Avernum 5

By: Derek Yu

On: February 19th, 2008

Avernum 5

Jeff Vogel and Spiderweb Software have been going strong for over a decade now, having released well over a dozen full-length shareware RPGs for Windows and Macintosh since 1994. It’s been a bit of a wait, but I’m happy to announce that his latest game, Avernum 5, has finally been released for both platforms (including demos)!

Spiderweb games have never much been known for their presentation, so Avernum 5’s graphics haven’t progressed all that much since the last game… or even the original game. But that’s never been a problem for its fans, who enjoy the intricate plots and unique, sprawling worlds. For RPG fans, I think its definitely worth checking out one of the mainstays of the genre.

The website assures that “experience with previous Avernum games is completely unnecessary to enjoy Avernum 5.”

(Source: Kieron Gillen, via RockPaperShotgun)

  • Kemo

    Oh, come on ! One would think that in 14 years they could find _someone_ to do the graphics. Even for a small reward. And while they’re at it – find someone who knows how to do an actually nice and functional interface. And a better gameplay, too.

    Releasing the same game year after year…is that really their dream ?

  • Lyx

    I actually like their style and do not think that the game overally needs upgraded graphics…. except of character portraits. The comic-style char-portraits just dont fit IMO.

  • Zeno

    Cave Story rip-off.

  • Julius


  • Rad

    Nice Zeno.

    I am puzzled by Spiderweb too Kemo, Exile III 11 years ago (wiki) was the height of Spiderweb’s relative graphical prowess and even then it was just average.

    Maybe the writing is phenomenal?

  • Zeno

    A skeleton bursts out of a crate!
    A skeleton bursts out of a crate!

    Honestly now, who goes around stuffing the undead into crates?

    Seriously though, when I want a bad-graphics dungeon crawl, I go to NetHack. Also, the UI looks obnoxious.

  • http://www.distractionware.com Terry

    I haven’t kept up with the series, but the original three Exile games were excellent (and very different from each other).

    I don’t see what you’re all bitching about. So he chooses to focus on content instead of flashy graphics – since when is there a problem with that?

  • Kenzya

    I tried playing the first game a long time ago. Moving the character was needlessly hard so I just stopped playing. Looks exactly the same.

  • Anon

    Try the Geneforge series. The movement system is very different, and there are some other little touches that make it more accessible than the Avernum titles.

  • Prio

    The writing is phenomenal. As is the combat, the plot, the pacing, the varieties of loot, the stuff to explore, the NPCs, and so on.
    Exile series was better though. You had six people in your party, and the isometric perspective sucks. Seriously. It sucks hard.

  • Prio

    ^ And the Exile series didn’t have the isometric perspective. Doh.

  • Lava

    This just looks incredibly ugly…so if it still sells it has to be mindblowingly good. Have to try it.

  • Lailoken

    Exile 3 was so amazing. I agree with Prio that avernum isn’t as good. It looks like they added a bit to the combat in this one though. “Aldous prepares a well-aimed blow” sounds like more interesting melee mechanics to me. And fatigue too. I’m definitely gonna try this one, but 4 didn’t impress me.

    The draw of these games is basically the plot and the exploration/item gathering. The combat in some of them basically consisted of layering multiple bless and haste spells on your fighters and then massacring a fortress of some kind without much thought of tactics. In exile 3 I stole everything that wasn’t nailed down. Sometimes having to be pretty creative with closing doors when people wander out of the room, or putting up magical barriers to block vision etc.