September 2023 came and went like a whirlwind. Our enormous backlog just can’t seem to catch a break with heavy hitters like Starfield, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, Lies of P, and Baldur’s Gate 3 dropping one after the other. Well, October isn’t devoid of GOTY contenders either! Heavy hitters from Ubisoft and Nintendo such as Assassin’s Creed Mirage and Super Mario Bros. Wonder promise to envelop us in their worlds in October. And with the holidays right around the corner, why not save some cash with these sleeper October titles instead? Here are 6 games that will (probably) fly under your radar in October 2023.
Detective Pikachu Returns (Oct. 6)
Pokemon may be wildly popular, but the Detective Pikachu subseries is still somewhat niche. Detective Pikachu Returns is the sequel to the original Detective Pikachu Switch game in 2018. The game features interesting detective scenarios where Detective Pikachu and his human partner, Tim Goodman, must question Pokemon and human alike in their quest to solve the case. Check out the trailer to get a quick recap of the first game’s events, and a grasp on the series’ fun tone.
Detective Pikachu Returns seems like the perfect game to fill in the Layton and Ace Attorney gap. If you’re a fan of the Pokemon universe, there’s also a ton of personalization for the pocket monsters in a way only the Mystery Dungeon games have been able to deliver. The gameplay here is pretty simple, but the talking Pokemon (translated through Detective Pikachu, of course) and the working dynamic between humans and Pokemon are so charming, that it’s hard to pass up. And if you’re a Pokemon fan looking for something a little bit different, well, Detective Pikachu Returns is the indubitable answer.
Total War Pharaoh (Oct. 11)
Despite having a dedicated fanbase spanning decades, the newest entry in the grand strategy series has gotten little media buzz. Set during the tail-end of Egypt’s golden era, Total War Pharoah is the next big evolution in the Total War series.
Dynamic weather greatly affects real-time battles across Egypt, Canaan, and Anatolia, in an iconic setting brilliantly realized by Creative Assembly studios. Total War is known for its massive campaigns, and we expect Total War Pharoah will give gamers endless hours of entertainment when it conquers players’ PCs on October 11th.
Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged (Oct. 19)
The first Hot Wheels Unleashed game surprised everyone with how fun it was. The arcade racing controls felt responsive and rewarding, and the track creator was a blast to experiment with. The sequel looks like an improvement in every way.
New modes like Drift Master and Elimination are getting added, and even some exciting free roam modes where the player charts their own course through a series of rings. The story campaign has a lot more character and gimmicks to it this time around too. Creature Rampage is the theme of the campaign featuring gargantuan dinosaur bosses with uniquely themed stages to overcome.
The Jackbox Party Pack 10 (Oct. 19)
Jackbox is one of the most popular party video games around, yet they always seem to launch somewhat unnoticed. This iteration of Jackbox is particularly special because it marks the 10-year anniversary of the iconic series. Five new games will feature in Jackbox Party Pack 10, and they look genuinely entertaining.
One standout is the musical rhythm game Dodo Re Mi. Dodo Re Mi looks like a hoot for those players itching for skill-based gameplay. Theming is also very strong from what we’ve seen of some of the games. For example, Timejinx weaves bizarre alternate histories based on the party’s trivia answers. Plan out your party for October 19th and get ready to see a different side to your friends and family.
Cities Skylines 2 (Oct. 24)
Sim City is alive and well, it just takes on a different form from the Sid Meyer days. The first Cities Skylines was a cult classic among city builder enthusiasts, and the sequel is looking to cement itself as the ruler of the genre. Cities Skylines 2 has everything you could ever want from a city builder, from zoning, economics, business management, you name it!
There are a ton of detailed back-end improvements the devs made from the first Cities Skylines game. One of the more notable evolutions is the ability to eventually build on a whopping 441 tiles of space, as opposed to Cities Skylines Remastered’s 25 tiles. And you don’t need to be a city-building nerd specifically to enjoy what Cities Skylines 2 has to offer; if you’re a management sim fan of any stripe, you’ll find something to micromanage with glee.
Let’s not forget that the first game gave players the ability to plague their citizens with natural disasters such as tornados and earthquakes at the click of a button. We expect the mayhem possible in Cities Skylines 2 to eclipse the first game when it finally releases on October 24th.
Jusant (Oct. 31)
Life is Strange developer, Don’t Nod, is finally releasing their next unique narrative experience with a mountain-climbing sim. No, that wasn’t a cute little hook, it’s true! Jusant features realistic climbing physics in a mountain-climbing adventure game where environmental storytelling is paramount.
Obstacles and changing terrain challenge the player as they use independent limb controls and a rope to reach distant footholds. There are lots of nooks and crannies to explore along the giant colorful mountain too. Varying terrain and diverse doodads scattered strewn about the mountain break up any monotony that would otherwise be present.
Our hands-on impressions of Jusant reflected a meditative, yet fun experience; one that we can’t wait for when it launches on Halloween day.
Those are the 6 games that will (probably) fly under your radar for October 2023. Check out Twinfinite’s coverage of all the major (and minor) titles for 2023 and beyond!