New release: Avernum: Escape From the Pit
This game is actually a remake of the first Avernum, originally released as Exile: Escape From the Pit. The remake runs on the most up-to-date version of the Avernum engine and features dramatically improved graphics.
True to the original, AEFtP features three separate quests that can win you the game, offering a degree of flexibility we seldom see in RPGs of any description. The basic plot premise follows:
You have been banished to the underworld, never to see the light of day again.
The surface is ruled by the cruel Emperor Hawthorne, master of the Empire. All of the known lands are subject to his brutal command. Everyone who speaks out, who misbehaves, who doesn’t fit in is cast into the dark, volcanic pits of Avernum, far below the surface. There, you are expected to die, a victim of starvation, horrible monsters, or simple despair.
But not all of the Avernites have surrendered. With magic and steel, they are forging a new nation deep underground. You can join them and fight for safety. Or freedom. Or even, if you dare, revenge on the surface-worlders who tried to destroy you.
For reasons unknown (perhaps simple bad luck), AEFtP was released on Wednesday, the exact same day as Legend of Grimrock, all but guaranteeing that it would be overshadowed in terms of news coverage. Luckily, a variety of sites have reviews up nonetheless. Most of the reviews are fairly positive, though one reviewer has inexplicably concluded that the graphics in this remake are unchanged from those in the original. (Um, no.)
You can pick up Avernum: Escape From the Pit for $20 from the Spiderweb Software web store if you want it on a Mac or Windows PC. (Worth noting: if you’ve purchased any other Avernum game in the past, you can get a $10 discount.) To get the game on iPad, you can nab it for $9.99 from the app store.