Picked up Avadon, The Black Fortress (Steam sale, of course) a few days ago, and I’m now about 5 hours into it. In a lot of ways it’s similar to Eschalon, which I wrote about here and here. It’s an “old school” indie RPG, graphics and all.
Two things I really like about it so far though: the first is that you can swap out your party members just by returning to ‘base’, and the party members you don’t use also gain XP as you go. Nice ‘mix and match’ options here, without the need to ‘grind’ characters to have them catch up. Bonus points for the personalities of the characters and how they interact with each other (think Dragon Age party interactions).
The other interesting thing Avadon does is related to loot; items that are on the ground are visible, and when you pick them up they disappear. Now the above sounds really basic, but it’s a cool feature considering the graphics style of the game. It also makes searching for loot feel more natural. You will know what I mean when you play it.
Still a little early into the game to fully recommend it, but if you are looking for something to play on the cheap, give it a look (Steam also has a demo, although I’m not sure what that includes).