October’s best new indie games for Windows Phone 8

Just in time for Halloween, some great new monster-themed games have arrived in the Windows Phone Store. Continuing our monthly round up of the Store’s best new indie titles (as determined both by your reviews and our in-house experts), here are seven new or updated games worth playing.

You’ll also find these and other recommendations in our Next Big Thing Collection. And if you think I missed a promising new arrival, make sure to call it out for everyone in comments!

Reaper

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This epic RPG takes you deep into the Wilderness, a land of magic, monsters, and challenging quests. Suit up in custom armor, choose your sabre, then slay enemies—by the thousands—on your journey to becoming the Black Swordsman. Level up your character with skills you choose, all in a graphically gorgeous, exquisitely detailed world (free; WP8). Download it

Manuganu

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Little Manuganu is off and running—and jumping, and sliding, and rope climbing—anything to keep moving and avoiding obstacles. In this twist on a running game, Manuganu possesses the ability to halt the boulders, swing hammers, and move ice blocks that come his way (if his timing is right). You can switch him from running mode to rope-climbing mode when needed, but be warned: It won’t necessarily make Manuganu’s journey any easier ($0.99;WP8). Buy it

Sunny Hillride

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Here’s the road trip to end all road trips: a wildly turbulent, crazy family journey with a blur of changing landscapes and even your pet parrot on board. There are challenges—cars need gas, remember—and daredevil stunts that risk losing the roof-top luggage pile. Want a perfect score? You’ll have to get everyone to the your destination intact, together—just like any good family vacation ($1.99; WP8). Buy it

Fortress Under Siege

Fortress

There’s a gruesome onslaught ahead, and you’re the last loyal general in this medieval kingdom. Your mission: train soldiers, archers, and horsemen for battle, fortifying the realm against invaders. But there’s more. You’ll also need to reinforce battlements with catapults, construct barracks and workshops, dig flaming tar pits on the field, and guard the gold against wave after wave of enemies. Your reward? If you work things right, you just might win the hand of your late king’s daughter (free;WP8). Download it

Moonlight Runner

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Beautiful, eerie and evocative, this game casts you as the Moonlight Runner, jumping to collect as many golden bugs as possible in a mysterious, glowing landscape. It’s both entrancing and exciting, all the way through ($0.99;WP8). Buy it

Monster Stack 3 HD

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Stacking monsters sounds easy, but the laws of physics aren’t always on your side. In this sequel to a Windows Phone favorite, you play 30 levels and hundreds of high-quality user-created levels, too. With HD graphics, a brand new animation engine, and a slew of monsters, the stacking fun has just begun. (Free;WP8). Download it

The Wars 2 Evolution

Stone

From the Stone Age to the jet age, strategy has been a key to survival. That’s the premise of this game, which has you moving across millennia to destroy an enemy’s base. Sounds simple, but as tacticians from Napoleon to Custer know, the battlefield is rarely what it seems. Choose your weapons—even super weapons—balance defense and attack, and take part in a war spanning the evolutionary chain, right out into space ($1.29;WP8) Buy it