Let’s make something clear: I’m not talking about an adult game content wise. What I mean by grown up is the aspect of being an adult.
As you grow older, other aspects of life start to demand more of your time, you have responsibilities, thus you can’t really dump hours and hours in a game anymore.
Dead Cells is perfectly suited to fit an adult’s schedule. One run might take about one hour. And if you have fewer time to spend on the game, you can do that too. You can just quit and pick up where you had left off before (so also an ideal Switch game).
One hour runs have the possibility to turn a game into a stale experience because of experiencing the same thing over and over again. Dead Cells breaks this possible monotony by having procedurally generated levels and switches up the weapons you start with and find / buy throughout a run. Differentiating enough to give new experiences every run (there will be very few runs where you are able to build your kit the exact same way).
Old games were challenges to get from start to finish without the possibility to save in between, nothing carried over from run to run. This could lead to a dissatisfying spending of your time as the only thing you gain is experience with the game, but no advancements in-game.
In Dead Cells, every run you do, it contributes to progress: new weapons, abilities, mutations, rarity % of loot drops / store items, etc. No time feels wasted.
So if you are a gamer that hasn’t got the reflexes left from when he was younger, every time you play, the game becomes a tad easier. Making the prospect of eventually beating the game more likely. Not saying that this game is easy. And it actually slapped me in the face when I finished it the first time with a realization that I will probably never complete this game on the highest difficulty.
But that’s OK. This game does not require you to.
I have been dabbling with ideas about making games more “grown up” friendly. I know people who eventually stop playing a game just because they don’t have enough time and by the time they would be able to pick it up again, something new and exciting has come around.
Of all the games I’ve played, there’s a very low percentage of them I’ve quit before concluding the final boss battle. But I know there are lots people out there who are less patient and jump ship before reaching the end.
There are a couple of RPGs I really like. But I’m not keen on replaying them. The main reason being the first run already took me so much time. I don’t want to have to spend that much time again to experience the game with only one slight adjustment (e.g. playing a tanky bruiser vs a ranged glass canon).
And that’s a shame. As a player will never see how events play out in different circumstances or having to adjust your play style to overcome the challenges. Maybe the player won’t even experience entire sections a bunch of developers have poured their heart and soul into!
So next to Dead Cells doing almost everything right, it has the very big plus that it can cater to people of different ages without demanding ludicrously amounts of their time AND it’s able to create new experiences in the process. Which is rare for a game to achieve.
P.S.: Dead Cells is my game of the year 2018 hands down! Go check it out!