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Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 107 Ratings

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  • Summary: Dead Cells is a rogue-lite, metroidvania action-platformer. You'll explore a sprawling, everchanging castle... assuming you're able to fight your way past its keepers in 2D souls-lite combat. No checkpoints. Kill, die, learn, repeat. RogueVania: The progressive exploration of anDead Cells is a rogue-lite, metroidvania action-platformer. You'll explore a sprawling, everchanging castle... assuming you're able to fight your way past its keepers in 2D souls-lite combat. No checkpoints. Kill, die, learn, repeat. RogueVania: The progressive exploration of an interconnected world, with the replayability of a rogue-lite and the adrenaline pumping threat of permadeath. 2D Souls-lite Action: Tough but fair combat, more than fifty weapons and spells with unique gameplay, and of course, the emergency panic roll to get you out of trouble. Nonlinear progression: Sewers, Ossuary or Remparts? Once unlocked, special permanent abilities allow you to access new paths to reach your objective. Opt for the path that suits your current build, your play style or just your mood. Exploration: Secret rooms, hidden passages, charming landscapes. Take a moment to stroll the towers and breath in that fresh sea mist infused air...

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 34
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 34
  3. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Aug 6, 2018
    100
    If you want to play a worthy successor to the long line of Metroidvania classics and are willing to experience rogue-like difficulty to get it, Dead Cells is an experience worth having over and over again.
  2. Aug 6, 2018
    95
    Like the atomic structure of a cell, the game from Motion Twin is as complex as DNA, but everything is in one place for a reason. It effectively blends two genres together and becomes a completely new one, with mechanics adjusted to the millimeter, a graphic quality of scandal and a difficulty that invites one to die in order to learn.
  3. Aug 7, 2018
    95
    Dead Cells is likely the defining point of the Roguelike genre, thanks to refined combat and clever blending of genres.
  4. Aug 6, 2018
    90
    Dead Cells is a masterclass in excellent roguelike design, mixing together nonstop intense action sequences, gorgeous vistas, and an addictive loop of unlocks and rewards into a beautiful experience that no Switch owner will want to go without. There’s dozens, if not hundreds, of hours of content available here, and though some sense of repetition can creep in every now and then, it’s remarkable how fresh Dead Cells can stay through all those hours. This game is a blast to play, full of visual splendor, and packed with things to do; don’t miss out on this one, it’s a must-buy.
  5. Aug 7, 2018
    90
    Dead Cells is a masterful roguelike platformer with some of the most satisfying combat around and a beguilingly appealing dark-fantasy world to explore.
  6. Aug 6, 2018
    90
    With movement and combat this good it would be criminal to not see it appear more. If you love sidescrolling platformers with a healthy heaping of combat that will put your skills to the test, your next step should be buying Dead Cells.
  7. Aug 6, 2018
    80
    Being in development for such a long time, Dead Cells avoids the trap and lives up to its expectations. Nevertheless, only those brave enough to face its strong difficulty will be able to discover a deep and generous adventure. Despite a certain level of repetitiveness, even though the randomly generated levels still are hand-driven, Dead Cells' offers a brilliant artistic direction and a great but discreet soundtrack.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. Aug 7, 2018
    10
    Dead Cells is one of the most satisfying action games I've ever played. It takes the progression system of a Metroidvania and transforms itDead Cells is one of the most satisfying action games I've ever played. It takes the progression system of a Metroidvania and transforms it into a procedurally generated action roguelite with a steep but conquerable difficulty curve. Dead Cells delivers on everything from its fast and intensely gratifying, free-flowing combat to its wide variety of interesting weapons and upgrades.

    In Dead Cells, you fight your way through an ever-changing labyrinth of levels, all of which are accompanied by tense but rewarding boss fights. Its world starts off somewhat linear, but eventually opens up with multiple branching paths of different areas you can explore, all while you progress towards unlocking new weapons and abilities. You’re almost guaranteed to not make it all the way through on every run. You will die. But as your efforts lead you to blueprints for new gear or a permanent ability rune, it makes it all worth your while — even if you’re sure that death is waiting just around the corner.

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    Fallen enemies drop cells that you can use as a resource to buying those blueprints, giving you a sense of solace as you collect them after emerging from the depths of each stage. The trick with retrieving those dead cells, though, is that they’re only useful if you can make it to the hub area at the end of each level, which is where you invest those cells into the blueprints you need for new gear.

    When your hero dies, all of your gear disappears along with you. Although you can technically reach the final boss on a single run, there’s a good chance that you won’t, and a good chance you’ll oscillate between the victory of discovering and crafting new items and the draining sense of loss after all your work is lost on dying again and again.

    There were plenty of times where I died and lost all my dead cells just steps away from a hub area. But even those narrow calls just inspired me to keep playing and trying for a better run. That continuous leveling up through the acquisition of new blueprints and ability runes makes the RPG-like progression system in Dead Cells so compelling.

    Cellular Destruction
    The combat seems simple at first blush -- you have two weapon slots and two ability slots, all of which you can customize choosing from your list of what you’ve unlocked. But it didn't take long before I realized how well thought out this design really is. All of the equipment and ability sets feel like they were built to be complementary to one another, and while certain combinations are more natural fits than others, I found strengths to each of the permutations that the four weapon/ability slots afford you.

    Some pairings are genuinely diabolical, like a turret that poisons enemies alongside a sword that conveniently disseminates bonus damage to poisoned enemies. If you find a good match, it can quickly change the course of any run. You can try a technical build with a high-powered bow and a set of deadly traps, or you can brute force your way through with a sword and shield to parry. You're never locked into any specific build -- you can even change up your play-style in the middle of a run.


    Fights are fast, fluid, responsive, and one of the most gratifying representations of combat I've ever experienced.

    Gear like grenades, traps, and even spells can also go into your two ability slots, which may be my favorite design decision in Dead Cells’ combat construction. Most games limit your most useful skills with long cooldown timers or a limited mana system, but Dead Cells encourages you to use your deadliest gadgets with a fast recharge timer. It never punishes you for using your best tactics. Fights are fast, fluid, responsive, and hands-down one of the most gratifying representations of video game combat I've ever experienced.

    There’s also the mutation system, which adds another layer of diversity to how you can play. This is where you can choose from various buffs that enhance and alter your abilities. You have to choose carefully, though, because you can only carry up to three at a time and you can only change mutations between levels. The mutations you pick can ultimately be the determining factor between a victorious run or a one-way ticket back to the beginning.

    The Verdict
    Dead Cells strikes a perfect and engaging balance between the Metroidvania and roguelite experiences by focusing on your failures and urging you to experiment each time you do fail. There's more than enough variety in the combat to keep me hunting for blueprints that lend themselves to new and dynamic playstyles for weeks to come. Along with this highly addictive and rewarding gameplay, Dead Cells delivers one of the most satisfying and well-designed action roguelite experiences you can currently play.
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  2. Aug 10, 2018
    10
    If you want to play a worthy successor to the long line of Metroidvania classics and are willing to experience rogue-like difficulty to getIf you want to play a worthy successor to the long line of Metroidvania classics and are willing to experience rogue-like difficulty to get it, Dead Cells is an experience worth having over and over again. Expand
  3. Aug 20, 2018
    10
    Mejor rogue-lite de los últimos años, con gran variedad, combate entretenido y mucho coleccionismo. Recomendadísimo!
  4. Aug 16, 2018
    9
    Must-buy for the switch. Simple as that.

    Dead Cells is one of, if not *the* best looking pixel-art games to date. The soundtrack is also
    Must-buy for the switch. Simple as that.

    Dead Cells is one of, if not *the* best looking pixel-art games to date. The soundtrack is also fantastic, and the controls... There are only a handful of games that get the controls just perfectly right, and Dead Cells does.

    The gameplay loop is a tried-and-true formula: Procedurally generated dungeons, perma-death, and you, the player, trying to get to the end. Again and again. You can unlock a plethora of weapons and upgrades, so that the next run goes just a little bit smoother.

    If you are not looking for an amazing story, but rather for a hyper-fluid, face-paced rogue-lite action platformer: Search no more! Get Dead Cells! Like, right now...

    Only downside so far (and the reason for a 9 instead of a 10): The Switch version has some framerate drops from time to time. In most cases, this is not a problem, but it will occasionally end a run for you. The devs have already acknowledged this and are working on optimisations, so the 10/10 is just around the corner.
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  5. Oct 13, 2018
    9
    I was debating on getting Dead Cells because of all the hype and I'm glad I went with it. It has a Rogue Legacy feel to it, as in when you dieI was debating on getting Dead Cells because of all the hype and I'm glad I went with it. It has a Rogue Legacy feel to it, as in when you die you start over while slowly getting stronger to help progress through the game.

    The variety in weapons and ways to play the game helps negate the repetitiveness of grinding through the same few levels in the beginning and makes it less of a chore.

    The only con I'd say people can have with this game is if you get stuck at a certain level and being sent back to the beginning multiple times can get frustrating.
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  6. Sep 24, 2018
    9
    Finally beat this game after playing a good while. Dead Cells provides plenty of entertainment as you power up your character and get fartherFinally beat this game after playing a good while. Dead Cells provides plenty of entertainment as you power up your character and get farther and farther.

    Pros:
    - Good sense of progression and make the player feel the need to keep getting farther
    - The upgrade system and weapons overall were well done
    - Lots of different playstyles
    - Turrets

    Cons:
    - More bosses would have been cool
    - Unlocking a weapon you find out you didn't want - it would have been nice to be able to remove it from the random list
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  7. Oct 7, 2018
    4
    I don't know. It's not for me for sure. I totally fell for the hype, realising too late that it's one of those self generating map games -I don't know. It's not for me for sure. I totally fell for the hype, realising too late that it's one of those self generating map games - yuk. The graphics are well made, but somehow I even get bored by those...I have the same problem with Steamworld dig (which I also couldn't get into). It's well made, but I have zero desire to advance in this or let alone beat this game. Not for me Expand

See all 23 User Reviews