Dead Cells (Review)

Dead Cells
Developed and Published by Motion Twin

As a gamer born and raised in the late 70s-early 80s, I’m used to certain games I’d call classics. The old school 2D side scrollers, the 8-bit graphics and the games that didn’t require anything more than a CRT television (that’s the big, bulky, heavy ones). Nowadays, games that are highly advertised have the newest graphics, bigger bangs for the buck, and usually a $60 price tag. Just the last reason alone causes someone like myself to usually not pick up a game until it’s been out a while or has a really good sale on it. Luckily, you can have great gaming experiences with games that don’t kill your account balance.

The Game

One such game has been giving me a real nostalgia trip. It’s a 2D, side scrolling action adventure game called Dead Cells. The premise is deceptively simple: you’re a prisoner, recently deceased but you come back… repeatedly. You start with the most basic of tools (sword and either bow or shield) and try to escape. First time around, not likely to happen (my attempt got me to the second zone) because you have one life and done. However, with each attempt you gain cells that allow you to upgrade skills, mutations, and available items you can unlock for The Collector.

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A view of The Collector’s display of your items.

The concept of the permadeath game has honestly been one I usually shied away from due to the permanent death bit. I’m a good gamer however not to some of the death-defying abilities of some of my fellow gamers. Venturing out of your comfort zone is something that we should all do to freshen up our adventure. Dead Cells does take the permadeath game and elevates it with its story line, in-game lore, and ability to broaden as you continue to play.

My attempts after about 8 hours of gameplay

The Review

Overall, Dead Cells is a high energy platformer that will literally try to kill you at every turn. The collection and unlock aspect of the game helps build up your ability to survive. The lore within the game will draw you into the world and learn more about what’s going on. The graphics are luscious and give depth to a game that only exists in two dimensions. Sounds and music seriously take the world and surrounds you warmly.

The game takes skill, patience and time to play. It is definitely not going to be a game you finish after just a very long weekend. You can try to go right from beginning to end however you’ll miss quite a lot of the game, not to mention things hidden you’ll need. Within the game itself are currently five runes which give your prisoner extra abilities. Vine building and teleportation are just a couple of them. These runes allow access to secret areas for more items, like recipes for items and scrolls. This game is undoubtedly one that has serious replay value!

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The entrance to the Dilapidated Arboretum, a new zone in the Bad Seed DLC

Motion Twin isn’t just sitting on its perch and is putting out DLC for Dead Cells. The Rise of the Giant DLC has been out and is currently available for free. Their new DLC, Bad Seed, has released this week and adds three new areas that will freshen up the game for long time players. The DLC is pricing out at $4.99 on the Steam Store and is available now. If the Castlevania and Metroid-like games have been one you’ve wanted to try, give Dead Cells a seriously great chance. It’s ready to challenge you!

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