Building upon the foundations laid down by the iconic indie titles Rogue Legacy and The Binding of Isaac, Dead Cells roared into 2018 as one of the must-play indie sensations of the year. Developer Motion Twin already had the PC gaming world waiting on edge for this one after an extended period in Steam Early Access, but the final product shattered all expectations, not to mention it caught the console exclusive crowd totally off guard.
Dead Cells is essentially everything we love about the indie scene rolled into one nice package. At its heart, it’s a Metroidvania game, offering slick 2D action with constant character progression, cool power-ups, and an open-world, explorable setting. It’s a roguelike, never failing to deliver a new, unique experience every time you die and fire up the quest again. It sports a slick, pixelated look that triumphs over most other retro imitators, and the clever writing and flavor that pollutes the bottoms of its darkest dungeons is just as rewarding as the power-ups.
And yeah, it’s just a hell of a lot of fun. Dead Cells demands addiction, pushing any proud gamer to strive for just one more try, and for as much as it pulls you in, each playthrough guarantees rewards of some kind, even if its just a few more cells pumped into the next advancement you’re looking to make.
Daily challenges, a unique experience every time you turn it on, endless combinations of paths and power-ups at your disposal. More so than any other Metroidvania game in 2018, Dead Cells is likely the one with the longest legs. We’ll be seeing more of this on in 2019, whether its in the form of new DLC or just players organically returning to its infinite value.