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  1. Dead Cells

    I've been playing Dead Cells recently. It's a 2D roguelike metroidvania game with some Souls gameplay as well. It's currently in Early Access on Steam but feels much more complete than most other EA games I've played. Dungeons, enemies, and weapon/item drops are procedurally generated each time you die. Some abilities are permanent once unlocked, allowing you to reach new areas or take a different path. Enemies will sometimes drop a cell that can be used upgrade weapons/items or unlock new ones if you find a blueprint for it. In between levels is an NPC that will let you use your cells, but if you die between levels you lose everything you're carrying. Unlocking a weapon places it into the pool of potential drops and upgrades are permanent as well. There aren't any permanent player stats, instead health, strength, and item skill are upgraded though pickups found around levels and reset upon death. Enemies telegraph their moves pretty clearly so you can dodge-roll around them but they hit quite hard. There's also a flask that refills your health and can be upgraded to hold multiple charges. You can carry two weapons, two items, and one accessory at any time. Weapons all have unique properties such as a sword that coats enemies in oil and increases fire damage, a pair of twin daggers that crits on the third strike, or a bow that can freeze enemies. Items operate on a cooldown and can be things like grenades, traps, abilities, etc. Higher level weapons/items can also sometimes have secondary effects like poison or deal/receive 2x damage. Accessories provide passive bonuses like taking 30% less damage or granting gold when you pick up a cell. Gold is used to buy weapons/items at stores during a run or for opening certain doors. Gold is reset when you die although there's an upgradable skill that lets you retain a certain percentage of gold. Gameplay wise it feels pretty good. There's some slight jank such as climbing on things can sometimes be a bit awkward and the dodge isn't quite as responsive as I'd like. It's pretty difficult as you'd expect from the combination of genres. I really dig the look. It's pixel graphics but the animation is smooth although I have noticed some slowdown at points. There's a couple of neat things I like such as alternate paths that lead to harder areas and doors that lock after a certain amount of time (there's an ingame timer at the start of each run so you can get an idea if you're going to make a door or not). In general I'd say I'm digging this game. It almost feels complete already, although I have no idea how far I am in terms of progressions. If anyone out there liked the idea of Rogue Legacy but hated playing it, I'd really recommend checking this out.