One Death at a Time – Dead Cells (Switch Review)

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Dying is the name of the game in Motion Twins’ Dead Cells. You begin the cycle of life and death as you try to find your way out of this endless dungeon. Dead Cells gives players an action roguelike adventure that forces them to learn from their mistakes and adapt to new situations. The first step into this adventure is finding your footing. Why should you spend your time dying again and again in the dungeons of Dead Cells?

Dead Cells takes place in an unyielding dungeon full of enemies and challenges to overcome. It is in this dungeon where you continuously return after dying within one of the island’s many chambers. Each time you come back from the grave you learn new things about your circumstance. As you progress through the maze you will discover ways to upgrade yourself and come back stronger. All to make it further through the dungeon then you have before. Dead Cells takes this idea and runs with it, not really focusing on a story but instead setting you in a world full of dangers that you must overcome to make it to the end of the dungeon.

The game’s number one mechanic is the endless recycling of your life. Every time you die you come back to the beginning and start your trial all over again. The first couple of deaths are needed to understand what is happening to you. Soon after this, you will begin acquiring new weapons and upgrades to help improve your chances of survival. These upgrades include skills, healing potions, better starting weapons, magic and loads more gadgets. All of which will make the game more accessible and more fun to play.

While you might think replaying from the beginning, again and again, would be dull, Dead Cells gives you a fresh new labyrinth each time you return. So each new life gives you brand new challenges as you try to discover the way, out dealing with anything that comes your way in the process. Each time you must find your way to the exit, making your way through a new layout. Repeating these dungeons will give you the skills to adapt to all the new enemies you encounter through the next few levels, every life gives you a chance to improvise getting through enemies faster each time you encounter them. As you get further through the game, you will notice a change as you take better care and make smarter decisions when facing powerful enemies.

Dead Cells comes from a generation of dungeon crawlers like of Castlevania and Metroid. These titles force you to upgrade to survive, encountering more challenging enemies the further you make it through your adventure. Dead Cells has taken this one step further, finding itself in a marketplace that enjoys titles like Dark Souls or Bloodborne, games that force you to face challenging enemies that will most likely kill you.

Combining these elements creates a dungeon crawler that forces you to make every moment count while trying everything to survive till the end.  While Dead Cells keeps gamers entertained through its ever-changing landscape, it does still feel very repetitive at times, this becomes less so as you make your way further through the dungeons it can be a slow getting back in after a long run. Though this is a small problem in the grand scheme of things as it feels exciting getting deeper into different layers of the dungeon and discovering new ways to tackle challenges.

This all lead to an entertaining experience for any gamers looking for a challenge and hopes of getting lost in a new dungeon crawler. Throwing your time into this game becomes so much more comfortable with the help of the Switch. Getting through multiple levels of the game has never been easier taking it anywhere you would like, never having to put the game down. The real challenge is stopping once you get into the flow of taking down enemies and advancing through the dungeons. Dead Cells will require all of your attention as you take on this action adventure one death at a time.