Avencast: Rise of the Mage - Slow Gaming That Builds To Enjoyment

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Are you in search of a game that - even though it will start off a little bit slowly - ends up with an interesting combat experience. If you enjoy games like Neverwinter Nights, then this title will be right up your alley, provided that you are not to tied to high resolution graphics. Don’t worry, the varied combat experience will more than make up for that minor loss.

Story (5 out of 5)

This game starts off a bit slowly. You begin as a student mage at a magic academy that seems suspiciously like Hogwarts. Once you get past this section of not-quite-plagiarism however, the game takes a hard turn to more serious pursuits as you leave the confines of the school. The post school plot is largely what you would expect from an RPG. Expect to be saving the world from hoards of evil demons.

Game Play (4 out of 5)

This game is mostly combat oriented, as you tear through hoards of similar looking minor villains. This combat however, is a bit different as you will be spending a great deal of time in ranged combat. Since you can dodge, and most of your enemies are armed with ranged attacks, you will need them as well. Expect to do a mix of dodging and shooting off spells. If you are a fan of hack and slash, then you won’t enjoy this experience. There is also a strong puzzle element to this game that spices up an otherwise standard set of quests.

Leveling Up (5 out of 5)

Each time that you achieve a new level you will be assigned a certain number of points. These points can be assigned to buying spells in any of the 3 spell areas, blood, soul or summoning. What you choose is a matter of preference, depending on how underhanded you are feeling. A mix would be best though.

Controls (3 out of 5)

The game uses WASD controls - which are not always popular with PC gamers - but once you get used to them (or past that limitation), you will be able to enjoy the game. If you are staunchly against using WASD, then you may want to pass.

Graphics (4 out of 5)

The graphics in this game are less than stellar, but they do get the job done. The characters are a little bit boxy, which can be an annoyance. To be honest, at some point you will be sure that you have seen this background before. Then you will have that feeling a second and third time. The graphics are serviceable and can get you through the game, but they won’t impress you at all.

System Requirements


  • Microsoft Windows XP / Windows Vista
  • 2.2 GHz Intel Pentium or 2200+ AMD Athlon processor
  • 512 MB RAM (1GB for running under Vista)
  • GeForce FX 5700 or better / ATI Radeon 9700 or better
  • 4x CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drive
  • Approx. 4.4 GB free hard disk space
  • DirectX 9.0c


  • Microsoft Windows XP
  • 3 GHz Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 4x CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drive
  • Approx. 4.4GB free hard disk space
  • 256 MB DirectX 9 video card (nVidia GeForce 7600GS+ or ATI X1600)
  • Direct X 9.0c
  • DirectSound compatible (Sound Blaster X-Fi series sound card recommended)

Conclusion (3 out of 5)

While this game has disappointing graphics and limited appeal, the controls, the game’s storyline, and the inventive combat system will be enough to make the game worth playing. The puzzles will also add to your overall experience. It really becomes a matter of personal choice.