Endlessly Entertaining and Replayable.
Motion Twin’s Dead Cells is morbid, quirky and hilarious. Having the vibe and feel of 8-bit classics like Metroid and Castlevania, Dead Cells is also punishing and grueling. It’s a game that makes you treasure each arrow thrown and sword swung, and that runs into no snags when it comes to controls. As expected, it runs great on PC and most platforms but it also runs incredible on Android.
Dead Cells is sparse in plot and story, providing you with details that keep you guessing and wondering. You play a slime-like creature that in the opening seconds of the game crawls inside a headless body and possesses it. As The Prisoner, you have to fight your way out of a dungeon, crawling with all sorts of enemies, bosses, mystery, treasure and loot. The more you battle, the stronger you get, learning new recipes for weapons, how to beat enemies of different skill sets and earning perks and powers. Then there’s permadeath; once your character dies, you lose all your gold, weapons and perks. The map starts over and restructures itself, forcing you to start the level from scratch.
No Plot? No Problem.
Dead Cells is punishing but the great thing about it is that it’s never boring. Although you may be playing your fifth playthrough on the same map, there will always be some quirk, a secret room to be discovered, or a charming character that will make it all worth it. The weapon and perk blueprints you amass as you play are permanent, and while it may be frustrating to lose a particularly cool sword or the trove of gold you reaped while battling enemies and having some luck, your progress and knowledge remains. Dead Cells encourages you to chip away at the game and to learn from your failures.
The controls are simple, with your character having different buttons on the right side of the screen for a sword, a bow and arrow, a shield and more. At first, you only have the choice of two weapons, limiting your options. As you play, your arsenal expands, with Cells offering up a healthy-sized cache of weapons, upgrades and traps. On the left side of the screen there’s a thumbstick that appears wherever you put your finger on, whether that’s the top part of the screen or the bottom. It’s a smart feature that adapts to a variety of cellphones, screen sizes and play styles.
Endless Death Minus all the Frustration
The more you play, the more cells you collect with them acting as in-game currency. With enough cells you can buy perks that increase your health, how powerful your defense is or the damage that your ranged weapons can deal. These small adjustments allow for you to play in any way you want; in one map you may kill all of your enemies with sword attacks and on the next map you may choose to be strategic, placing traps and using ranged weapons. These features and weapons have a color code, which allow you to quickly understand their purpose.
Despite the great design, throwback feel, awesome music and engrossing mythos, Dead Cells ultimately works because it’s satisfying. It feels good to jump around, kick down doors, dodge enemies, launch arrows and swing your sword. While beautiful design and cool mythos push the game forward, Dead Cells remains incredibly simple. You kill monsters and you grow stronger. Rinse and repeat.
Is it hardcore?
Dead Cells is a bad ass game, from how it looks to how smoothly and quickly it runs across all platforms. With an endless variety of maps and a large host of challenging monsters, it’s a game any gamer would want to play on their Android device.