Avadon the Black Fortress Review: Ongoing

It reminds me of those text based adventures where a lot of the atmosphere and mood is set by descriptions in text that are very consistent with the game mechanics. It becomes very easy to take the written description and apply it to the game play, raising the immersion. The graphics don’t look that good in the screenshots but the various descriptions make the world come alive. After all, a novel doesn’t have any graphics, beside the cover anyways, yet people still enjoy them.

The other part of the draw is that the tactical battle system is pretty fun. I set it to Torment/Hard just because it makes even normal trash fights interesting and challenging. In boss fights, however, Torment is just insane. If one doesn’t have the right composition, tactics, and character build, it becomes amazingly hard. The boss fight in the Wretch Warrens was such; I could only finish it on Normal or Hard.

The gameplay style is similar to tactical RPGs like Armored Princess or Fallout Tactics/Fallout 1-2. Go around and explore, do quests, talk to npcs, and learn about the world via codex entries. The world of Avadon was much more interesting and complex than I had expected. Normally, the politics and world building in fantasy games are… rather lackluster in logic or details. Generic orcs/trolls, with no original idea other than just a blatant clone of Tolkien. Avadon truly feels like a world with history. That concurrently makes the main player’s actions much more significant and interesting.

Much like Bastion, another interesting indie title, the dual gameplay of great story telling in the world building plus fun and challenging tactical fights, more than overcomes the limitation of 2d graphics.

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