Dead Cells Review – Not Dead In Its Cells

Dead Cells Review

There are a lot of great games and ideas in early access, and Dead Cells is one of them. But many of them seem to be staying forever within the realm of early access. And when they do come out, only a handful of them is truly deemed to be ready and not riddle in bugs. I’m happy to say that Dead Cells is one of those handfuls.

Dead Cells is an indie 2D side-scrolling action game with a slight touch of platformer. It’s a hybrid of both Roguelite and Metroidvania, hence promoting itself as Roguevania. Hoping to start a new genre of gaming perhaps?

While that change remains to be seen in the unforeseeable future, the changes that are certain in the present is the state of Dead Cells. It’s been over a year since it’s been out of its cell, and just as long as since I last played it. Due to a deep impression I have for it, I can clearly notice the changes the game has since then. The U.I is more polished, new weapons and skills added to its already decent size pool and to make it so blatantly obvious, new enemies and levels. To top it all off, they added a story to it. It is not complete without having some sort of story.

Dead Cells | Motion Twin

To summarize, it would be more content and fewer bugs, hopefully. As the developers don’t provide a patch note for it. It’s in a state that developers have deemed it to be complete. Though in my honest opinion, I believe the majority of the people who stay¬†around until now, find that the addition of the lore is a wonderful touch to an already solid game. A perfect way to complete the game.


You play as a silent gooey slime that attached itself to a decapitated body. Though incapable of speech, you are able to understand them and respond with bodily gesture. You don’t know how you die or why are you in a prison, but one thing is for certain, you aren’t sticking around in that prison forever.

As you make your way through an ever-changing corridor with each new run, you will progress towards new areas such as a hunting village, sunset castle towers and a black bridge. With each of them having enemies that are unique to its area. The new enemies are smarter and tougher, and ignoring them entirely is fine too. As Dead Cells rewards you by giving access to a certain door in each area if you’re able to reach it before a specific timing. And what lies behind said door? I wouldn’t know as it is locked shut in front of me.

Dead Cells | Motion Twin

You start off with a very basic weapon at the start of every run until you unlocked a new weapon. Don’t worry too much about that as there are tons of weapons waiting to be discovered, along with skills. Wielding exotic weapons like a rapier that deals crits after a roll or a deadly sword that always crits when your health is below 50%. This makes every run a thrilling experience.

Unlike weapons, you don’t start with skills right off the bat. You obtained through chest, merchants or just off the floor at times, and you won’t know what skills you will get for your current run. This applies to weapons too. Making your load-out for each playthrough different every time.

With each new weapon and skills unlocked, the chances of you having the exact loadout as your previous run it’s abysmally small. This, in turn, compels you to learn how to handle the various weapon and skills. Making every run a learning experience and at the same time, pulling your mentality away from a one-way playstyle.

Dead Cells LoadoutDead Cells | Motion Twin

It’s extremely easy to see why such a gameplay is easily addictive. You are constantly learning. Your skills are improving and you get better with every run. Its fast-paced combat and slippery smooth attack animations will get your adrenaline pumping. There can be no room for error, and overconfidence will kill you.

Then again, death is just a beginning. Opening new doors of possibility and compels me to go again for another run. Maybe I can go plus ultra for this next run. Or is it naught but an illusion.

Dead Cells | Motion Twin

Visual & Sound

You will be greeted by a stunning pixel art, accompanied by a mysteriously alluring plucking of strings, yet sounding more ominous with each passing second. All the while inviting you to pay a visit to the beautifully pixelated drawn island you see. I spend a few good minutes at the main menu appreciating the beauty that befalls upon my eyes and ears before venturing further.

The animation is amazingly fluid that it is able to portray the weight of each weapon through visual cue. A heavy weapon strike that doesn’t feel too sluggish and slow yet contain tremendous power behind a single swing. The rapid thrust of a rapier that feels fast and precise with every stab. It’s an animation work of the highest quality.

Dead Cells | Motion Twin

You might think with the success of Dead Cells, the developers are ready to shelf the game and work on a new title. Leaving Dead Cells dead in its cell. But they are not ready to shelve the game just yet, as they are working on a new big update for post-release content. Hooray for more content!


Dead Cells is a must have for everyone who wants an amazing 2D action game experience. Its addictive gameplay will make you stay for one more run. But truly you will return for more as its lore and pixelated art seem to be but a neat decorative feature to a solid gameplay.

Platform: PC(Windows, Linux, OS X), PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
Publisher: Motion Twin
Developers: Motion Twin
Rating: Amazing (93 out of 100)
Hours Played: 17hrs

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