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An image with three thin rectangles stacked on top of each other, each displaying a screenshot from a different game. On the top is World of Horror, and below it are Jusant and Dave the Diver. Image: Cameron Faulkner, Will Joel/Polygon | Source images: Panstasz, Ysbryd Games, Don’t Nod, Mintrocket

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October games you might have missed

Shining a spotlight on some of this month’s deep cuts

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Chris Plante co-founded Polygon in 2012 and is now editor-in-chief. He co-hosts The Besties, is a board member of the Frida Cinema, and created NYU’s first games journalism course.

Welcome to October, aka peak video game season. If you gave the game release calendar a thwap with the ol’ broom, a few huge AAA-tier games would drop to the ground. Super Mario Wonder, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Alan Wake 2, and more will kick up a cloud that overshadows the arrival of smaller games — potentially great ones, even, from developers you might’ve heard of and new indie creators alike.

We don’t want to let these games slip by (and you’d probably like to know about them, right?), so as we do each month, we’ve rounded up a handful of notable game launches that you shouldn’t overlook. Stay tuned near the end of every month for our next batch of video game deep cuts.

Dave the Diver

Dave the Diver’s boat floats above the Blue Hole. The sushi restaurant can be seen in the background. Image: Mintrocket via Polygon

Where to play: Windows PC via Steam. Coming to Nintendo Switch on Oct. 26.

Since it graduated from Steam Early Access in October 2022, Dave the Diver has gradually won over much of the Polygon team. This summer, we awarded the version 1.0 PC release our Polygon Recommends badge. Now, this month, the cooking/management sim/scuba-diving action game swims onto the Nintendo Switch. Its episodic gameplay fits perfectly on the hybrid handheld console.

Lil Gator Game

An anthropomorphized gator with big eyes walks along power lines like a tight rope while wearing a bucket on their head in Lil Gator Game. The surrounding world is colorful and cute. Image: MegaWobble/Playtonic Friends

Where to play: PlayStation, Xbox consoles, Windows PC via Steam, and the Nintendo Switch.

In 2019, A Short Hike took the 10th spot on our annual games of the year list thanks to its chill gameplay with refreshingly few goals. Be a cool bird, meet some cool animals, and take a stroll in nature. Lil Gator Game feels like an evolution of A Short Hike. There’s a bit more stuff to be done in its adventure, but at no point does the game layer on pressure. Plus, it’s got the perfect autumnal vibes, making it not just a great hidden gem, but a great game to dig out every year when the leaves change color and the scent of pumpkin spice fills your local coffee shop.

Jusant

A climbing character works their way across a sheer cliff bathed in sunlight, with handholds visible in the foreground and platform structures further away. in Jusant Image: Don’t Nod

Where to play: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Windows PC via Steam on Oct. 31.

When we previewed this action-climbing game in August, Oli Welsh said, “It’s already one of my favorite experiences in a brilliant year for video games.” Needless to say, our hopes are high for the new game from French developer Don’t Nod. The adventure, in which you’re tasked with climbing a tower that would shame even the tallest skyscrapers, looks like a bold departure from Don’t Nod’s best-known games: the narrative-heavy Life Is Strange series. That’s part of the appeal. In an industry that often financially incentivizes creatives to do the same thing over and over again, we’re happy to see a studio reaching for something new.

Wizard with a Gun

Where to play: Windows PC via Steam, Xbox Series X, and on PlayStation 5.

It’s been two years since the reveal of Wizard with a Gun. Judging from recent gameplay videos, the creators of the cooperative sandbox action game used that time to add more wizards and more guns. Reasonable! The end result looks like a blend of Don’t Starve, twin-stick shooters, and action-heavy roguelikes. But frankly, I’m surprised you’re still reading this. With a name like Wizard with a Gun, you probably made your purchase decision many sentences ago.

Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1

Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid Image: Konami Computer Entertainment Japan/Konami via Polygon

Where to play: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation consoles, Xbox Series X, and Windows PC via Steam on Oct. 24.

I know what you’re thinking: How is Metal Gear Solid an overlooked video game? Sadly, its own developer has neglected the classic series for years. Until this collection, playing the first three Metal Gear Solid games on modern video game consoles was impossible. For real, three of the most influential video games of all time simply were unavailable to play legally. It’s unfortunately a perfect example of why video game preservation has been largely left to ROMs and emulation. So when we do get releases like this, it’s worth a small celebration. We need publishers to make their games widely available and easy to access. For example, Konami could let me buy a physical copy of P.T.

Ghostrunner 2

A cube deconstructs itself as a man with a sword in first-person view watches in Ghostrunner 2 Image: One More Level/505 Games

Where to play: PS5, Xbox Series X, and Windows PC via Steam on Oct. 26.

The original Ghostrunner accomplished a rare feat: first-person platforming that actually works. Austen Goslin wrote: “Ghostrunner is a perfect example of what happens when a developer works within the limitations of an underappreciated genre and pulls the absolute best from it.” So where does a sequel go from there? What’s faster than a cyber ninja?

Motorcycles. Yes, dear reader, Ghostrunner 2 builds on the futuristic ninja fantasy by handing the player keys to bikes that would fit comfortably in Akira. We’re excited to give them a test drive.

Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged

Where to play: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox consoles, and Windows PC via Steam.

Hot Wheels Unleashed was one of 2021’s best surprises, a brand tie-in that delivered tight driving and a playful sense of scale. As with Ghostrunner 2, we’re hopeful the follow-up will give the developers a chance to build upon the initial success. The sequel includes over 130 cars, a story campaign, and, of course, an elaborate track builder. Because what fun is playing with Hot Wheels if you can’t string together yards of orange plastic loops?

World of Horror

Where to play: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation consoles on Oct. 26. Available now on and Windows PC via Steam and itch.io.

Polish developer Paweł Koźmiński released World of Horror in early access in fall 2020. You know what other game launched in early access in fall 2020? Baldur’s Gate 3. And like Baldur’s Gate 3, World of Horror plays with cosmic horror and the terrifying prospect of creepy-crawlies getting into your brain. And they’re both role-playing games.

Am I saying World of Horror will be the next role-playing phenomenon? No. Honestly, I’m just putting the names next to each other because I hope Baldur’s Gate 3’s success might rub off on this comparably underappreciated gem.

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