Avernum 6

by Ashley Cotter-Cairns

(Boardgame Beast HQ)

Avernum 6!

Avernum 6

Rating out of five:

★★★★★

+ Incredible old-style RPG experience
+ Huge story and multiple quests
+ Hundreds of magic items to find
– Graphics will turn off modern gamers

Click to get Avernum 6 on a FREE trial from Spiderweb Software!

When I first started researching old-style RPGs for Mac computers, I never knew what I was letting myself in for! Avernum 6 is the final game in a series that has won Spiderweb Software multiple awards, and it’s not hard to see why. This is exactly what I was looking for, and the great news is, the company is still producing this style of game.

Avernum is a huge underground world. You’re in a cave full of rotting mushrooms (the world’s food supply is under threat from blight — food is scarce and feels harder to come by than money). Ignoring the fact that this is how our own planet might end up if we’re not careful, I found this a really interesting storyline.

Starving citizens were able to travel up to the surface to escape their hunger, but now the portal is broken. This is where you come in. It’s time to save the day, one monster at a time.

Avernum 6!
Click to get this game on a FREE trial from Spiderweb Software!

There’s nothing here you have not seen before (which is exactly the point). The left of the screen shows character portraits. Clicking on the bag icon takes you to the inventory, where you can wear or carry your treasure. The question mark icon shows your character’s stats. Leveling up means more skill points to spend on abilities. There are multiple character classes, including a fully custom class that lets you design your own perfect class.

Avernum 6!
Click to get this game on a FREE trial from Spiderweb Software!

Graphics are a forced 3D angle that first appeared on the ZX Spectrum computer circa 1984. In other words, Avernum 6 is about as far removed from the first-person shooter-style RPGs like Morrowind that modern gamers have become accustomed to as it’s possible to get. (Guess what? They’re so expensive to produce that you’re lucky to get one new RPG to play every few years.) This is fine with me! The graphics are actually very detailed and full of character.

Writing makes this game stand out. It’s humorous, detailed and well crafted. Again, modern gamers are not expecting to READ anything, but I love trawling through detailed text as much as I did in the 80s.

There are a few little niggles with the game. Clicking too far away on the map is not allowed (not sure why?) and you have to close the inventory before opening the skill screen. But really nit picking here — overall, Avernum 6 is a classy, often funny and always engaging, huge, old-style RPG. It’s taken me months to complete — even if I had all day to play, as in the past, it would have taken weeks. Bravo, Spiderweb Software, and I can’t wait to try your new game, Avadon.

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