In the cell of the prisoner, with Dead Cells

If you are one of those who thinks that in order to please a larger audience, video games have become too easy in recent years, Dead Cells a "rogue lite" that provides a degree of difficulty which is slightly higher than the average is definitely something for you.

Inspired by the classics of the old school, more specifically Metroid and Castlevania Dead Cells describes himself as a light "roguelike" or a "rogue-lite". It depicts a beheaded prisoner who, now that he has miraculously escaped death, now has to escape from the dungeon where he drains away. We only have one life to go as far as possible, and every time we die (which happens very often) we have to start from the very beginning. Fortunately, the paintings are randomly generated, and their plot is different every time we cross them, reducing the impression of repetition.

Image taken from the game

The mechanics of Dead Cells are easy to approach, but difficult to master. As with any good platform game, you have a jump (and a double jump) to reach inaccessible or hidden places. Each painting is full of secret areas, power parades to increase its possibilities, or schedules to get better weapons and equipment. Exploration therefore forms the core of the experience and to make it easier, a mini-map in the bottom corner of the screen always indicates exactly where someone is. Portals scattered around the paintings can also search every corner without having to constantly return to its steps.

The battle in Dead Cells consists of a button for attacking the sword and another for the bow or the shield. Traps or bombs are also obtained in the course of time. An exclamation mark appears on an opponent when it threatens to attack, leaving time to avoid the photo. Enemies kill gold coins, but also cells, the currency of the game that improves his health, his attacks or other aspects of his hero. You lose the contents of your inventory when you die, but fortunately some improvements are permanent and the obstacles that seemed insurmountable become much easier with time.

Image from the game [Visual Death Cells reminiscent of the period of the late 1980s when game developers such as Splatterhouse or the infamous Chiller discovered that they could illustrate the "blood" in detail thanks to the passage from 8 to 16 bits. We appreciate the Gothic aesthetic and retro, with its hung, stacks of corpses, decaying meat and potted crows. Although the game occasionally loses in the middle of a game (which is especially frustrating for a "roguelike"), the experience usually runs smoothly. In addition to the campaign, the title also offers daily challenges.

The adage says that "to defeat without danger, one triumphs without glory," and though it somewhat weakens his experience of "roguelike." Dead Cells is a beautiful homage to a time, not so long ago, when video games yielded a much more satisfying level of difficulty to overcome.


Dead Cells

Developer / Publisher : Motion Twin

Platforms : Linux, Mac OS X, PS4 , Switch, Windows, Xbox One (tested Xbox One)

Game available in French (only text on screen)

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