Dead Cells

Run-based 9 / 10
Replay Value

An addictive, Metroidvania-esque rogue-lite that will push your determination to its limits.

$17 BUY

Overview At its core, Dead Cells is a rogue-lite, Metroidvania action-platformer. It has a very Dark Souls feel to it, in the sense that there is a focus on learning enemy patterns through repetition and death. One of the game's biggest draws is that with every run, your character gets stronger in various ways, such as through the soul system. You are given opportunities to spend the souls that you gathered from killing enemies for progress towards permanent unlocks. Once you purchase your first permanent unlock you are shown your progression through all of them in an adorable, hipsterish, mason jar feature. The second form of progression comes from time and exposure. Each enemy has specific attack patterns coupled with tells of which one they will perform. With enough time and deaths, eventually you will figure out the perfect moment and direction to dodge.

Controls The controls feel more natural and fluid than I have seen in a long time. Every point of damage taken feels entirely like the player's fault. This makes the player strive to master the controls, to be able to move with confidence, and get a rush of adrenaline from the fast-paced action.

Cool Features One of the most attractive features of Dead Cells is the weapons. You are given great freedom to customize each run and to discover which weapon combinations feel the most effective. You can go for a traditional run with a melee weapon and a shield for a close-combat, reactionary run, or you can run with a bow and a throwing knife for a projectile, distance-focused run. The number of choices are increased even more by skills like flash-bangs, auto-turrets and ice bombs. You can tailor your build as you go and play any way you want.

Is it for you? Early Access games have a tendency to be uncompleted or shallow, but Dead Cells is neither. It is an amazing game, and what has been released so far is worth your money. The developers are constantly adding to it, and the game just keeps getting better. If you like action-focused Metroidvania games, pixel art, and a good challenge, you'll have a great time with Dead Cells.