I’ve not posted much about books this week, because I’ve been playing Avernum: Escape from the Pit on my iPad.
As it happens, I’m a sucker for RPGs. I’ve got probably a dozen of them on my iPad, of all flavors; and none of them of really grabbed me the way Avernum has. It’s got a great big world you can roam freely (well, unless you get killed); dozens of quests of various kinds; lots of weapons and spells and magic devices to discover; interesting monsters; it’s just plain cool.
The premise is simple: having offended the emperor, you’ve been thrown down into the underground world of Avernum. There is no escape; once there, you simply have to learn to live there with the other exiles, scratching out a living. Human beings have a hardscrabble existence in Avernum, fighting for their lives against the Nephilim, the Nepharim, the Ghouls, the Ogres, the Giants, and the Slithzerikai. So you and your three companions (two fighters, a priest, and a mage, naturally) go out adventuring and helping folks out.
Your view of the world is a topdown three-dimensional view, so it looks purty. Difficulty can be set anywhere from easy to hard. Combat is turn-based: during combat, when it’s a character’s turn you move them as desired, and then combat continues. It’s surprisingly sophisticated; to survive, you have to take advantage of the terrain, or at least take it into account.
I’ve got too many hours into it already, and I suspect it’s going to last me a couple of more weeks. It’s well-worth your time, if you like that sort of thing.
The game is also available on Windows and Mac