Avadon 2: The Corruption HD is the iPad version of the latest RPG from indy developer Spiderweb Software. It features a compelling story, lots of loot, a tightly organized and intuitive interface, and a character development system that is reasonably deep without being complex.
If you're at all into role-playing games (RPGs), chances are you've come across one or more of Spiderweb's offerings. Even through the dark years of Mac gaming, Spiderweb was there, making great role-playing games at a reasonable price. Thankfully, all of their titles have transitioned seamlessly into mobile, due to a thoughtfully organized interface and what I suspect is very tight coding.
As expected, Avadon 2 picks-up after the events of Avadon: The Black Fortress. It's a different world now; gone is the Pact of nations, and enemies are everywhere. For those new to Spiderweb games (there is no need to play the prior game first), the early part of the game walks you through the interface nicely, and serves as a subtle tutorial to get you started. Avadon 2 is designed to be accessible, yet deep. What this means is that its easy to get a game going without getting lost, but the game's complexity increases roughly at the same rate as your expertise as a player increases. I found the learning curve to be very reasonable without being tedious for experienced players. A difficult line to walk, to be sure. There are, of course, some subtle tweaks here and there that refine gameplay a bit over its predecessor. In particular, the addition of a new character class, The Tinkermage, was a welcome surprise. Being a fan of steampunk, I found this class to be a hoot.
As expected, there are lots to do in Avadon 2, and the order you do them is pretty much up to you. Careful and thorough play will be rewarded in the form of loot and experience to make the late game easier, so try to resist the urge to rush through the main storyline. While exploring, you will move in real time, however, once combat begins, movement becomes turn-based. This keeps it from degrading into a click-fest, and is what separates a true RPG from an action game. While I enjoy both, it's important to point out that this is absolutely the former, and not the latter.
The graphics of Avadon 2 are crisp and clean, exactly like all of Spiderweb's other titles. This is really the only complaint I can muster about the game, and I offer it only halfheartedly. The gameplay doesn't suffer in any way from a recycling of environment tiles, but a facelift or a change of scenery is always appreciated. At the risk of sounding a bit like an apologist, it's likely the simple backgrounds that keep Avadon 2 (or Avadon 1, or Avernum, etc) from getting confusing or feeling cluttered; and because of this I always know very clearly where I can move, and what I can likely interact with.
Game sounds are minimal, but functional, and there is no in-game music.
In-App Purchases (IAPs)
Avadon 2 is a premium game with no IAPs of any kind.
If you enjoy classic dungeon-crawling RPGs, Avadon 2 will be right up your alley, and not to be missed. If you're new to RPGs, Avadon 2 is a great place to start, and experience playing the prequel is not necessary. It's fun, features deeply tactical gameplay, has a great story, and the character progression is varied enough that you will likely want to play through a second time with another class. Highly recommended.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 3 - Not a beautiful game, but clean and crisp graphics will still hold you.
Sound: - 3 - Fairly basic sound effects, and no game music.
Controls: - 5 - An extremely well-designed interface, and the game is extremely responsive without being fiddly.
Gameplay: - 5 - A fantastic RPG with loads of content, and opportunities for replay.
Playing Hints and Tips:
If you're new to RPGs, start with a fighter; they're easier to keep alive in the early game. Don't overlook the side quests. They will provide valuable and necessary equipment and experience. Explore everywhere and open everything!
Developer: Spiderweb Software
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Buy App: Avadon 2: The Corruption HD
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
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