Dead Cells

Game review by Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Dead Cells Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 14+

Violent, randomized dungeon crawler is amusing challenge.

Parents say

age 11+

Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 9 reviews

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A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Story doesn't matter...

The story is only there to give a reason as to why you go about slaughtering all your enemies. Whenever you first start the game your only given a handful of weapons to use, and expand your arsenal by getting blueprints from, you guessed it, killing enemies! Whenever an enemy dies it results in blood splatter on the walls and what sometimes looks like bones/limbs falling to the ground. This isnt as bad as say DOOM, but some parents might not like it at all, I think it's just fine. What gets me to rate it at 12+ is the dialogue. You will find cursing among the dialogue, especially if your kid enters what is called a "lore room" (a room meant to expand on the games' story.) I'd allow my 11 year old sister to play it as long as I was there.

This title has:

Easy to play/use
Too much violence
Too much swearing
age 10+

Excellent Challenging Game

Dead Cells is a great metroidvania/roguelike game that focuses on learning. At first, the game is relatively simple as the player slashes through a few zombies but not long after the difficulty ramps up and becomes harder to handle. As the trailers and promotional material state you will get better, eventually. The new free DLC update provides a great post game challenge to run through that will put everything you as a player have learned, to the test. A big thing other parents I’ve talked to are concerned about is the game’s violence level since that is a big topic these days. Trigger warning: you do have to kill zombies, slime creatures, and other fictitious beasts. Weapons are of the medieval type such as swords, bows, and spears. The most technologically advanced device is a gadget reminiscent of a bear trap. The blood and gore factor is moderate but has a great amount of help from the actual gameplay and game design to decrease that. When you strike an enemy, yes, blood comes out and when an enemy is defeated they fall apart and blood comes out. Where the gameplay and game design decrease this is that the game is meant to be played very fast-paced and emphasizes fast movements to beat or evade enemies. When playing the game properly, the blood effect goes unnoticed due to the high speed gameplay required to win. The game is also two dimensional and pixelated (like older video games most parents are at least familiar with) meaning that blood is not realistic or could be mistaken by a child as something else since the art design doesn’t provide upmost clarity of the images represented. Other reviews state that the background is the real issue with the game, “There are piles of festering corpses, hacked-up people dangling from meat hooks, and there's a particularly memorable section where a person evidently hanged himself before turning into a monster.”. These concerns are, again, made irrelevant by the style of game play and game design. Speedy gameplay means that the background is seen as a blur of dark squares instead of gory depictions and pixelated art style means that images can be easily misinterpreted by even adults. The aforementioned content is merely an interpretation of what the collection of squares is. A pixelated lump with flies around it could be as easily a dung heap or a pile of trash. The “particularly memorable section where a person evidently hanged himself” could also be interpreted as “some ripped fabric hanging on by a chain” since the graphics are unclear and there is no context to prove that a person hanged themselves. Game design also assists in this department since interactions are completely optional and it took me many, many attempts at the game and in none of them have I found the situation wherein the character behaves inappropriately and “...kicks the hanging corpse to get some treasure...”. I initially bought the game for myself but have allowed my 10 and 13 year old sons to play seeing as there is nothing wrong with the game’s contents. I won’t sugarcoat it: the game gets HARD but with determination and problem solving both me and my children were able to beat the game on our own save files. I’m recommending this game for 10+ because younger children might not be able to handle the difficulty and dislike the game. To conclude, there is nothing wrong with the game content and the scariest part of the game is it’s daunting difficulty, if you think you child can handle that then I highly recommend this game to any who seek a great game and fun challenge.

This title has:

Easy to play/use

Game Details

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