Reviews

Avernum 6 HD review

Creating a lizard character for your boss is not a clever move if your boss can see it.

The world of Avernum is found beneath the soil in caverns underground. There are all kinds of people inhabiting these tunnels, and caverns. From mages, sorcerers and priests to rogues, warriors and berserkers. Not all human, and after the wars that plagued Avernum the level of acceptance is quite high. Much like Australia the inhabitants are descendants of prisoners, and guards as this used to house the worst criminals imaginable. Still a peaceful era was something everyone wanted, and deserved.

Something happened, otherwise this wouldn’t be a proper adventure game, and it brought famine and distraught. Whenever an opportunity for a quick buck emerges there are those slimy bastards taking advantage of it. In the world of Avernum these are slimy both literally, and figuratively, as they are lizards. Or rather a reptilian breed called Slithzerikai. And with a species name such as that it is easy to strike. For one the victims won’t even have time to pronounce the name when screaming a warning.

The hero in all this is of course me, or the avatar I choose to be me. Burly with a cool demeanour and muscles enough to avoid getting laughed out at the gym. Three other lads, or lasses are also part of the party. Creating a set of four characters is a standard procedure in almost all classic RPGs. I would however have liked the story to be told before creating the party. Now I made Nigel into one of them Slithzerikai reptiles, and I have to clarify that Nigel is neither slimy, nor evil. After that I created Nacho, and Matt to get a balanced troupe. Sorry Dave I had to leave you behind for the time being. Actually the permanent crew at TouchGen has grown, and both Nathan and Kevin should probably be contenting for a spot in the Avernum party. In the end I still think that it might be better to be left out, as the members I go to war with seldom make it back in one piece.

Setting the level of difficulty is also done before embarking on the first quest. Without knowing what kind of challenges lie ahead I find it hard to set a difficulty, and would have preferred a method of gaming instead: casual or hardcore for example. The casual could have had the quest texts simplified, and battle more about being there than doing the right thing. Nevertheless I went for normal, and off we went to our great adventure in the world of Avernum.

Or rather we went for that obligatory rat killing mission, and after that the texts began. Avernum 6 HD is not for those who are looking for a quick RPG fix with streamlined quests, and fighting as the main ingredient. Nope there are a lot of text to read, a lot of trying to figure out where to go and a lot of moving items about in the inventory.

Avernum 6 HD is an old school RPG that is perfectly suitable for the old school RPG gamer. Those able to read volumes thick as bricks in the Dungeons & Dragons universe for example. I am personally not one of those, and the nerdiest literature I have read to that effect is perhaps a Magic The Gathering novel or two. This has to be taken into account when I rate a game that has a completely different customer in mind.

The strength of Avernum 6 HD is the deep massive content it gives right out of the box. You can spend a week in your first playthrough, and still get a completely different experience replaying it again with another party setup. Customize the characters with new gear, abilities when levelling up or trying new spells soon become something anticipated. Even though there is still a lot of reading to be done between battles the game has got a nerve, a sense of urgency.

As far as presentation there isn’t much difference between Avernum 6 HD, and the previous Avernum: Escape from the Pit. A lot of murky textures, menus and items almost clutter the screen. It takes a while to clean it up mentally to find what is needed and what is not. I would have liked a proper pause menu with inventory, quests and maps instead of everything competing for the same screen estate. This is perhaps the biggest concern with the game, as it constantly reminds me about it being a game. Getting all lost inside it is hard due to this.

Avernum 6 HD is a classic old school RPG for a select audience. Those looking for a quick RPG fix are better off looking elsewhere.

Final Rating

good

Avernum 6 HD $6.99 iPad Only
Version: 1.0
Seller: Spiderweb Software

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