Dead Cells is running rampant as one of the biggest indie success stories of 2018. The game erupted from Steam Early Access onto consoles with a huge boost from advertising, dominated Twitch within a week of release, crushed the critics’ gauntlet with huge scores, and… yeah, is doing pretty well.
Especially on the Nintendo Switch, where the game is highlighting just how far the indie scene has come under the guidance of the Big N. One of the game’s marketers stated in an interview with Destructoid at PAX West that the game, so far, has sold four times better on the Switch than it has on the PlayStation 4.
Playing games like Dead Cells, which can be enjoyed in both short bursts and long sessions, on both a handheld console or a home console is an option that only the Nintendo Switch can provide. This versatility is one of the many reasons the indie scene is thriving on the Switch.
As Destructoid points out, the Switch’s 20 million units in the wild has to be compared with the 76 million PlayStation 4’s. This disparity shows that gamers have different priorities on the Switch than they do the PlayStation 4, a console that works better for big-budgeted AAA games best enjoyed on large televisions.
Dead Cells is a hybrid action platformer that combines the exploratory tendencies of “Metroivania” games with the randomly generated level design of roguelikes. Progress is made through the death of the character, who gets stronger each time he perishes on his escape from an island prison. With each passing attempts, players should have the strength to push a little further to unlock more power-ups and eventually reach the endgame.
In other words, it’s a sort of spiritual successor to indie favorite Rogue Legacy with a heavier focus on combat and character movement. Not a bad combination.
Dead Cells is available for the PlayStation4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.