The undisputed champ for October is the latecomer Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus. Sure the action isn’t anything special (but it’s still good), but the sometimes serious, sometimes insane story gives that fighting more context. There are some serious wtf moments where if things were more purple I’d think I was playing a Saints Row game. Having some story elements be relevant with the today’s real world helps pull me in.
Runners Up (in order)
The Golf Club 2: I haven’t had so much fun in computer golf ever. Some poor hole placement can mar otherwise enjoyable courses as you can feel like you’re putting on a pitched roof. Slowly rolling balls can also decide to continue for another 20 yards, only to be stopped by the fringe or rough. Fortunately not all courses are like this. It can also be difficult to pull that controller stick straight back and push it forward, but the game feels so good. Playing friend’s ghosts ratchets the tension up too. Practice makes perfect as I’ve seen my scores drop from the +20s down to -7.
Cuphead: My thoughts are similar to @Rock8man. Such great art and style. I’m stuck on island 2 and haven’t played much lately. Hopefully I’ll be able to get over the hump so I can see what else the game has in store. There have been some areas I have had to try a ton of times (like an Ornstein and Smough amount) but finally got through. It only keeps getting harder.
Big Pharma: I didn’t play a lot of it this month, but it was enough to remind me that I really do need to beat all of the scenarios. So rewarding building an efficient production line, combining and shaking up ingredients.
Pinball FX 3: The new release and a couple tournaments prompted me to come back for some pinball. It’s too easy for me to get fixated on beating scores, so I need to take a more moderate approach to playing this game. Also, after having a long game at a particular table it’s hard to want to come back and try it again.
Mixed Feelings - but still worthwhile.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar: I enjoyed my first 15 hours quite a bit. The artwork is great. There are enough choices in the combat to stay interesting. The player needs to manage the mana / overcharge used to power some abilities, consider how long abilities take, combine attacks that have synergy. On the other hand, some abilities seem clearly more useful to steer the player down familiar roads. Also, the game seems tuned to encourage some replaying of dungeons to level up your characters enough. It hasn’t been as bad as some comments on Steam led me to believe, but I rather have the designers tune the game so any grinding isn’t necessary. Also, the dungeons have cool looking traps, but they don’t really play a big part as they are typically avoided very easily.
Bottom of the 9th: This game has made be swear more times then The Gold Club 2 did. I doubt the dice are loaded against the player, but sometimes I failed enough die roles running the bases so the more irrational side of me started to consider that the dice were fixed. There is too much luck for me to really put this game in the upper tier, but I had a good time beating the different challenges the game sets up. Still, it captured some of the feel of baseball. Working over the pitchers to the point of knowing what they were going to pitch was satisfying.
A Boy and His Blob: A pretty simple platformer that I am playing with my son. Not sure it would hold my attention if I were playing it on my own. The blob mechanic of transforming it into useful things is kinda cute.
Zafehouse Diaries: This was close. It had great atmosphere and I liked the feeling of managing the survivors, but things seemed too arbitrary. I really could have skipped this one, but it almost pulls things off so I upgraded it to this tier.
The Deadly Tower of Monsters: This is only worth playing for a couple hours to enjoy the zany campiness of the story. The actual gameplay is pretty boring but experiencing some of the humor makes putting up with it for a short time worth while.
Solar Settlers: Still play several games a month of this, trying to unlock all of the races. I think it was a poor choice by the dev to require the player to play more and more games to unlock the later races. Winning 10 times with the prior race to unlock the next one would be reasonable, but not the ever increasing requirements the game has.
Shoulda coulda Skipped
Tales of Maj’ Eyal: I just find the combat system fairly dull. It’s not like the story is engaging enough to pull me along for more.
Spellforce 2: Finally got around to trying out this series. I may have liked it back in my Age of Empire days, but these days I prefer something slower and that encourages better use of tactics more strongly. Needing to use the hero abilities while keeping an eye on the troops can be a bit annoying.