Tagged With dead cells

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When most games today focus on streamlined experiences that promote steady progress, there’s something almost anachronistic about the roguelike, with its constant restarts and uneven level design. And yet it’s in this environment that the formula has blossomed and spread into countless different genres, precisely because of those factors. With this summer’s Dead Cells the latest of its kind to find success, it’s clear that there are still countless ways to tweak that formula into subtly different, compelling results.

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It's understandable why a lot of indies would find more success on the Switch over other platforms, given the eShop's smaller library of content and ease of use. But you'd think that games with almost universal acclaim like Dead Cells would sell just as well on major consoles, given the user base is many millions more.

Turns out that's not the case.

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In my first game of Dead Cells, I died after about four minutes. In my most recent one, I lasted almost an hour. The time difference between those two attempts says a lot about how Dead Cells evolves as you play it, and how you evolve alongside it.

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If you’re one of the many millions who regularly peruse what the Switch eShop or Steam store shelves have to offer, chances are that at some point you’ve thought “Phwoar, that indie game looks incredible!” The huge range of smaller titles being released every week include plenty that showcase a team or individual’s pure artistic vision – free of the compromise and blandness that can render triple-A art styles so utterly boring. A subset even choose to tantalise our nostalgia buds not by updating games we’ve already played – that’s for the big boys to handle – but by harnessing the power of the pixel.

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My favourite moment in Dead Cells so far came right after I won my first boss fight. I gained the ability to make climbable vines sprout from certain surfaces, allowing me to access areas I hadn't previously been able to. Classic Metroidvania stuff, right? The twist: Dead Cells' levels, unlike those of a Castlevania or Metroid, aren't permanent. But my new ability was.