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Dead Cells review
by NafaryusDestiny

Dead Cells makes a great first impression. A metroidvania inspired rogue-lite with itemization on the scale of Binding of Isaac sounded too good to be true.

It was. It quickly turned into that game I'll maybe play a single run of every few days, which is a real shame because the combat is fast, fluid, and engaging enough that I'd play a non-rogue game with it in a heartbeat. 

My first run of Dead Cells was the most fun I had in this game: Unlocking new abilities, learning the ropes, and finally defeating the "final" boss, all on my first try. I thought the game was too easy. Luckily, it seems you unlock harder difficulties each time you clear the final boss. So I switched to Hard mode and continued playing. I welcomed the extra challenge and started exploring for the remaining permanent upgrades that were locking me out of content. After a few attempts, I quickly realized that I had screwed myself. I was unlocking whatever items looked cool. Unfortunately, this is the worst possible strategy and permanently makes your save file less effective by diluting your item pool with shitty situational weapons and skills.

The itemization is nowhere near Binding of Isaac's level. You heavily rely on finding a weapon that matches your color (Red/Purple/Green) and isn't too situational to be good (bonus damage to bleeding enemies, for example, would be pretty terrible if you have no bleeding sources). Otherwise it turns into a game of cat and mouse with even the lowliest of enemies. Normally, this heavy of an RNG component would not be a bad thing for a rogue-like game, but Dead Cells runs last upwards of an hour, with most of the run being preparation for the final boss, because that's so much more challenging than the rest. Speaking of item modifiers, that's the extent of the synergies between items in this game. Some items apply status effects, others benefit from hitting someone with a status effect.

The randomization is okay at best. Level layouts change in small ways, but not enough to be memorable. I partially attribute this to the art style. It also creates poor enemy/environment clarity and some questionable animations.

I'm sure Dead Cells is a fine rogue-lite, but everything about it just felt like it was playing it safe with the typical rogue-lite formula. Nothing about it besides its obvious metroidvania roots felt interesting enough for me to stick around. It focuses too heavily on making you play over and over again to incrementally unlock all the game's features and items, as opposed to Isaac's approach of "if you're good enough, you could get every Completion Mark in a single run." The final straw for me, though, was the game crashing after every death, as if it was trying to tell me to stop playing.

Other reviews15

«Just one more turn»
«Can’t stop playing»
«Can’t stop playing»
the random level generation is top notch, the character controls swimmingly, and the boss battles are pretty neat.
the plot is...well, there's not much of a plot, but that's ok - this game is about endless fun with varied playthroughs. if that's what you're looking for, go for it; simply not for me.
My first impressions of the game was that the combat was fun, but the game itself was too grindy. This improved somewhat as I persisted. It definitely takes a few hours of dying prematurely to unlock enough upgrades for the game to become an enjoyable challenge. The pace of the gameplay makes for a riveting combat experience. Each move feels crisp and every encounter feels like there is a way to outskill the enemy with enough skill and speed.  Once you are desensitised to dying and starting over, the game itself becomes quite mesmerising and it is easy to whittle away a few hours without even realising it. 
«Just one more turn»
Every run in this game is a different experience
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
Early Access Review Hi Folks, Dead Cells is a super handsome rogue Lite with good Game flow. There's really a lot Of Equipment, which requires a creative Way of playing from the Player. The Pixelart display can also be seen, just picturesque! So far, the Game excites me all along the Way, although it is still in the EA. Can only recommend the Game! Who Has Interest, here are my Youtube recordings of the Game:
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
What could be Better than making Enemies Bleed with a Weapon, for Example, and doing more Damage with the other 150% should the Opponent bleed? Right-rather little! The Whole thing is then paired with a combat system, which is mega smooth and makes each individual Round an Adventure. The Controls are super simple and work flawlessly and super liquid! Items unlockable By Souls make each Run unique and you'll notice how to get a little further from Time to Time. It's like, for Example, "The Binding of Issac," where you say to yourself, "Ah, one Round yet ..." And you then sit in front of it until 4:00 o 'clock, because you have found a new, cool Weapon with matching Attributes again. So the following applies: THE AND RETRY!
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
Early Access Review Dead Cells is a Kind of "Rouge like ' ́ ', Jump and Run, Darksoul's Retro Mischling: In the game you collect, mainly by killing enemies, souls (Cells) that you invest in items that you can find in the Game after the Free Switch. With these you fight your way through many Levels and Counters And Bosses. While these Layers always have a Basic Theme, they are randomly generated, like the Items you find. When the Caracter dies, you lose all The cells, Items and Properties that you have accumulated and you regrow in the Initial Room. Thus, after each Death, one has to master the "new ' Level with new Items to be found. And so far, this results in a unique Game for In Between and more. Those who can live with It can get lost that part of your Progress in death can look forward to the following:-very good and fluid Feel-gloomy and fibrote-rich Pixel Graphics-matching Sountrack-despite the Loss of advance progress at Death, always a Small one General Step-Diversity in The Reliance Of an Inviual Game by Item And Lvl Options-Long-Term Motivation by Pvp Leaderboards and Challenges-a Game that you can play both in between and Full-time The Game is pure learnig by doing. Just start and you get introduced to most of the Basics. Since at Checkpoints you can refresh your Health again and again and invest your previously hard-won Cells you only ever lose as much at Death as you can cope well. If you like the Graphics and the Game Cheat Mechanics, you should just get into it. A unique Game with many good Iddes and even in Development. A clear Recommendation from my Side.

+ Weapon variety (many different approaches)
+ Runes offering new areas and carry over
+ Spending cells for upgrades (Dark Souls style)

- Opening biomes quickly get boring
- Chaotic boss fights feel less tactical
Amazing game. My second favourite game that I've played on the Nintendo Switch. Some random difficult spikes and somewhat feeling repetitive kept this from being an "exceptional" review, but that doesn't stop it from something I would recommend to everyone.