Avernum is a land underground, a subterranean nation full of rogues, misfits, and brigands, struggling for survival in the monster-infested darkness.
User reviews: Very Positive (351 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 11, 2012

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Buy Avernum: Escape From the Pit

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

"Huge, holistic world with an interesting storyline, compelling tactical combat, meaningful choices, and more dungeons to explore than you could imagine."
Read the full review here.

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
Helpful customer reviews
123 of 128 people (96%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 16
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.
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72 of 76 people (95%) found this review helpful
36 people found this review funny
118.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
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.
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
70.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
I got into Avernum because it was on sale and I like RPG's, but to be honest I didn't have high expectations. Now, here I am with 45 hours under my belt and I can't stop playing. The combat can be challenging at times but it is very rewarding, and the detail in the world is beyond what I was expecting. The writing really drew me in and showed me that an RPG doesn't need anything flashy to really shine!
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
67.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 6
I was a little wary at first because I loved the original Exile games on the Mac and I was afraid of the changes in this version. Although I do miss the ability to have six party members, I was very pleased to discover that this is a very accessible and fun RPG that still holds up today. If you enjoy non-linear, massive RPGs (and don't mind a bit of reading) this game is worth your time.

PROS
+ Exploring the huge world is fun
+ Loads of quests
+ Nice inventory system (with infinite junk storage)
+ Flexible character upgrade system (anyone can do anything)
+ Optional, built-in cheat menu

CONS
- Massive world can be overwhelming (but good journal system helps)
- Some areas can seem ridiculously hard (just come back later)
- Fast travel is realistic but frustrating
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
82.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 22
I played the earlier demo games way back in the day, and was excited to pick this up on sale. On the whole I think it's a good game, and fun to play if you like 90s-style RPGs, especially for the fairly low cost.

It's a big, open-world game with a significant number of quests and places to wander, and a sizable number of NPCs to interact with. The skills/traits and leveling system is fairly fun to play with. There are some issues that keep me from giving it a 100% positive review:

1) If you play at higher resolution settings, it's going to be harder to see loot on the ground, and the numerous secret door switches that are pretty crucial for discovery and completing dungeons. But it will give you a better tactical view.
2) Loot rewards are pretty flat - at level 30 (not technically a level cap, but more or less is one) I'm still using quite a bit of gear that dropped at level 5.
3) The interface could be a bit better - different shortcuts to open/close windows is a minor annoyance
4) Aesthetically isometric view is nice, but tactically it makes for some challenges, esp. since you can't rotate the camera. This can cause issues with moving if trying to fight tactically and occasionally targeting in combat.
5) You'll hit 30 before running out of content, at which point only a handful of fights will really be that challenging. Given that semi-tactical combat is one of the upsides, the game loses something when that's gone, though Grah-Hoth was a fun challenge.

The biggest downside for me is really the quest log. The quests can really pile up, the log doesn't really track meaningful details, and quests can't be sorted or deleted. Quests also stay in your log even when they can't be completed - a minor annoyance.

The lack of detail wouldn't be quite as big a problem, except for the size of the game. Even playing a few hours daily, at some point you'll be working on a quest you picked up several days ago, with often minimal guidance on where you're at in the quest progression. Solving it in-game may require revisiting multiple towns and finding multiple NPCs who may or may not be mentioned in the text. As the game went along I found myself using internet tips a bit more often because the fun of running back and forth between towns (even with a portal system running to about half of them) had waned.

But on the whole it's a good game. I've put about 60 (mostly enjoyable) hours into it, and am only just past the first of 3 "game ending" quests. It reminds me in some ways of a stripped-down Divine Divinity, which ironically I liked more but never finished.
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