Avadon: The Black Fortress

By: Derek Yu

On: March 7th, 2011

Avadon: The Black Fortress, by Spiderweb Software

Avadon: The Black Fortress marks the inception of not only a new series of isometric CRPGs for Spiderweb Software (the previous two, Geneforge and Avernum, spanned 5 and 6 games, respectively), but also a new engine and artist. In Avadon, you play as a servant of the black keep, trying to unravel a conspiracy to destroy your people. The game features four character classes and multiple endings.

Like all Spiderweb games, Avadon has been released for Mac first, with a Windows version to follow in the next few months. The full version is $25, but there’s a demo of the game available to try out.

TIGdb: Entry for Avadon: The Black Fortress

  • jerk

    Ooh, looks like Spiderweb Software's finally hired a graphic artist!

  • http://jamesgecko.com/ James

    The graphics aren't technically a huge step up from Avernum 6, but they do appear to be more polished in this iteration. It also looks like the interface has received a lot of love.

  • Chris

    Jeff Vogel consistently delivers really great, story heavy CRPGs, and I have been gratefully playing them since around 2001. Thanks for mentioning this game, Spiderweb really deserves it.

  • Jomo

    Thank god he did something about those horrendous portraits, haha. Looking forward to this one, can't wait for the Windows demo.

  • Al3xand3r

    It's already out? Awesome, can't wait to try it (Windows).

  • PhasmaFelis

    Anyone know if Spiderweb's basic interface has changed much? I played Avernum 1 years ago and liked it, but for a Mac fan Jeff Vogel sure is mediocre at GUI design.

  • Squink


    Which to buy: This or Oblivion?

  • Kanic1

    If you value your productivity? This.

  • Al3xand3r

    That depends on if you want a role playing game or a fantasy grand theft auto with some mostly inconsequential and broken role playing mechanics on top.

  • http://twitter.com/doomlaser Mark Johns

    Here's some video of the gameplay: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
    Animated scrolling and character movement is certainly a big step up, but the interface pop-ups seem kinda intrusive, and some of the particle effect UI overlay stuff is a little ridiculous. In any case, it looks like a good new engine to build from.

  • ratking

    The sprites are so small on my iMac, i barely see them! :(

  • Del_Duio

    It's the game that asks: “Can any monster defeat the awesomeness of a Riki Rachtman / Tina Yothers assault party?”

  • Narvius

    Huge rats? Are you kidding me? :o
    Please, tell me those are NOT sewers that also double as the first dungeon…

  • Al3xand3r

    Those are NOT sewers that also double as the first dungeon…

  • Squink

    >fantasy grand theft auto with some mostly inconsequential and broken role playing mechanics on top.

    Is that what you're saying this is? Explain PRECISELY how the system in this game is deeper in any way than that of Oblivion. BTW I intend to mod Oblivion to remove the scaled leveling.

  • Jomo

    As a long time player of RPGs, playing Oblivion was the equivalent of receiving a slow lobotomy.

  • Groogokk

    I don't think the walking animation of the main character looks very natural, but the video is too blurred to say for sure. Generally, the rooms in Avadon (and also in the previous series) are too empty to keep up the illusion of realism.
    On the plus side, I like how the game gives you additional info on _how_ the characters say something, their emotions etc.

  • Eclipse

    It still looks a lot worse than Eschalon, but Spiderweb Software games never had graphics as a selling point…

  • Eclipse

    Actually, I think Oblivion is much cheaper

  • Al3xand3r

    Strategic turn & party based combat, choices & consequences. That's the gist of it, as it is with all Spiderweb games. Mod Oblivion all you want, it will still be a shallow hack & slash where your only choice is to do a mundane quest (with few exceptions, like the Dark Brotherhood questline, that is still hampered by the gameplay) now, later, or never on top of endlessly repeating inconsequential “content”. I suppose it can at least look pretty after a few mods, if you're into that.

  • Al3xand3r

    It certainly feels cheaper.

  • Al3xand3r

    I forgot to add “well realised world and decently written characters and storyline” somewhere there. And yes, “well” and “decent” is pretty huge and essentially part of the cream of the crop when we're talking video games writing…

  • squink

    OK, I played this.

    That's a total joke that you say it's anywhere close to Oblivion. Well-realized characters? That's subjective and I have to totally disagree with you, I didn't think they were “well-realized” at all.

    This is on the level of Ultima IV, which was a great game in 1985.

  • squink

    It's HILARIOUS that you would ever compare this to Oblivion. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's terrible but it's like a half-assed shareware project. Get real.

  • Tak

    Looks good.
    I had gotten bored to their games, but some times the lust for these games arises.
    How about iPad version?

  • Al3xand3r

    Well realised characters don't have to be 3D, they just need decent writing, something all of Spiderweb's games have. But hey, if you want to say it doesn't have good characters because you played for 5 minutes and gave up as 2D isometric turn based is too awesome for you to comprehend, sure, whatever, go back to closing Oblivion gates.

  • Al3xand3r

    You're the one who compared it first mate, and yes it was pretty hilarious you did that as it's like comparing apples and oranges. Avadon is an RPG, Oblivion simply isn't. I merely compared specific elements both the games share, such as writing, combat, and such, all of which are arguably better developed in Avadon, and don't require user mods to get a half-broken experience at best (wholly broken without mods). By the way you're writing it's obvious you're mostly put off by the graphics and that it's a point and click experience more than anything else, so there's no need to keep arguing with someone as shallow as you. I've said my piece, you've said yours (which you admit is hilarious) so maybe you should just leave it at that before embarassing yourself further.

  • Squink

    >You're the one who compared it first mate

    Actually no I didn't, I asked which is a better expenditure of $25.

    >By the way you're writing it's obvious you're mostly put off by the graphics and that it's a point and click experience more than anything else

    That's hilarious, I was very likely playing Wizardry I a decade before you were even a stain running down your mother's cottage-cheese thigh.

    >, you've said yours (which you admit is hilarious)

    Perhaps some basic reading comprehension lessons are in order for you– it must be difficult going through life with that sort of illiteracy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001465630850 Malcolm G. Farrakhan


  • http://www.derekyu.com Derek Yu
  • http://www.derekyu.com Derek Yu
  • squink

    Yeah, that was the choice I made and it's completely insane that anyone would suggest otherwise. I'm frankly shocked that this guy wants 25 for his product. That would have been a steal in 1985. Now? No.

  • http://www.derekyu.com Derek Yu

    25 bucks seems perfectly reasonable for either game. I'm not sure why you're getting so upset about it… if you're happy with Oblivion, good for you?

  • GeddyL

    iPad version would make me play (at least) one more Spiderweb Software game.

  • http://www.bywombats.com Ryan Szrama

    Very nice – I'll be glad to leave the old game world behind (never quite got into it) and try out the new setting. Thanks for the link!

  • Al3xand3r

    Please, it was obvious that it was a retarded snide remark from a total noob who wouldn't know a good RPG if it hit him in the face, rather than a genuine question. Or are you now claiming you didn't even have Oblivion at the time yet some hours later you had already decided which is the better game as if you experienced all both have to offer? What made you choose Oblivion at the time anyway, there were barely any responses, yet you jumped to defend Oblivion the moment I responded to you. If it's true, and not just the lame excuse it appears to be, that's even more retarded than your original intentions. Keep it up though.

  • Al3xand3r

    People who want an RPG choose Spiderweb games. People who want flashy graphics, broken systems, and a need to research a gazillion mods to end up with an experience that somewhat resembles a complete yet still shoddy game, that still pales in comparison to profesionally developed titles, would choose Oblivion. It's as simple as that, fanboy.