Avernum: Escape from the Pit Review

The Good:

Avernum: Escape from the pit will inspire your imagination with its well realised fantasy world.

Decent character levelling that allows a freedom of player choice

The Bad

Requires a lot of back-tracking to catch up on what you missed.

Could use a new lick of paint graphically.

Avernum: Escape from the Pit gamesite

Spiderweb Software


Avernum: Escape from the Pit Review

Avernum: Escape from the Pit plummets you into an underground prison world full of monsters, your only chance at survival being escape, of which there seems little hope. Avernum: Escape from the Pit is an old school fantasy RPG—taking place in a 45-degree isometric view—with plenty of elements of its prequels—Exile: Escape from the Pit and Avernum— with a few nice touches of artistry and originality to keep things fresh.

Avernum: Escape from the Pit’s story is based on four adventurers banished from the surface world unjustly to the underworld of the pit. The four adventurers start with nothing and most grow in strength and reputation until they are strong enough to find an escape. With this in mind, it will come as little surprise that character customisation is one of the best parts of the game, allowing you to choose from the recommended starting roles or select from ten different classes, which take forms familiar to RPG fans, from melee fighters to powerful magicians. Characters can learn any ability whilst they progress through the game and experienced players can choose their own mix of skills right from the beginning.

The story develops, as expected, through NPCs, and it’s often necessary to loop back and select different dialogue choices in order to hear everything a NPC has to say. For some this might become tiresome, but fans of older RPGs should be plenty used to it. You’ll want to chat to everyone you come across, too, as Avernmum: Escape from the Pit isn’t one of those games that will automatically fill you in on something you’ve missed. This nature to the game forces player to be attentive, but it does little to inspire a genuine sense of exploration or curiosity because it feels forced. It doesn’t feel as though players are being rewarded for choosing to be patient and inquisitive, rather it is a cumbersome demand put upon them.

There’s plenty of turn-based combat as you come across the expected cast of monsters. Each character and enemy performs actions in sequence, with moves being activated by clicking icons at the bottom or through hotkeys. The level of strategy required in combat depends on the four difficulty levels, with the highest being quite the challenge.

Avernum: Escape from the Pit is an adequate looking game if a little minimal. Some of the monsters are difficult to tell apart and the character portraits don’t change when equipping new items. Odds are, though, if you’re a fan of old school RPGs you’re not going to be too concerned about this.

There’s more than enough positive to Avernum: Escape from the Pit to make it a game worthy of your money and time. An imaginative and enjoyable RPG experience.

Avernum: Escape from the Pit Overall: 8.7 / 10

Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.

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