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Reviewed: Avernum
Author: Chris Kim       Date: July 20th, 2000
Page: 4

Final Breakdown


Easily Avernum's best feature. The game is completely open-ended with limitless possibilities as to what and where the player can go and do. Each quest and mission in the game is completely up to the user to see if he/she wants to do it or not. There are several ways to defeat the game, and course the player chooses is completely independent of any other factor. Combat is exciting and intense, but it can sometimes be a bit too hard.


Unfortunately for Avernum, the graphics are crude, simple, and lack detail. It is rendered in a small 2D window with an isometric view. Although the colors are nice and some objects contain nice detail, the complete lack of animation for the sprites and other objects completely distract from the otherwise decent graphics. Otherwise, there is nothing more to look for in the graphics... of course the game lies all in the gameplay.

Sound and Music:

Another major fault of the game, although not as much as the graphics, still stutters and suffers from major lack of sound. The complete exclusion of music distracts from an otherwise decent set of sound effects. The effects such as attacking with weapons, alerts, and death are all nice and add to the game. While they aren't as refined or high quality as other games, they do suffice.

Multiplayer: N/A

There isn't a multiplayer game, so this area does not apply.

AI and Difficulty:

Composing a good balance of difficulty for the game is important and Avernum does a superb job of it. The game is not too hard nor is it too easy. The flow of the game is static at times, but finding more quests and missions is not too difficult and new levels come at appropriate times. AI is solid, but sometimes uses brute strength over strategy at times.

Controls and Interface:

One of the finest examples of an interface that has lots of power and simplicity at the same time. The interface is either completely controllable with a mouse or keyboard, although the keyboard offers more control over the game, the mouse works well. The "paper doll" interface works great to equip weapons and armor on the players. Other things include simple control in battle as well.


An excellent role-playing game for all gamers if players can get past the crude graphics and simple sound effects. There is an immense amount of depth, playability, and game to enjoy. The open-ended gameplay will offer lots of variation and the multiple ways to finish the game is a definite plus to all role-players. A simple interface helps gamers get into the game easily while a difficulty slider allows for multiple game settings for all players of all skill levels.

Pluses (+)
  • Great Gameplay
  • Lots of Quests
  • Simple Interface
  • Variety
  • Minuses (-)
  • Terrible Graphics
  • Sparse Sound Effects
  • Lack of Music
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    Added:  Thursday, July 20, 2000
    Reviewer:  Chris Kim
    Page: 4/5

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