jazz and conversation, from the foot of Mt Belzoni (ikkyu2) wrote,
jazz and conversation, from the foot of Mt Belzoni


I've played maybe 10 hours of Spiderweb Software's Avadon: The Black Fortress over the past week. Bought it, paid for the key, am a happy customer.

You remember when you were a kid, playing Ultima IV, and were kind of like "This is awesome, a D+D style role playing fantasy adventure with neat, well-differentiated character classes, moral choices to make, and a giant world to explore?" And then 1000 hours of gameplay later, "Man, I love this game, but jeebus is it ever a lot of work to try and win it?"

Well, that's Avadon, except minus the hard work, minus the frustration, minus every part of the above that was not totally awesome. It's like someone actually took a great deal of time, effort and all their experience with the great long-form RPGs, and used it to make a perfect game with 21st century user interface, fun graphics, great music, and superb gameplay. It's as if the programmer has a really neat story to tell you and has constructed a really nifty fantasy-RPG gameplay architecture designed in every way to enhance the experience of your participating as that story unfolds.

You can also read Jeff Vogel's blog which is a really interesting read about how it happens to come about that someone would make this game, what the choices and compromises are, how they are decided. Totally enhanced my fun playing the game to read all this.

I give Avadon a 10 out of 10; the first game I have felt that way about in decades. If anything at all in this little write-up piqued your interest I advise you strongly to immediately head over to his website and download the demo, which has at least 8 solid hours of free play in it. After that, I won't have to tell you to fork over the $25; you'll be happy to do it.

Full disclosure: no ties to Spiderweb or Mr Vogel, other than that we both briefly posted to the Usenet newsgroup talk.bizarre in the early 1990s.
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