Avadon: The Black Fortress HD review (iPad)

August 27, 2011

“You’ll die as you lived, in a flash of the blade”

10 word description: Deep, old-school fantasy role-playing game. 40+ hours gameplay.

I know it's only an intro screen, but I like it

10 word review: Superb RPG. Best on iPad? If not, then it’s close!

You start alone. Predictably, I chose the cutest looking character

You will like this if you enjoy: Huge, serious RPGs. Other iOS games such as Companions, Battle for Wesnoth, Highborn.

Detailed inventory, party roster, mini-map... there's a ton of stuff here to get excited about. My problem is that I still sound sarcastic even when I'm genuinely enthusiastic about a game! Sorry.

The good news: It’s big, detailed, very well designed, an excellent port of a PC game, looks good, plays really well, has a virtually flawless interface, seamlessly integrates turn-based combat with real-time exploration, and gives iPad RPG fans pretty much exactly what they’ve been looking for.

Character development is highly customisable... as you can see

The bad news: Your life’s pretty much over once you start playing. All those other iPad games you used to play… forgotten. For quite a long time.

During a fight, you have access to a menu for selecting active offensive and defensive skills

Arcadelife verdict: Wildly generalising here, but I’d speculate that the average casual Angry Birds player would choke on their caramel macchiato just looking at the instructions menu for this game. It’s not going to be for everyone; that’s OK, I understand, nothing is. However, for anyone who has been longing for a serious, dare I say “hardcore”, RPG on their iPad, well, here you go. Buy this one and see how deep and involving iPad gaming can actually be.

Each entry on the left has its own page(s) of text that display on the right. Nobody is pretending this is a simple game

Despite a long history spending countless hours on games like Baldur’s Gate (PC), I still wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about playing something like this on my iPad. It’s therefore  interesting (particularly if you’re thinking about buying the game) that playing it on a touch screen doesn’t feel strange in the slightest. In fact, if I hadn’t known in advance that it was a port of a PC game, I would have happily accepted that it had been specifically designed from scratch for a touch interface. Admittedly, the numbered dialogue responses and floppy disk save/load icon kind of give it away, but even these details could be dismissed as deliberate “old school” charm.

Arcadelife rating: 94/100

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.1
iTunes link

Spiderweb Software / Avadon website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
iPad (OS 4.3.4 & 4.3.5)

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