September was a great month for games, and as we head towards the holidays, things don’t seem to be slowing down. There are a number of fantastic-looking games coming out in October 2023 that we can’t wait to get our hands on, including a new Mario game that puts a fresh spin on a classic formula; a couple highly-anticipated sequels; a remake of an old favorite; and a new story set in a beloved fantasy world. Add in a couple indie roguelikes with fun concepts, and you’ve got one stacked lineup. Looks like I’m gonna have to finally wrap up Baldur’s Gate 3 so I can dive right into these.
Read on to find out what games we are most excited to play this month.
Detective Pikachu Returns
Publisher: Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, Nintendo of America Inc.
Release Date: October 6, 2023
The original Detective Pikachu, which was released in 2016 for 3DS, was a game I never got around to playing despite being a longtime Pokémon fan and having played every main series game that came to consoles I owned. Having seen the movie and enjoyed it more than I expected to, though, I am considerably more excited for the sequel, Detective Pikachu Returns.
This mystery-solving adventure game continues Detective Pikachu’s quest to find his missing partner, Harry Goodman, by working with Harry’s son, Tim—the only other human who can understand this peculiar Pikachu talk. Together, they will solve a series of mysteries across Ryme City, beginning with a jewel theft, which will hopefully bring Pikachu and Tim Goodman closer to reuniting with Harry.
You will investigate crime scenes, look for clues, use your case notebook to make deductions and collaborate with other types of Pokémon in order to solve crimes and get answers regarding Harry’s mysterious disappearance. Oh, and coffee—lots of coffee. How are all these mysteries connected? Will Pikachu and Tim finally be reunited with Harry Goodman? We can’t wait to find out!
Wizard With a Gun
Developer: Galvanic Games
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platform: PS5, Switch, PC, Xbox Series X/S
Release Date: October 17, 2023
Wizard With a Gun is a roguelike online sandbox survival co-op game that gives us Bastion and Enter the Gungeon vibes and just looks ridiculously fun. Developer Galvanic Games is a small indie studio based in Seattle, WA, that has a number of other projects, including a rapture-themed collaboration with Cyanide & Happiness.
You can adventure through this magical wilderness solo or with a wizard friend, where you will fight creatures and gather materials to craft enchanted ammo, decorate your tower, and outfit your wizard. Then, combine enchanted ammo with spells to wreak maximum havoc—just be careful not to burn everything down! (Or do, if that’s your thing. I can’t tell you how to play.)
The graphics style looks very similar to Cult of the Lamb, with a decidedly more neon color palette. The gameplay also looks similar in that you have an upgradeable, decoratable base of operations and you travel to randomly generated areas to fight enemies and collect resources. Combat looks like a fast-paced, gun-toting, spell-slinging good time.
Preorder now to receive the Noble Wizard Pack, which includes the Wizard King full costume, Wizard Jester full costume, and Noblewoman’s Hat.
Developer: Amplitude Studios
Publisher: Sega, HUBLOTS
Platform: PS4/5, Switch, Android, Xbox One, PC, Xbox Series X/S
Release Date: October 19, 2023
Another game that’s somewhat evocative of Enter the Gungeon, ENDLESS Dungeon is an upcoming twin-stick shooter that blends roguelite, tactical action, and tower defense into what looks like pure, chaotic fun. Venture onto an abandoned shipwreck solo or in up to 3-player co-op, recruit a team from a cast of colorful heroes, and defend your crystal against wave after wave of monsters. The game contains ten levels of procedurally-generated space station floors, and between runs, you’ll return to the saloon, where you can converse with characters and obtain upgrades.
ENDLESS Dungeon is set in developer Amplitude Studios’s award-winning ENDLESS universe, which contains such games as ENDLESS Space, ENDLESS Space 2, ENDLESS Legend, and Dungeon of the ENDLESS (to which ENDLESS Dungeon is meant as a successor). The team was surprised by the popularity of Dungeon of the ENDLESS’s “barebones” multiplayer and wanted to build a game that was multiplayer from the ground up.
Pre-order now for exclusive content, including 48-hour early access!
Developer: Empty Clip Studios
Publisher: Empty Clip Studios, The Walt Disney Company
Platform: Switch, PS4/5, PX, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
Release Date: October 19, 2023
Anyone else who put countless hours into the original 16-bit side-scrolling platformer should be as pumped as we are to play this “artfully crafted revival” with enhanced visuals, animations, and SFX. Based on the hit animated series, Gargoyles Revived has players play as Goliath, the leader of the Gargoyles, stone guardians that come to life at night to protect the world from the evil Eye of Odin.
The sequel stays true to its predecessor while adding modern features such as achievements, instant rewind, and wide-screen presentation. The soundtrack has been remastered and optimized and players can toggle between the classic 16-bit mode and updated graphics based on the animated series for the ultimate immersive experience, complete with sound effects and animations also inspired by the series.
Players willing to shell out $179.99 can get the Collector’s Edition, which comes with a physical copy of the game, a hinge-style box that plays a voice line from Goliath, a white retro plastic VHS clamshell case, a VHS tape box, a limited-edition NECA Goliath action figure, reversible poster, certificate of authenticity, enamel pin, and SteelBook®.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: October 20, 2023
Spider-Men Peter Parker and Miles Morales return for a new web-swinging adventure in the next installment of Marvel’s critically acclaimed Spider-Man franchise from Insomniac Games, coming exclusively to PS5. In Spider-Man 2, players can swing, jump, and use the new web wings to traverse an expanded NYC, freely swapping between the two heroes to experience different stories and new powers as they fight back against iconic villains Venom, Kraven the Hunter, the Lizard, and more.
This larger version of New York will feature two new boroughs, Brooklyn and Queens, as well as additional locations like Coney Island. The story is set 10 months after the events of Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and as with the previous installments, derives its story from comics and various other media.
For $79.99, players can get the Digital Deluxe edition, which includes five unique suits for both Peter and Miles, additional photo mode items, two skill points, and pre-order incentive items. The Collector’s Edition will run you $229.99, but in addition to a digital game voucher and all Digital Deluxe content, it comes with a SteelBook® display case; 19-inch Collector’s Edition statue: Spider-Man Peter Parker, Spider-Man Miles Morales, and Venom; Arachknight Suit for Peter early unlock with three color variants; Shadow-Spider Suit for Miles early unlock with three color variants; Web Grabber gadget early unlock; three skill points.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder
Developer: Nintendo, Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development
Publisher: Nintendo, Nintendo of America Inc.
Release Date: October 20, 2023
Super Mario Bros. Wonder was announced in a Nintendo Direct in June of this year, and hearkens back to classic Mario games with its traditional side-scrolling play; it is the first such Mario game to feature this since New Super Mario Bros. U in 2012. As is typical with Nintendo games, Wonder is available exclusively for the Switch.
It takes place in the Flower Kingdom, a neighbor of the Mushroom Kingdom, where Bowser has transformed into a flying castle and is terrorizing the flower-shaped inhabitants. Players can choose from a number of familiar heroes to play as: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Toads, or Toadette. If you prefer a more casual platforming experience, you can opt to play as Yoshis or Nabbit, which are designated as beginner characters because they don’t take damage.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder combines classic platforming with fresh elements, such as new power-ups, badges that can be equipped to confer various perks, and multiplayer for up to four players (local or online), for a unique experience. The most notable new power-up is the Wonder Flower, which can either change level mechanics or transform the player character for added challenge.
The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria
Developer: Free Range Games
Publisher: North Beach Games
Platform: PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Release Date: October 24, 2023
Despite being a Tolkien fan, I’ve never really gotten any of the Lord of the Rings games, but The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria might just be the game that changes that. It’s a survival crafting game set in the fantasy world of Middle Earth, where the Dwarves are seeking to reclaim lost treasures from their ancestral home of Moria.
Players control a company of dwarves that have been summoned to the Misty Mountains by none other than Lord Gimli Lockbearer. There, they will mine, battle, and craft their way through the mines of Moria to extract resources and solve the dark mysteries hidden within. You’ll uncover ancient Dwarven artifacts, craft and upgrade your weapons and gear, build bases, and work to restore Khazad-dûm to its former glory—all while staying aware of factors like your light and noise level, lest you attract enemies.
You can play solo or co-op with up to eight players, and the environments are procedurally generated, so no two runs will be the same. The character creator allows you to create your own Dwarf character with a wide variety of customization options.