Dead Cells devs ramp up the pace with new roguelike game Windblown

Brad Norton
Windblown gameplay

Seven years after Dead Cells first made a splash in early access, France-based indie studio Motion Twin is gearing up for its next highly anticipated release. Windblown is the team’s new lightning-quick roguelike that’s sprinting full steam ahead and we were able to see the game in motion for the first time.

The roguelike genre has blossomed in recent years with standouts like Hades, The Binding of Isaac, and Slay the Spire, to name a few. Most recently, the genre has proven its popularity once again with the smash hit Balatro. Though you can’t think of the label without Dead Cells jumping into the mix.

First released back in 2017, the indie title took a while to gain some momentum, but when it did, the game soared to heights Motion Twin could have only dreamed of. Within a year, two million copies had been sold, and to date that number well exceeds 10 million in total. A monumental feat for a small French dev studio, though they’re not looking to rest on their laurels on the back of Dead Cells’ success. Far from it.

Recently announcing post-launch support for Dead Cells had come to an end, the team is once again toiling away with a bold new project, this time with a game known as Windblown. While similar in its structure and design, the sheer pace of this new roguelike endeavor is what looks to set it apart from everything else on the market.

A new perspective for Motion Twin

As revealed back with the game’s debut during the 2023 Game Awards, Windblown pivots away from the reliable 2D approach that largely put Motion Twin on the map. Instead of opting for more of an angled overhead view, the new title sports a fully realized 3D perspective, enabling players more freedom in how they navigate the world and take down enemies in each stage.

More akin to the likes of Hades, Windblown’s combat plays out from the overhead angle, with the camera tracking back just far enough to ensure any given stage is always in full view. The action isn’t getting cut off at any point, and that’s vital given just how much can be happening in a given moment.

With regular attack patterns, special abilities, randomized buffs found throughout, loot impacting it all, and no doubt plenty of yet-to-be-revealed features in the mix, there’s always a great deal to keep you on your toes. And with all these mechanics in motion simultaneously, the game prioritizes pace over all else.

Windblown gameplay
Windblown is all about rushing through stages as fast as possible, keeping runs incredibly short.

Gotta go fast

Speed is the name of the game here in Windblown. As the name suggests, your aim is to be as quick as the wind, blitzing your way through arena after arena, stage after stage, and biome after biome.

While there doesn’t appear to be any gameplay restrictions surrounding your speed, your run won’t end if you take too long, for instance, the new project is designed in such a way as to always keep you pressing forward. There’s no downtime between fights, enemies don’t give you a second to breathe, and you’re always just a few quick dashes away from the next encounter.

In a sense, it’s designed for short bursts in a way the roguelike genre has somewhat drifted away from over the years. Where in many pillars of the genre, a typical run could take you over an hour, possibly exhausting you on the way and limiting the appeal of that ‘one more game’ feeling, Windblown is the opposite. Short bursts of rapid, chaotic fun, and then you’re right back to the hub world.

Windblown gameplay
As with any great roguelike, Windblown is set to be the type of game you can return to for hundreds of hours.

The path to launch for Windblown

Mirroring the roadmap of Dead Cells, Windblown does share a similarity in its path to launch. Set to first hit Steam at an undisclosed point in 2024, the game will be available in early access to begin with.

It’s here the devs will take player feedback onboard and look to refine the experience for quite some time, while still implementing new content along the way too. One such addition is the support for co-op play with up to three friends. Though as we’ve learned, it’s still very early days in that regard.

Similarly, it could be quite some time before console players can get their hands on Windblown. With no set end date for the early access period, and devs taking their time to get everything nailed down, we could be looking at a late 2025 or even 2026 console port by the time the full experience is fleshed out.

With dozens of items, upgrades, and the like, a litany of weapons, and plenty of permanent boosts to unlock in the hub world too, there’s already no shortage of replayability. So even on the day of the early access launch, players will be able to sink their teeth into a meaty first bite.

About The Author

Brad Norton is the Australian Managing Editor at Dexerto. He graduated from Swinburne University with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and has been working full-time in the field for the past six years at the likes of Gamurs Group and now Dexerto. He loves all things single-player gaming (with Uncharted a personal favorite) but has a history on the competitive side having previously run Oceanic esports org Mindfreak. You can contact Brad at