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 (423 reviews) - 94% of the 423 user reviews for this game are positive.
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



“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.”

“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

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
22 of 24 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
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.

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12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
114.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2015
This is the second remake of the classic "Exiled", first made in the nineties by a two-person team. The game has been streamlined, interface made usable, and the graphics have improved (relatively speaking) since then, but much of the core draw (and mechanics) are still there.

If you're someone who enjoys having wide open spaces, no demand to go down any particular linear plotline, and plenty of rewards for kicking over ever rock to see what wriggles out from underneath, this game has plenty of delicious exploratory goodness for you.

That said, I'm not as fond of the skill trees they've put in the new version of the game as the older point-buy system they had before. The point-buy system hypothetically allows for nigh-infinite varieties of hybrid characters, but largely forces characters into one of four types of characters: Melee Fighter, Ranged Fighter, Wizard, and Cleric. "Thief" is just someone who puts points into Tool Use, and you need Tool Use (there's no magic for opening doors without it) but there's nothing stopping any other sort of character from taking Tool Use, and the game only checks total party Tool Use skill levels, so it's easy to distribute. (No dedicated thief necessary.) You COULD use a ranged fighter, but melee combat is forced upon you fairly often, and you'll want a dedicated sword user and spear user to make use of the best weapons, anyway.

You're forced into making a character dedicate themselves to a given path by the nature of the skill tree: The high-tier skills like Riposte (counter attack chance) or Lethal Blow (critical hit power up) require plugging an equal or greater amount of points into the lower skills on the tree. Your Combat Disciplines (special abilities for fighters) are based upon total base weapons skill, and you'll want to put your attribute points into Strength or maybe Dexterity. Keeping up with magic spell tiers demands you stick points into a single base magic skill at least every other level, and dumping nearly all your points into Intelligence, and a couple into Endurance for the HP to not die in one hit. Hence, no matter what, you pretty much always wind up with sword fighter, spear fighter, cleric, and wizard. Hypothetically, there's bows and thrown weapons, but there are no good bows, and decent thrown weapons are too rare to use as a primary weapon.

There are some choices to be made (going for criticals versus riposte) but mostly, it devolves into putting all your points into the core sklls because on the harder difficulties, you'll miss every time if you don't plug every point you can into accuracy-boosting skills, and a melee tank needs all the hardiness they can get to survive. Likewise, wizard and cleric accuracy (yes, AoE spells miss) depend upon base magic skill, and base magic skill ALSO ups damage. Hence, there's no reason not to put points in every single level. It's really only a question of whether you need more damage-dealing skills or damage-resistance skills at a given level to survive, espeically on higher difficulties, and the number of utility skills like tool use or cave lore you need is surprisingly low, meaning you basically always put points into the same dedicated "purist" build all the time. It leaves one underwhelmed with the potential for customization.

In the original Avernum series, it gave you more points each time you leveled, but the costs of skills rose as you purchased more ranks in those skills, meaning that there was more possibility to "multi-class", as a skill you dedicated points into every level would rise as fast as the skill points you gained per level, while skills you neglected would become relatively cheaper by comparison. This meant it was easily possible to make a wizard who studied enough cleric magic to be a passable backup healer and a truly excellent wizard while the cleric was a passable archer.

Without the chance to really multi-class, you'll probably find that you're left with the same party time and again, as you're probably not going to want to play this game without a cleric or wizard, and you'll NEED a meat shield. Since this is the umpteenth trip to Avernum for some of us, playing the same party with the same character sprites in areas modeled on the same locations can give old hands a bit of deja vu all over again.

It is, yes, possible to play solo, and you'll want to generalize a little more in solo play, but even that kind of comes down to playing a wizard with some melee skill and a few healing spells.

Also unlike this game's predecessor, this game starts you off in a small dungeon for a minor tutorial on the basics, but quickly lets you roam as a free-range adventuring band. A few easily-dismissed text boxes shouldn't annoy veterans, but might help new players, so it's not a bad change. That said, I suggest new players save frequently, and have several "safe zone" saves, as they can easily bumble into more trouble than they can fight their way out of with no guard rails to keep them from merrily adventuring into danger out of their depth.

All the time and money they saved not going for pretty graphics (and if you're a Spiderweb fan, you'll recognize the reuse of a LOT of those graphics,) was put into making absolutely sprawling caverns.

For those of you who lamented Elder Scrolls' Oblivion/Skyrim's rubber-banded monster levels, rejoice as well, as the sliths just a few towns west of where you start WILL shishkebob you effortlessly. On the higher difficulty levels, this can curb your exploration somewhat, but with a mere 350 coins, you can buy a boat that lets you have access to a large portion of the map, so long as you don't mind having to hide from the fights. While not being able to fight something sounds limiting, you can gain access to spells early, which makes it worth the trip.

That said, there's still a few places you have to go, and a pretty clear order in which you have to go there. While it's hypothetically possible to do sequence breaks, steep ramping of the power of enemies means that, especially in higher difficulty settings, there's little capacity for a player to bypass one major dungeon and be prepared for the next.

Because you have access to all the spell trainers early (just have to dodge the monsters bigger than you) you can easily get spells meant for late-game early, but at the same time, you can't afford them. Spells cost 2000 coins to learn, and clearing a whole dungeon and selling absolutely everything only nets you 1000 coins... It doesn't really get better as you go on, either, until you've bought all your skill-ups, and then there's nothing left to buy at all. I've never seen a reason to buy potions or scrolls or even weapons, as, while some mid-level stuff is available in stores, by the time you can afford them, you have better artifact weapons you lifted off of corpses. Potions can be brewed from infinitely-respawning herb patches for free, so there's at least reason to use those.

Also, you ram through MP quickly in this game, especially later on, but just setting foot in town restores all HP and MP for free... You have skills to reduce MP use, but why use them when you need every skill point in magic power to survive a single fight, and can just go back to town for a refill after literally every fight? There are a handful of dungeons where you do have to "fight your way back out" (monsters spawn in after you get to the end of the dungeon), but it's rare enough that you shouldn't have trouble sitting on a pile of 30 magic potions to refill between fights if you really need it.

If you're at all interested in the genre, it's dirt cheap and provides easily 100 hours of gameplay.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
150.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 15, 2015
With fully turn-based cRPG gameplay, low end audio & visuals (many recycled from other Spiderweb games), and a fairly traditional fantasy setting one would think this doesn't have much to offer. For many gamers that may be correct, but I'm from the DOS era and can easily enjoy games with poor production values but entertaining play.

The basic story / setting involves an authoritarian government that banishes its malcontents to a massive cave system called Avernum where they are expected to suffer and die rather than sow discord among the surface dwellers. Enough get banished in this way that, over the decades, a shaky civilization is formed. Your band of up to four are thrust into this misery where you must learn to survive, and through many increasingly important deeds save Avernum from its many enemies and maybe earn vengeance for yourself & the thousands of other victims of cruel Hawthorne's empire. This took me over 100 hours to complete (150.2 isn't accurate thanks to many breaks and distractions while running the game).

While there are many rough edges (like targeting area effect spells and path-finding), my biggest complaint is that there is no way for players to add notes to their in-game journal and maps. The auto-notes that are generated, while better than nothing aren't always up to the job, so if you don't have perfect memory be sure to keep a word document handy.

My rating: 3.14159265359 (out of 4)
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16 of 28 people (57%) found this review helpful
29 people found this review funny
45.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 4, 2015
You will squint. A lot.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
52.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2015
If you played the old Exile games or if you like RPG games give it a try, it's on discount right now. Even if the graphics may feel a bit lacking the game is inversive, the story is great as usual and with a high replayability value. Your decisions matter. If only we could bring our endings on to the next series. 8.5/10.
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