Best Games Like Dead Cells

Dead Cells is a fantastic game. If you like playing Dead Cells, you will love this list of the best games like Dead Cells. Find your next game now!

Motion Twin’s critically-acclaimed indie roguelite Dead Cells blends Metroidvania-style exploration with demanding Soulslike combat for a unique and satisfying action-platforming experience.

While the game does a great job of delivering on its core premise, there are plenty of games similar to Dead Cells that fans will want to check out once they’ve had their fill.   

In this list, we’ll highlight the best games like Dead Cells to play in 2021, including the best roguelites like Dead Cells and best Metroidvanias like Dead Cells.

We’ll be updating this list in the future with new titles, so make sure to check back and let us know if we missed any of your favorite games similar to Dead Cells!

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Our first recommendation for anyone who enjoys Dead Cells is Skul: The Hero Slayer, a similar 2D roguelite action-platformer about a small cape-wearing skeleton hero.

Due to his bony makeup, Skul has a cool ability that lets him swap out his head with different skulls to modify stats such as damage, attack range, and movement speed, as well as unlock new powers.

Combine this with a vast arsenal of weapons tailored for different playstyles and you end up with a lot of creative options for tackling each challenge.

Like Dead Cells, there’s a lot of flexibility to Skul’s combat system and you’ll constantly find yourself having to improvise and explore a variety of strategies from run to run.

Most modern roguelites (and roguelikes) can be traced back to Rogue Legacy, which helped pave the way for the genre as it stands today.

Here, we’re recommending the sequel, Rogue Legacy 2, which is currently in Steam Early Access and features a similar gameplay loop to that of Dead Cells.

In it, you play as a hero with distinct traits that get passed down through a family tree; each death sees you spawning in as a new relative who may inherit those same traits or be assigned their own.

Like Dead Cells, the game uses procedural generation to determine the layout of its ever-changing dungeons and features various weapon and enemy types to master.

Although Hades and Dead Cells may feature different camera perspectives, with one being 2D and the other 3D isometric, both games follow a similar structure in terms of progression.

In Hades, the gameplay is centered on hack and slash style combat, with the main character Zagreus being able to combine melee and ranged abilities to rip through enemies.

Related:Best Games Like Hades

Like Dead Cells, the player gets to choose which weapon they’ll carry into battle and can pick from different routes, obtain run-based perks, and unlock permanent rewards.

Story-wise, the game offers a bit more to chew on than Dead Cells, chronicling Zagreus’ many attempts to escape the underworld and his father’s wrath.

Dreamscaper is another 3D roguelike with permanent upgrades and run-based mechanics that play out similarly to Dead Cells.

The game has you taking on the role of a woman named Cassidy as she delves deep into her subconscious, manifested as a physical, ever-changing world.

However, Cassidy isn’t alone as her greatest fears and nightmares come to life in the form of increasingly powerful foes that stand in the way of her salvation.

Each run sees you wielding various weapons, artifacts, and lucid powers that let you manipulate different elements, warp physical spaces, and even control time itself.

In Chasm, you play as a new recruit assigned to investigate an underground mine after its inhabitants mysteriously vanish and supernatural creatures start to appear.

To restore peace to the Kingdom, you’ll have to fight your way through mobs of monsters and explore the ancient catacombs in search of clues and equipment to help you along the way.

Similar to Dead Cells, Chasm uses procedural generation to determine the layout of its map while individual rooms are hand-crafted.

There are a total of six unique biomes that offer Metroidvania-style exploration and progression based on new weapons, tools, and spells your character obtains.

Inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Sundered is a hand-drawn 2D Metroidvania about an eldritch warrior trapped in ever-changing caverns overrun with terrifying beasts.

The game presents players with an interesting decision: do you harness the power of these dark monstrosities at the cost of your humanity, or struggle to survive in the mortal shell you were given?

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Regardless of what you choose, there are hundreds of upgrades and build possibilities at your disposal, many of which come in hand while exploring a mix of procedural and hand-crafted levels.

Like Dead Cells, Sundered incorporates classic Metroidvania elements into its gameplay loop, allowing you to backtrack to earlier sections using new abilities and unlock more secrets. 

If you’re a fan of modern Metroidvanias, there’s a good chance you’ve already ventured into Hollow Knight’s dark and dreary 2D world.

In it, you take on the role of a silent sword-wielding knight forced to face challenges and dangers much bigger than himself as he explores the dangerous kingdom of Hallownest.

Similar to Dead Cells, the game blends platforming challenges with demanding Soulslike combat that forces you to learn enemy attack patterns.

Although it may not feature any roguelite mechanics, Hollow Knight is a wonderful execution of the Metroidvania formula that manages to instill fear and dread in the player from start to finish.

Vagante is a 2D action-platformer roguelike with permadeath mechanics and procedurally generated levels reminiscent of Dead Cells.

You take on the role of a brave adventurer occupying a dark fantasy world filled with monsters, demons, and double-crossing crooks at every turn.

Undeterred by the challenges in your way, you set out to explore a mysterious cave that lies beyond an unforgiving forest where an unfathomable treasure is rumored to be.

Each run sees you traversing four distinct biomes using unique heroes that can be customized and assigned different classes, enchanted items, and weapons.

If Dead Cells’ pixel art presentation is what sold you on the game, then you may also enjoy Hyper Light Drifter’s stunning pixel-based graphics.

Billed as an action-adventure RPG, it casts you as a hero suffering from a deadly illness who ventures out into the mysterious lands of Buried Time in search of a cure.

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From there, things open up significantly as you embark on an atmospheric journey through menacing environments brimming with branching paths and secrets to uncover.

Like Dead Cells, most of the game’s story is told through action, exploration, and captivating visuals.

While lacking any roguelite elements, Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight is a hardcore action-platformer that emphasizes combat and Metroidvania-style exploration.

In it, you play as a priestess named Kaho whose cursed village is on the brink of eradication, prompting her to seek out the Queen of the land before it’s too late.

However, time is limited and sees each night falling darker than the one before as corrupted creatures slowly take over the village.

Like Dead Cells, gameplay primarily revolves around fast-paced battles that revolve around melee combos, dodge mechanics, and combining different items and spells to slay enemies.

Dead Cells fans will likely enjoy spell-casting their way through Wizard of Legend, another action-packed indie roguelite with flexible fast-paced combat.

In it, you play as a magical wizard taking part in a competition known as the Chaos Trials, a gauntlet of magical challenges in which contestants attempt to defeat the strongest wizards.

These increasingly difficult battles will put your skills to the ultimate test and demand precise dodging as mobs of enemies will often bombard you with attacks.

Like Dead Cells, each death brings you back to the start of the map, retaining some of the spells you picked up during your previous run.

Moonlighter is another action-adventure RPG with gorgeous pixel art that does a great job of telling its story using visual cues along with the occasional dialogue.

You take on the role of Will, a shopkeeper with big dreams of becoming an adventurer whose name will be remembered throughout history.

Related:Best Shopkeeper Games 2021

His passion causes him to go exploring nearby dungeons at night, battling enemies and gathering materials and other trinkets to sell in his shop to friendly patrons.

This manifests itself in a risk versus reward gameplay loop that, much like Dead Cells, rewards and punishes you for delving deeper into each dungeon.

Last but not least, Children of Morta is a story-driven action RPG that chronicles the adventures of a heroic family fighting against an evil power called the Corruption.

The game gives you the option to fully commit to a specific character or divvy up their time and resources among the entire Bergson clan, with each family member having distinct attacks and traits.

Like Dead Cells, environments are procedurally generated and can be traversed with any of the six playable characters, though some excel in different areas such as crowd control, long-range, melee, etc.

Additionally, Children of Morta features vibrant 2D pixel art that further compliments the game’s frenetic hack and slash combat system.

Before games like Dead Cells took center stage, Salt and Sanctuary was heralded for its challenging Soulslike take on 2D action games.

And although the game may not look and feel as impressive today in a sea of similar titles, it’s still a great example of how to adapt complex 3D combat for a 2D Metroidvania game.

In it, you play as a shipwrecked sailor doomed to explore a mysterious island teeming with salt-worn structures, labyrinthine passageways, and aggressive undead nightmares.

Similar to Dead Cells, excelling in combat relies on precise dodges, quick attacks and counters, good stamina management, and salt-collecting.

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Justin Fernandez
Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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