc.. there are blacksmiths and such in every town, to buy equipment from. There are secrets to find, and plenty of loot to pick up..

When you're not in a town or dungeon, you'll be on the overworld, where everything is zoomed way back. You can encounter enemies, special events, and other stuff out on the overworld.. and of course also travel from place to place. The overworld is pretty darn big, and there are a lot of places to go.

When in combat, the game turns turn-based.. You move and attack with your characters one at a time.. Each character has a certain amount of AP to move with, and are allowed to attack once, or cast 1 spell per turn.. It's simple, but not TOO simple. It has a good flow, without sacrificing too much strategic depth.

When you level up, you're able to assign attribute points, improve your skills on the skill tree, and sometimes pick a new perk/feat as well. Pretty basic leveling up, but again simple/basic isn't a bad thing. The game manages to do a lot with what seems like simple mechanics.

The main thing that will be an issue for some is that the graphics look very dated... and I'm sorry to repeat the same thing everyone else says, but here it goes... Graphics aren't important. Maybe it's different for people not old enough to have grown up with older-looking graphics, but it doesn't bother me. Sure, I like a pretty-looking game from time to time.. but it's really not a requirement for me.. but, of course, not everyone will agree. Everybody has thier own opinions.. so take a look at the screenshots. If it looks unbearable to you, don't get it. If you think you can put up with oldschool graphics in order to play an amazing game, get it.

Anyway, I feel like I've written a much longer review than most people will bother to read, so I'll cut it short here. Thanks for reading.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
117 of 122 people (96%) found this review helpful
68 people found this review funny
Recommended
118.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 1, 2015
I love this game more than most people love their children. I carry pictures of Avernum around in my wallet.

This game used to be called Exile, and I was obsessed. I was a nerdy fat kid with a bowl cut and poor social skills. This game was my happy place. It's funny and clever, well-written, in-depth. No loose ends, no DLC, no fear. Unless you cast a fear spell. Then there is fear.

If you like RPGs and you support Indie studios, please buy this one, pretty please. They are a husband & wife team who had a staff as small as three people to make what has become one of the most epic series of games I've ever encountered. Not only that, but I remember them being so nice and helpful when I was a kid and writing them to ask questions about their game. There was no Google. Mind you, this was during a time when MYST had a pay-to-ask hotline, so it was a BIG DEAL that they got in touch. Oh, the nineties.

Don't expect flashy graphics or quick-time events. This is 2D and it's pretty straightforward. There are no cutscenes. Don't expect lazy gameplay where everything is spelled out. Death is unavoidable. SAVE & be prepared with a notebook.

Do expect one of the best, most engrossing, most interesting games of all time. You've been exiled into an underworld full of magic, strange beasts, and those noisy things I try to avoid all the time. You know the ones. People. They need things killed, items fetched, and hugs. Hugs with swords and screaming and demons. And also that mage was on fire when I got here.

You'll get out of it what you put into it. Use your imagination and memory for once, oh and also it wouldn't kill you to shower and shave and call your mum.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
92 of 96 people (96%) found this review helpful
Recommended
130.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2013
Second remake of the classic Exile series' first part, Avernum: Escape From the Pit is classic roleplaying at its best! Basically, you play as a party of adventurers, who were exiled into a huge cavern, Avernum, far below the surface of the world. You have to find a new purpose here, which basically means doing all kinds of odd-jobs and quests for mayors, wizards and kings of the underworld and, while you're at it, trying to escape your dark prison.

The controls have been streamlined for the 2010s. Like in Avernum, the first remake, the game is still isometric and tile-based. However, you can finally control the characters efficiently with a mouse. This works splendidly, though the controls have frankly lost some of the function of the earlier games: e.g. you can no longer close doors (unless I've yet to discover how). Also, the pathfinding algorithm does some weird stuff sometimes when your preferred path is blocked, making characters run into wrong direction (and at worst, their DOOOOM). There's still no music (except in the title screen and the few cut scenes): use your favorite epic adventure music instead.

Skill system has basically been remade, though the comedic art of the skill descriptions has been appreciatively retained. Skills are now learned in trees, with a basic skill in the bottom and every subsequent skill requiring the below skills before they can be developed. Also, characters gain bonus traits every few levels gaining small bonuses to different skills and stats. It's a matter of taste if these are good or bad changes, but the whole works nevertheless quite fine.

Combat has always been a rather important part of Avernum series. Turn-based, the basics are still there. However, some additions and changes have been made. Warriors have gained special skills called battle disciplines to supplement their fighting ability, making them a bit more interesting and tactical than before. Spells have been remade as well since original Avernum. Particularly, all the blessings and curses have become area effects, and multi-hit spells are now cone or area attacks instead of simply hitting a number of targets.

Frankly, the hard-coreness of the series has dulled quite a bit with this latest installment. No longer are the dark dungeons truly dark, as you don't benefit from bringing a torch or casting light spells (which were actually removed altogether). There is no need to eat to satisfy hunger nor deal with dangerous diseases, and death is no longer so much a set-back as party is automatically resurrected and healed at a friendly town, removing the need for inns and renting rooms. You may no longer jump down ledges (which was never that healthy anyway). Identification of magical items has also been removed (albeit hilariously explained by "adventurers having better training nowadays"), and potion making has become a trade secret of alchemists, so your party can't learn it itself any longer. Spiders no longer say "hi!" in a high-pitched voice audibly. Along with these changes Avernum has lost part of its legacy and spark.

What is left, however, is an excellent RPG adventure in a unique fantasy world. The streamlining makes the game more accessible and lets the player concentrate on what's really important: dialogue, exploration and questing. And their implementation is simply brilliant. There are tens, if not hundreds, of characters in the game who all have their own dialogue trees, and several tens of dungeons and towns to explore, everyone of them extremely detailed. Enemies are still dangerous, and mini-bosses and bosses are refreshingly difficult to beat.

Game is not only high-quality, for there's also quite a lot of it. My first play-through, on Hard difficulty level, lasted about 80 hours. Want to just experience the story? Play on Normal or even Casual difficulty, and you may even change it mid-game. However, the highest difficulty level, Torment, provides an amply named challenge for an experienced player, requiring advance planning and lots of re-exploring in areas that were previously too dangerous. Seriously though, I recommend playing your first game on Hard difficulty at max, as Torment can get tedious if you don't know where to go for the next admissible challenge.

TL:DR?

Excellent dialogues.
Robust tactical combat.
Addicting exploration.
Epic questing to become true heroes.

Not convinced? You may as well give it a try.
The demo is available at http://www.avernum.com/avernum/index.html, letting you play through, I believe, about one third of the full game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
70 of 77 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
70.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 28, 2014
In today's day and age, Spiderweb Software's games may seem like a novelty, but make no doubt that for the right audience they are exceptionally good games that offer a lot of bang for their buck. Avernum: Escape From The Pit is a modernized version of the Avernum series, and while the graphics are still not flashy the game more than makes up for it with good writing and solid turn based combat.

The game is a text heavy one, a blessing or a curse depending on the person playing. The writing is stellar and coupled with the low-key graphics it's one of the few games where you can really use your imagination if you so wish. It is worth noting that Avernum is an open-world RPG, so while I say the writing is stellar, don't expect a centralized story with deep characters--that's not what this game is. The game itself takes place in a huge underground cave complex, a joy for those like me who like underground fantasy settings and even for those who don't should still appreciate the unique and interesting world Avernum presents.

Avernum is lengthy, but if it's your type of game it will feel just right, making it a great game to pick up if you're on a budget. One playthrough alone will take about seventy to eighty hours if you are a semi completionist, and even if you aren't I would wager it would take a good fifty hours to beat. Throw in harder difficulties and achievements and you can easily extend that playtime twofold.

The combat is fairly atypical for a turn based game, but by no means bland. Each ally/enemy gets one turn per round and there are different types of characters your party can contain (priests, mage, etc.). The game is open world as mentioned and it lets you explore the world on your own, the game guides you very loosely but the bulk of the exploration is up to you to do. As thus, you can easily find yourself faced off against baddies that are higher level than you which can keep the game challenging even on normal difficulty.

Open world exploration in the deep caves of Avernum mixed with some awesome writing and very interesting in-game encounters made this game a blast, but one of the things I liked most was how seamlessly the keyboard was integrated into the game. With the exception of needing to use my touchpad to click on a few interactive objects in the game world and assigning character stats/equipping items, just about everything you need to do in-game can be done with just the keyboard. Conversations, looting, fighting, moving--can all be done with the keyboard. If you're playing at home on your desktop, this may not mean much, but if you want to play this on a laptop without a mouse handy, this game is the one. Very few RPGs can be played on low-end laptops and even fewer can be played without a mouse, but Avernum is perhaps the only game I've played that's required mouse/touchpad input so sparsely. I feel like I could have enjoyed an amazing RPG experience from any Spiderweb game, but this one stands out to me due to the stellar keyboard integration.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
54 of 60 people (90%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
140.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 20, 2014
At first you might be 'revolted' by the dated graphics. Then you might laugh at some 1990ish RPG your looking at. Force yourself to put at least a couple of hours into it and soon you will find yourself hooked. You got the crapiest equipment starting out and you will have to earn what you keep to survive. No freebees like modern games throw at you like candy at a parade. You will respect your CRPG awesomeness by giving this game a chance and then seeing if you got it to survive escaping the underdark to the surface! Good luck you will enjoy the journey!!!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
49 of 53 people (92%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 9, 2015
======================================
Avernum: Escape From the Pit
(Read on for the full review!)
======================================

Spiderweb Software, creator of the "Exile" series took the PC RPG template of the time and ran with it, allowing players to control multiple party members and customize their growth, exploring a vast underground world with a surprisingly intricate story. Avernum: Escape From the Pit is essentially a remake of the original Exile game of the same name. Escape From the Pit has been given a graphical overhaul, utilizing the isometric view used in the Avernum games released most recently by Spiderweb Software. The remake changes more than just the graphics, however, and the result is a game that is both the same and quite different from the original.

======================================

Pros
+ Old School style CRPG with plenty of replay value.
+ Game-play: Explore the open world as you please and do it at your own pace.
+ Really good lore for the game world
+ A ton of sights to see!
+ Engaging story

Cons
- The UI is clunky and the character sheet & Inventory is annoying at times!

Neutral
+/- Doesn't hold your hand at all. (This is a good thing to me)

======================================

Introduction

The Avernum series is based in Avernum, a subterranean nation far under the surface of the world. The surface is ruled by the Empire, a single, monolithic power under the command of the cruel Emperor Hawthorne.

Everyone on the surface who speaks out, rebels, or doesn’t fit in is sentenced to life imprisonment in Avernum. Prisoners are expected to die, the victim of starvation, horrible monsters, or simple despair.

The Avernum series tells the tale of the Avernites' struggle to survive, avenge themselves upon the Empire, and win both freedom and a return to the surface world.

======================================

Game-play

Avernum: Escape from the Pit is a single-player role-playing video game. The player controls a group of up to four adventurers, who can use melee weapons, missile weapons, magic, or a mix of these skills to defeat opponents.

One of the better aspects of this game is the opportunity to customize your adventuring party. Whether you want to have a balanced group featuring every type of character or whether you instead choose to enter battle with an entire team of tanky sword-wielding knights; the game accommodates your decision. You are also allowed to select an image avatar for each of your heroes (whether it fits their class or not is up to you). That having been said, classes make relatively little difference in your characters' long-term potential, as every character can learn every spell and ability regardless of their class. The way this works is that requirements to wield spells are determined by the stats and skills that you develop for a character - meaning that you can choose to make your units as specialized or balanced as you please. Fan of sword-wielding battle mages who can heal their team in a pinch? Not a problem. Want to throw in a super-defensive tank that will soak up damage and demand enemies' attention? Easy. Escape From the Pit allows for such customization without over complication. A downside to this is the risk that characters will become a little generic, but the multitude of customizable aspects (stats, skills, spells, and "traits", which function as passive boosts to a character's stats or abilities) help to ensure each of your units is a unique personality.

Escape From the Pit offers several difficulty levels, as well as the ability to adjust the difficulty at any time during your game. This might come in handy depending on how quickly you want to beat Escape From the Pit, because often you will find that enemies are just too difficult and you need to go grind somewhere else before advancing to where you want to go. Yes, Escape From the Pit does involve a lot of grinding in dungeons, but Spiderweb Software has done a great job making this experience far less tedious, with diverse and well-designed environments that often use interesting tricks to create light puzzle elements. The world of Avernum is by no means boring and progressing through the game is both fun and challenging.

All things said, it seems there's a lot beneath the surface here, with plenty of things to see and do that will keep you adventuring for many hours.

======================================

Graphics

If you're looking for up-to-date, modern graphics, you might as well stop reading now. Avernum utilizes 2D graphics in an isometric view, reminiscent of the original Diablo. Obviously this makes the whole thing look quite dated. If you aren't immediately turned off by that, then let me assure you that you will probably love this game. Noticeably improved even over those of the most recent Avernum titles are the character portraits, which are in fact quite beautiful. Otherwise, the graphics are essentially identical to those of recent Avernum titles, reflecting Spiderweb's low priority on steady advancement in that area. This is something important to know because Escape From the Pit is a game that will polarize RPG players depending on how important visuals are to them.

======================================

Conclusion

Overall, Avernum: Escape From the Pit is a solid RPG experience that combines classic style, a compelling story, and generous content to create an indie game that is very much worth your time. If you're looking for a complex single player RPG and value content at the expense of visuals, don't miss this title.

======================================
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
47 of 53 people (89%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
136.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2015
I recommend this game for true fans of Role Play. If however your take on a RPG is Diablo or Torchlight, forget it.

There is probably more storyline in this small download than in the entire Skyrim. There are many long hours of play ahead. I did a restart about 2/3 of the way through as my party was not strong enough and I had not distributed t6he party stats well, combined I have nearly spent as many hours now on this game as I did with DragonAge inquisition.
Despite the old school graphics there is quite variety of terrain to explore.

The character development is good and straddles the boundary between too simple or too complex well. I suggest you pay attention to creating a balanced party, which is also an area that I feel could be improved. It is too easy to create parties that will simply not work. Having a bow user sounds great, but the game is heavily weighted to swords.
Another area which could be improved is the character conversation scripts. Old storylines do not disappear and too often you get into a dialogue that you have already been through a million times before with the NPC – it is almost as if the same people that wrote the NPC scripting for Divinity Original Sin did this one too.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
30 of 32 people (94%) found this review helpful
Recommended
62.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 20, 2015
Avernum: Escape from the Pit is a fantastic '90s era single player turn based RPG that draws from the best the decade had to offer. RPGs thrived in the 1990s, and for good reason. Games like Avernum (when released in 1995, it was called Exile: Escape from the Pit) aimed to get their player lost in an intriguing world for hours upon hours, leveling up characters, exploring an in-depth story and learning about the game world from multiple NPCs with varying opinions on the world around them, and finding hundreds of secrets (yes, hundreds). These RPGs were made by developers with imaginations that were close to perfection, back when people made games because they loved games and sharing fantasy game worlds they'd created with others, not simply making them to drain wallets and hearts.

The game starts out after your party of characters (which you customize, of course) are thrown into the deep abyss known as Avernum. Avernum is a series of underground caverns that serves as its own subterranean nation far beneath the surface of the world, and is the trash bin that the powerful Empire uses to throw away people who speak out against its rule on the surface. It is effectively a prison, where you are locked away from sunlight and the surface forever--unless you plan to do something about it. It is here where the Avernum series distinguishes itself from many other RPGs. Although Avernum is not a dungeon crawler by genre, it has that feeling of isolation, desperation. You want to get OUT of this underground prison, and the injustices made against you and others you meet in Avernum make you yearn for revenge. Avernum is one of the few fantasy worlds with a dystopian feel; the Empire is this world's Big Brother, and you have the ability to get your revenge, try to escape, or even accept your fate and learn to embrace Avernum. (And thus, this gives you three separate ways to beat the game through various questlines.)

This is not a mindless RPG. Don't go into this game desiring mindless fun, for you will have to read quite a bit, manuever Avernum's cave systems via map systems, and retain information about quests, as the game doesn't hold your hand with doing so. The game does have a journal system that is VERY nice for its time; when you're speaking to an NPC who says something worth noting, you can "record" their speech with the click of a button, so you can pull this up at any time. This comes to be very useful, as quest notes don't update as you progress through a quest, so it's up to you to pay attention and know what the next step is. Despite all this, Avernum stays very much so to the right side of the line when it comes to tedium. I encountered no game-breaking quests during my playthrough like I have with other RPGs of the time (Divine Divinity, I'm looking at you, though I love you so). It IS possible to kill NPCs that you'll need for certain questlines, though the other questlines are still available, and there is also a cheat system to help you through this as a last resort (just look up your problem online).

I think the best thing about this game is just how interesting it is. I love RPGs because I like escaping to a different world for a bit and getting lost in its complexities; I also love exploring and finding secrets, new towns, or a hidden area of a map. This game has that, and its story makes it even more worth finding those extra tidbits. This game has so much to do and so much to explore that it has what I like to call "Skyrim syndrome", where sometimes you'll look at your quest log and weep at all you've failed to complete. If throwing yourself into a world is what you're into, I can think of few better worlds than Avernum.

I personally give this game a rating of 9.5/10. This is a must have for RPG fans and fans of games from the 1990s in general, back when games threw themselves at you with days worth of content with a grin that said, "I dare you." This is a game that you will work hard to conquer, a game that will make you feel liberated when you beat it, and a game that will be a source of fond memories for years to come.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
30 of 33 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
46.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 5, 2014
I really enjoy this game. It is a turn-based, isometric view (Diablo-style view looking down from above), single-player fantasy roleplaying game. Let me break that down:

Turn-Based: While not in combat you move your party around exploring wilderness, dungeon, and city environments and interacting with various friendly and hostile NPCs (non-player characters controlled by the computer). When battle starts, the game goes into turn-based mode. People who like the fast and furious action of real-time games like Diablo might find turn-based combat to be slow and tedious. I like it because I can let my attention wander if need be or even walk away for a restroom break right in the middle of battle. It also allows for the formulation of tactics based on the battlefield conditions.

Isometric View: Many RPGs in the 90s used isometric view. The view is from above and slightly at an angle like the Diablo games. It's nice because you get a kind of "god's eye view" of the game area.

Single-Player: There is no multiplayer option for Avernum: Escape From the Pit.

Fantasy Roleplaying Game: The environment is traditional "Western medieval style fantasy" (i.e., swords and armor and spells and fantasy monsters). There is a bit of a twist in that the game opens up with your being exiled via magic teleportation to a supposedly inescapable underworld where criminals and political prisoners are sent when they cause problems for the Empire.

You can choose from a number of traditional classes (sorcerer, warrior, rogue, berserker, priest, etc.) or you can create your own classes. The pre-made classes are merely certain selections from the game's many abilities, skills, and powers available to characters both when they are created and as they level up. Selecting a pre-made class does not pidgeon hole your character because as you level up you can choose to improve any abilities, skills and powers.

There are multiple difficulties to choose from ranging from beginner to nightmare. You can even change difficulty whenever you wish. So things are going to easy? Notch up the difficulty. Getting frustrated by how hard the play is? Notch it down.

For $10 you absolutely cannot go wrong. This is a fantasy RPG in the tradition of 90s games. I used to play the SSI gold box D&D computer games and Avernum is a great game in the same tradition.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny