Unlike most casual games that offer a quick fix during coffee breaks, Aveyond is an incredibly deep and lengthy role-playing game (RPG) inspired by classic 2-D adventures, such as the original Zelda and Final Fantasy games.
Despite its intimidating 50-hour quest, Aveyond is easy to dive into – even for those unfamiliar with these types of fantasy games.
Without giving much away, you play as a young woman, Rhen, who discovers she is blessed with great talent and an even greater destiny to fulfill. In spite of your humble beginnings in a small remote town, you must tweak your fighting skills, align yourself with key allies and explore a vast medieval world in order to stop a malevolent deity, Ahriman, from unleashing his wrath on the world.
Heavy stuff indeed, but typical for a fantastical RPG.
As with the classic video games that inspired it, Aveyond is viewed from a top-down perspective as you explore dozens of unique environments, talk with characters to collect clues, pick up items to store in your inventory and take on many main quests and side-missions. Combat is handled via "turn-based" action, therefore you choose who to attack (and with magic or might) and the act is then carried out, delivering damage points in the process. And then it’s their turn to do their worst. Because it’s turn-based you have some time to think your move through before executing it.
The game offers more than 60 non-linear quests, which means you can accept many of them in the order you choose (or decide not to take one at all). Missions may include escorting someone to safety, finding a precious artifact, joining a magical guild to sharpen your spell-casting skills, and so on. For example, at the beginning of the game you must find an herbalist to heal a mysterious priestess and then collect five batches of Marionbell flowers for a town festival (and snatching the fifth bouquet requires some puzzle-solving).
The colorful graphics are wonderfully "retro" and the music is catchy and fitting. In fact, players can choose to download better-quality music if desired, complete with real instruments, such as flutes and harps.
The only beef with the game lies in its control. While all you really need are the four arrow keys to move around and the spacebar for executing an action, it’s easy to get stuck in objects such as trees and rocks. Plus, learning how to navigate in the shops (to buy or sell items) may also prove annoying until you get the hang of it. Too bad the developers didn’t give players the choice to use a mouse in the game, which would have been a welcomed option.
An instant classic, Aveyond is a well-crafted RPG Lite that serves as a throwback to the golden days of video gaming as it sucks you into this magical adventure. It may not be a typical "casual" puzzle or word game that you can play for just five minutes here or there, but it’s a refreshingly fun computer game nonetheless.