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iPad  header logo

Avadon HD

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

It was a time of darkness...

Product: Avadon HD | Developer: Spiderweb Software | Format: iPad | Genre: RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Avadon HD iPad, thumbnail 1
How old skool do you like your RPGs?

If you answered, "the early '90s, before Looking Glass got their hands on the genre" then pull up a seat and welcome to Avadon HD - a game that’s brimming with content, story, characters, imagination, rubbish graphics, barely any animations, and some fumblingly obtuse controls.

Fans of Ultima will be well at home, and are advised to add a few points onto the final score. General iPad gamers, though, may be in for a bit of a culture shock.

Your blow lands for a critical hit

You start off as a new ‘hand’ - an agent, essentially - for the mysterious Redbeard, leader of the fortress of Avadon and master of peace and harmony across five separate central kingdoms.

Or, to put it another way, you’re the fantasy equivalent of a member of the Gestapo. The population under you is both thankful for your protection and scared of the almost limitless power of your organisation.

It’s a classy setup, but a word of warning before we go on: if you don’t like reading much text, you’d better step aside.

This is because Avadon HD is jam-packed with well-written (but lengthy) descriptions of everything - from individual rooms and characters to long codex entries about the detailed and rich fantasy world your character inhabits.

You are encumbered

What will tire everyone out, hardcore RPG nut or otherwise, is the fact that Avadon HD feels far too much like a PC game squeezed into a touchscreen device, rather than actually designed for one.

The way the too-close camera snaps to your characters as they move is incredibly annoying when you're trying to navigate the large maps, as is the way every description for an item involves holding down and then sweeping away, lest you accidentally select it when you let go.

And while presentation isn’t the be-all and end-all for an RPG, the terrible animations, basic background SFX, and crudely drawn main world doesn’t exactly do the game any favours.

You do not have the required number of lockpicks

If you're an RPG nut, you'll shrug off these annoyances. But if you go in expecting exciting turn-based tactical battles, you’re going to be wondering why the first five hours are spent engaging simple creatures that pose no threat whatsoever.

There's a complex and interesting specialisation tree for each of the various classes (which fall into the normal fantasy groupings of melee, magic, rogue), but this also takes hours before it really takes shape.

If you’re willing to suck up the off-putting presentation and interface for that long then Avadon HD is likely to be one of your favourite RPGs on the iPad.

It’s rich with lore, deep in terms of tactics, quest-led (so no grinding), and a very decent length. But not everyone will be welcomed into its fortress with open arms.
Avadon HD
Reviewer photo
Will Wilson | 1 July 2011
As a throw-back to the RPGs of old it hits most of the right buttons, but most modern gamers will likely leave the world of Avadon long before it hits its stride
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