If You Love Old-School 40+ Hour RPGs, You Must Buy Avadon for iPad

For almost twenty years now, Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software has been toiling away, a lone developer who has single-handedly produced a library of old-school RPGs that contains over fifteen separate games.

To put the scope of Vogel’s prolificness in perspective, imagine if Richard Garriott had made the entireUltima series by his lonesome and you’ll have an idea of the creativity and single-mindedness on display here: Vogel has collectively put together thousands of hours of some of the most intricately written and smartly crafted RPGs in computer gaming history at a pace that would give some of the biggest game design houses a permanent case of creative whiplash.

Vogel’s most recent and popular games have long been available for the Mac, but his latest title, Avadon: The Black Fortress, marks development for an entirely new platform: the iPad. It’s worth getting excited for.


Vogel’s games aren’t much for eye candy, and Avadon‘s no different: while the best looking of Spiderweb’s titles to date, you’d be forgiven for mistaking this game for something from the mid-90s if all you were judging by was graphics and sound. The tight, crisp, open-ended game design, though, is firmly of the millennium.

Here’s what you can expect in Avadon: The Black Fortress:

• Epic fantasy role-playing adventure in an enormous and unique world.

• Four different character classes, with dozens of unique spells and abilities.

• Uncover the fascinating history of Avadon and the land of Lynaeus.

• Many different endings. Your choices will change the world.

• Dozens of side quests, hidden dungeons, and secrets to discover.

• Hundreds of magical items to find. Use powerful crystals to make your artifacts even more powerful.

• Huge adventure with lots of replay value.

In a nutshell, if you’ve ever wanted to play a huge, sprawling open-world RPG like Baldur’s Gate on youriPadAvadon: The Black Fortress is as close as you’re likely to come. Vogel says the campaign should last over forty hours for most players, which is an astonishing amount of gameplay, especially for the low price of just $9.99… half the price of the same version on Mac.

For a decade now, Vogel was just this wonderful rarity: a lone developer plugging away at these huge games that were just awesome in scope, making his living selling them to a niche audience as like-minded and obsessive as him. Here’s hoping that Avadon opens this audience up for him dramatically.


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