Dead Cells invites you to explore its sprawling, always-changing castle and fight its inhabitants in brutally challenging combat with no checkpoints.

Developer Motion Twin is more than aware of the fact that roguelikes are pretty much everywhere. They think that’s a good thing and they want you to play another one. They’re calling Dead Cells “the illegitimate child of the roguelike and the metroidvania”. Dubbed RogueVania, the aim is to fuse the progressive exploration of an interconnected world with the replayability of a classic roguelike and the “adrenaline pumping threat of permadeath”.

How does this work exactly? Dead Cells is attempting to use death in order to replace the usual backtracking you would find in your traditional metroidvania. Areas that seemingly cannot be reached will be presented to you, and you will have to find the answers as you explore the island. Those solutions could take many forms, including keys, skills, or spells. Once you uncover a solution, that knowledge will stay with you and allow you to unlock new paths.

The combat system is inspired by Dark Souls, which is hardly a surprise in this day and age. The developers are promising pattern-based bosses and minions, weapons and spells with unique gameplay. Just like a regular modern roguelike, Dead Cells has no checkpoints. When you die, that’s it. You have to start from scratch.

They also wanted to address the way they’re approaching procedurally generated level design: “We’re conscious that the words ‘procedural generation’ conjure up images of crappy levels and uninteresting gameplay in a lot of gamers’ minds. So we’ve chosen a hybrid solution, with each run being a mashup of carefully designed ‘chunks’ of level. The idea is to give you the feeling of meticulously handcrafted world, while making sure you have a new experience every time.”

There’s no firm release date for Dead Cells yet, but it is expected to arrive sometime in Spring 2017.

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