On one level, this post exists to inform of a fantastic deal on that thar Steam, however it's also the first time we've mentioned that the games in question have appeared on Steam at all. They are the Geneforge Saga, five RPGs created by Spiderweb Software between 2002 and 2008, although they feel as if they could have been made between 1992 and 1998, with their turn-based combat, isometric graphics and enormous amounts of questing and freedom. The Geneforge world combines traditional fantasy tropes with monster-making, leading to all sorts of choices and ethical dilemmas. Steam is currently offering these five massive RPGs for £8.49. There are also sizable demos over at Spiderweb's site.
If you enjoyed Avadon or the Avernum and Exile series but missed out on Geneforge, you'll already be aware that this is a fine deal, with a whole lot of game of the sort that's become vanishingly rare. There's probably enough RPG goodness here to last most of 2012 as well as the dark remaining days of this rapidly dwindling year. I say 'probably' because I've only actually finished the first one. It's very big indeed, with plenty of scope for several playthroughs.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm willing to forgive the occasional clumsiness of the interface for no other reason than that it reminds me of the saucy times I spent with clumsy interfaces in my youth, but everything works just fine once you wrap your head around it.
I was so glad to see these arrive on Steam that I really should have said something at the time but here we are and I'm saying it now. They are on Steam and at a bloody good price. The only potential niggle is that they can't be purchased separately, so if you already have a few you'll have to double up to get the pack. But even the first game is still $15.00 direct from Spiderweb, although there is a CD bundle for $25.00.
It boils down to this - if you enjoy old-school RPGs and thrill to the idea of turn-based combat with monster creation and magic, you can bag five of the blighters for a very good price indeed, wherever you buy them.