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 (292 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 11, 2012

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Packages that include this game

Buy Spiderweb Software Complete Pack

Includes 12 items: Avadon 2: The Corruption, Avadon: The Black Fortress, 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
33 of 36 people (92%) found this review helpful
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!!!
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27 of 29 people (93%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2014
Avernum is right in your wheelhouse if you like games like Baldur's Gate and Divinity and are looking to experience that old school pen-and-paper RPG experience. I have not played all the rest of the games in the series and do not feel that I must in order to enjoy it on this one. Don't expect stellar graphics, but do expect everything else- like great game mechanics, a solid loot system, compelling story (with admirable writing skill), and a giant world to get lost in. I have yet to finish it yet, but from the first handful of quests, I know I am hooked well enough to come back to it. Another great thing about this game is it takes up less than 200 mb of space and has ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ly low system requirements, so it even plays on the ancient technological relics I keep around due to lack of having a proper gaming laptop to tote about. This game is also pretty nifty on iOS.
Anyhoots, I don't feel hasty in reccomending this.
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18 of 18 people (100%) found this review helpful
104.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
My first experience with a Spiderweb game and boy did it deliver. Travelling around the "countryside" and exploring is just as much fun as interacting with the characters. Each town has its own personality and the missions were not all simple fetch quests. You can skip by a lot fo the dialogue but a lot of the humor will be missed if you don't read.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
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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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 20, 2014
Avernum: Escape from the Pit is overall a really solid RPG. It combines classic party-based tactical RPG combat with a large and deeply designed gameworld. The result is an expansive classic RPG with a modern user interface that is a delight to play. Combat is deep, but not slow or frustrating to go through. Dungeons are just the right length, with enough secrets to reward thoroughness and some backtracking. Character design is involving and interesting, with most character builds and party compositions working well. The presentation is functional, but for fans of CRPGs the breadth of gameplay will win you over.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2014
A great game for fans of old school d&d rpgs.

This game really brings me back to the old Gold Box D&D pc games (Dark Queen of Krynn etc). In an era of very limited graphics those games brought large worlds with epic stories and solid d&d party building and tactics combat. The Avernum series of games continues in that style with a large world full of unique lore to discover. The character and skill system is not too complex but has enough options to keep fights challenging and requiring planning while focusing on exploration and the story instead of large stat sheets. Over the Avernum series you can see steady improvements in the ui, engine and balancing quests and this is the best one I've tried yet.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
68.6 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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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
35.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 24, 2014
Open World with exploration.Huge world full of secret. Nice Story and very cool atmosphere.total party customisation. If u dont mind the old\simple graphic its a gem!!
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
49.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
Almost 20 years and two remakes in, this game still rocks. If you can look past the graphics (which you should) and the odd clunky mechanic, this is a game that you will spend innumerable hours on. A vast (VAST!) world to explore with dozens, if not hundreds of secrets, a multitude of locations and quests, and three separate, intricate main plotlines make this game what I dare to call the Skyrim of isometric turn-based RPGs.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
46.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 8, 2014
First of all I must say I am a big fan of role play games, that I started back at the date with Eye of Beholder: I consider the top of the genre Baldur's Gate (the first one), and this is the first time I play an Avernum game; I was therefore completely new to the lore, mechanics and rules used in the game.
From the beginning Avernum: Escape from the pit looks intriguing and catchy: from text to text and fight to fight, I found myself playing for 3-4 hours straight after installation without realizing it.
The art and the drawing are inspiring, there is a lot of text that really make us feel the story and the lore, dialogs are brilliant; character creation and advancement, fightings, divine and arcane spellcasting: everything it is intuitive and somehow innovative, taking clear inspiration from old paper rpgs and fusing it with "modern" skill trees.
Longevity also seems to be a strong point of this title: I played 4 hours and visited 3 cities, and I could understand from the world map how insignificant is the portion of underworld I explored so far.
The only negative feedback some people might point out is graphics, and on this I completely disagree: it is a simple retro 2d graphic but is not bad at all: on the contrary it is clear and fluent, does not disturb the eye and does not require big machines to run.
Also the music is fitting, with its epic tones: it is just a pity that there is not a bigger variety of tunes.
All in all, I would recommend this game to all rpg fans and to all retro gamers, giving it a solid 8.5 out of 10. There are not many better roleplaying experiences than this one out there :)
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
80.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
A lot of fun, easy combat, complex puzzles, battles and tons of Quests to keep you busy. Really enjoyed it, if you like turn based games I highly recommend this one
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
153.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
Avernum Escape from the Pit is a shining example on how a game doesn't need to have amazing graphics (or even background music, for that matter) to create an amazing gaming experience. The game combines exploration, action point based combat, and a simple but surprisingly detailed storyline.

After getting through the starting dungeon, you're thrust right into the middle of the Avernum, an underground world full of criminals of the surface Empire with no known means of escaping to the surface. You aren't given a central objective that the game forces you to persue throughout the game, and in fact, there are 3 different game-ending quests that you can complete. You're given the whole world to go through, and you can complete quests in any order you'd like (although some areas require certain items to access, like an orb that grants the power of flight). The towns and NPCs are colorful, although because of the nature of the game, there aren't too many NPCs with more than a few lines of dialogue.

The combat system is simple, but offers plenty of options for tactical play. The system is action point based, and learning how to take advantage of it with abilities like Haste, Slow, Battle Frenzy, Sniping, and Adrenaline Rush is required to beat Avernum's greatest challenges. You also have to learn how to best make use of terrain, crowd control, and knockback abilites: moving through a space adjacent to an enemy uses up 4 of your action points instead of just 1, which allows you to set up choke-points to protect your weaker characters. Torment mode is particularly difficult, and because it's nearly impossible to power level (enemies in dungeons rarely respawn), you're required to use every dirty trick you have available to win.

Character development and levelling up is fairly basic. The party you play with has 4 members, all of which are created at the beginning of the game. You have 4 main stats (Strength, Dexterity, Endurance, and Intelligence, which do exactly what you'd expect), which go up slowly on their own, and you get 1 point to allocate yourself every level. You also get 2 skill points a level, which go into a branching skill tree which improves things like your casting power, ability to dodge, ability to unlock doors/disarm traps, and gather herbs. This means you aren't restricted to any particular archetypes or classes, and can develop your characters however you want (although certain hybrid character may not be the most effective in combat). You also get a trait every other level, which varies from making your character more likely to be attacked, to selling items for more money, to being able to cast spells in heavy armor. There's nothing about this that stands out immensely, but you are able to make a variety of characters.

The game's graphics are somewhat mediocre, but it's not the focus of the game. There is also no background music in game, only ambient noises. Personally, it doesn't bother me much, but it could be jarring to others. While it should be the standard for games nowadays, I was impressed by how few glitches were in Avernum. Only 2 come to mind, and neither are game breaking (War Blessing only gives a 2% bonus instead of 10%, and targetted AoE spells have unlimited range if centered on an empty space). After the glitchfest of games like Fallout New Vegas, it's relaxing to see a game so free of crashes and progress halting glitches.

Overall a fantastic game. I've probably put more time into Avernum than any other single player RPG (my 150 hours is from two separate playthroughs). It's simple, fun, and a great exploration experience.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
Let me begin... if you are not into reading lore, and saturating yourself with a game's story... you will be missing at least 50% of this game... and probably will not fully appreciate what this game has to offer.

For every 5 minutes of battle, you will spend an equal amount, if not more, reading into the story, conversing with the various characters that inhabit Avernum, and learning about the land from pop-up descriptions.

The skill-up system is nice. Though, classes are pretty linear. Mages mainly focus on mage, priest on priest, and so on. You won't really be seeing many priests dual wielding, or sword-and-board mages. BUT, you can really specialize in certain skills, so though, you can't really roam outside the realms of your specific class, you can specialize it pretty well.

The combat is classic, old-school, turn-based goodness. The difficulty is decent. If you don't know how to play these types of games (learning to buff and debuff prior to battles, crowd control, and so on) this game will prove difficult. Once you get a hang of it, it becomes fun.


AGAIN: If you are not a fan of engrossing yourself into lore, you will not get as much enjoyment out of this game as you could. IF you enjoy lore and character depth, you will thoroughly enjoy this gem.


9/10

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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 24, 2014
While being mostly nostalgic, the game is amazign at what it does. The story develops constantly and perfectly fits the theme of the world and the game. Combat mechanics are dynamic and variable enough to have this feeling of your own party that slowly grows to your heart and makes you play further to beat everything the evil throws at you.

Concerning the negative points, the technical aspects are the biggest part here. The graphics, while aesthetically suiting, are pretty simple and there is not a lot of comfort built in the game. However, almost nothign of this has actually made me feel worse about the game, as the positive parts overweight so heavily. If you are interested in old-school party RPG's, you might sink way too many hours into Avernum.

8/10, as the game is nice, but has some tedious gameplay after time.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
Spiderweb Software produces some amazing games. This is one of them.

There are no flashy eye candy graphics. No voice acting for the dialog.
No insanely complex crafting or customization systems.
But the storytelling is top notch.

I'm an old gamer. Got my start with pen & paper D&D, Infocom text adventures, Ultima I, etc.
And I love a good story. If those things appeal to you, this is your game.

Want a change from FPS and RTS style games?
Give this a try.



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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
One of the best games in it's genre. Definitely a must play if you're into this type of game.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
73.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
By the very end of Avernum I was ready for it to be over, having sunk a good 70 hours into it, but the majority of that time was very enjoyable. It's pretty light on story and direction, and normally in large games without a story to hold my hand I wind up feeling a bit overwhelmed, but Avernum did a very good job in not making a big game "too" big. The towns and world are the right size, and the packs of monsters you come across are challenging but never too much. I also had quite a bit of fun hunting down caches and spell tomes, as a little extra something.

The only real problem I had was that towards the end of the game it didn't feel like there was any character or story progression left to my character, just a lot of loose ends leading up to the three many "winning" scenarios. That made the last 5-10 hours a bit of a drudge for me, as I no longer had talent points to spend or fun gear to acquire. Still, well worth the price of admission.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
49.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
It should be the first old school RPG game I have played systematically.

I was once intersted only in those games with well graphics and popularity , having this mind deeply in my heart , I find it easy for me to feel tired about a new game even if I have played it simply for short time . Maybe this is why I am more addicted in buying games than playing them, it is just another story.

I don't think its grapgics is bad by any means, the interface is great , others are developed enough for playing though simple and crude. What attracted me most is the way it tells story , tons of words extracted before you , you decide , you choose , and as you decide and choose , your desitiny is formed in this way . I killed a great creature aiming at completing a quest from a psychic , my life wasn't saved later for this choice , because I haven't saved the file happend so long ago, it really annoied me much. But that is the charm and fun the game gives us , isn't it ?
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
76.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2014
Great game, with a huge world to explore and several differant final goals in the end. The first two minutes I thought that I couldn't handle the old-school graphics anymore, but already a few minutes later I was kooked and couldn't stop playing until I finished every single quest line. :D

Absolutely a recommendation if you enjoy RPGs, epic stories and tactical turn based combat - and if you are not a graphic fetishist.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2014
PROS
-Perfectly done isometric gameplay and RPG progression
-Great soundtrack
-Interesting lore and level design

CONS
-Game gets really challenging halfway through, made me ragequit.
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