Avencast - Review @ Gamebanshee
Gamebanshee posts a review of Clockstone Software's and Lighthouse Interactive's RPG, Avencast: Rise of the Mage, giving a detailed look at what works and doesn't work in the game, with a final score of 6.8/10:
Avencast: Rise of the Mage, the debut effort from Austrian developer Clockstone Software, is a difficult game to characterize. It starts out like it’s going to be funny (the first time you see your character, you’re sleeping in class), but then it tries to be serious and overly weighty. It looks for all the world like it’s going to be an action role-playing game, but then it plays more like a tactical one. And it employs a fairly simple point-and-click interface, but then it manages to include some clever and complex puzzles. Sometimes incongruities can be good, because they make you think, but in Avencast I felt like I was adrift in a game that didn’t know what it wanted to be or where it wanted to go, and the journey to find out wasn’t a lot of fun.
The interface gets points for being adaptable and varied:
In fact, the interface in general is nice and configurable. For example, you’re given special slots where you can quaff potions with a single key stroke, but if you don’t like them then you can also pause the game and double click on the potions in your inventory, and quaff them that way. Plus, all of the keys (including the mouse buttons) are configurable, and you’re allowed to map up to eight spells to hotkeys (or mouse clicks), giving you lots of control over your attacks.
The writing, combat and one-time-only quality of the puzzles are less satisfying for the reviewer:
The problem is, the puzzles are only fun to do once. Once you’ve figured out the answer or the trick, that’s it. There isn’t any challenge to completing them a second time, and that hurts the replayability of the game. I’m sort of curious about how the campaign might go for a blood mage, but I have no desire to slog through all of the combat again, I already completed all of the puzzles, and there aren’t any choices to make in the quests, and so there’s not enough left to do in the campaign to draw me back in...
Avencast: Rise of the Mage is a mid-priced role-playing game that feels a lot like a bargain-priced role-playing game. It has some things going for it, like the interface and the puzzles, but it has some other things going against it, like the monotony of the combat and the clichés of the story. Since the negative influences far outweigh the positive influences, it’s tough to get excited about Avencast or even to recommend it. You’ll probably find a better game in the bargain bin of your local software store.
Genre: Hack & Slash