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 (333 reviews)
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

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.


“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
69 of 73 people (95%) 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
32 of 36 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 13 people (85%) 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!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 10 people (80%) 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 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.

+ 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

- 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
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
136.9 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
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
35.0 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
82.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014
I started out in the first few hours of Avernum, thinking do I want to keep playing this game. Well 80 hours later i had explored the entire map, had a party leveled to 30+, and had completed every possible quest that I could find.

I really enjoyed the 80 hours that I put into Avernum, and would highly recommend this to anyone.

Best Feature: Turn Based Battle System with Action Points
The strategy involved with just spacing out your party members on the battlefield while doing melee and magic damage to the enemies can be very deep and rewards the player for using the most optimal strategies.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 22
A fantastic rpg. Don't let the indie graphics or simple design fool you. There is a wealth of depth here, and the story is fantastic. My one gripe is that there is next to no music in the adventure, making the experience feel incomplete. Other then that, it is a fantastic game and one you owe to yourself to play if you enjoy any kind of rpg.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
61.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 28
I admit it, Avernum has captured me! Every time I play this game, I end up playing well into the night, and on some occassions, into the next day. Why is this game so addictive, why had I never heard of it before, and why is it so inexpensive??? I bought the Spiderweb collection which contained this game (the Avernum1 remake); bought it somewhat on a whim after reading about how the guy who composed all the music for "Faster than light" had gotten addicted to this "hidden gem".

Avernum reminds me of Ultima7 crossed with Xcom from the '90s. But Avernum is both challenging and easy to play. There are so many handy shortcut keys that you can practically play the game from the keyboard. I love love love the command system, if you want to continuously cast a particular set of spells, you can just keep pressing the same key-combo's so you don't even have to look at the menu options that appear. I think the biggest problem with Ultima7 was that it was too easy to 1 - get lost in the map, and 2 - get confused about what you had to do with the mission. Avernum thankfully not only keeps track of all the quests, but also pin-points their relevant locations on the map. And when I compare it to XCom, I will say that I died so many times, ruthlessly, that it made the game impassable after a certain point and I gave up on it. Not so with Avernum. The game is "Generous" in that it provides you with many ways to go about improving your party so that you won't die after every-other battle. However, it's challenging enough that I still have to "sneak" around corners everynow and then so that I don't fall into an Ambush.

I got so "into" this game last year that I confess I had to put it down completely for a few months. It was that engrossing. The other day I started it up again, not even knowing where in the huge world of Avernum I'd left off, and within half an hour I was back along the quest trail, using all the command combo's.

I must also mention the writing. Kudos to the author! I hear the game is solely developed by one man and his wife. Is this true? The writing is very nice, old school. It's almost like playing a text adventure, and visualizing the story really gives you a sense of depth into the Avernum world. There are also many many little secrets and hidden gems in the game. For example, last night I battled through the temple of the "Sliths" (lizard people). One of the items on the ground was "Fine Trousers" with a description that read along the lines that 'though the slith are wise, they have not yet found appreciation for a fine pair of trousers'. I don't know, I just caught that when I saw it and thought wow, that's attention to detail.

Avernum1 is the only game from Spiderweb I have played. I actually can't wait to get my hands on Avernum2 which thankfully just came out (not to mention all the Geneforge and Avadon and other Avernum sequels). There must be 10 years of gaming goodness in the Spiderweb collection. But first I have to finish Avernum1. I wish I could put my life on pause just to play this game. Thank you very much Spiderweb software, this is the finest nostalgic euphoria one could have asked for.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 4
A lovely turn based RPG.

666 = 6 Electrons, 6 Neutrons, 6 Protons. All atoms are energy, all is vibration.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
74.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 6
An old/dated game in 2015, but still engrossing enough to keep me occupied for the 2 weeks it took me to complete. If you like RPGs you'll enjoy this.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 29
simple click and point adventure if you can get past the out dated graphics .easy to learn about 10 mins to get an idea off what too do and where to go and get the basics down. first time playing a game like this and i love it.amen!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
54.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 20
An incredibly fun turn-based combat and exploration game. Don't be turned off by the graphics, this game is awesome. Could do with a better tutorial and a better explanation of the movement system and some more deeper and complex aspects of the game. A simple equipment system and non-complex skill trees make this a competent, manageable RPG for everyone. Seriously, get it. It's tons of fun.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
86.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 14
If you're reading this review, probably you're searching for a good rpg: you've found it.

In this game you will find an imaginative fantasy world, harsh, but vibrant of life, magic and perils.
A compelling storyline from you could write a book with all the descriptions and dialogues.
HOURS of exploration with the fear of a threat right after a tunnel or in a deeper cave or simply travelling between settlements.
Deep combat mechanic and character development.

Where are the problems, a letdown then? Well graphics and sound are directly from classic old rpg games, since this game is totally "substance" and not "appearance".
If even this it's not your problem, and your love for pen 'n paper rpg using a bunch of nicely detailed miniatures and a good diorama/cardboard is still there...

You'll be in heaven even in Avernum.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
48.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 16
Who needs a girlfriend when Avernum is there to tuck you in at night? certainly not me!

3 thumbs way up
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
28.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 12
Played this game when it was called Exile - when I was just a small boy.

The graphics and gameplay are now a bit dated. But this is still one of the strongest and deep RPGs I have ever played. Spiderweb did a great thing putting Exile on a PC shareware disc, because it has made me a lifelong fan of their games.

It is a dream of mine to see this game get made into a Skyrim-esque style (graphics/UI) engine with the Avernum story all intact

Absolutely recommend
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny