Dead Cells has a new difficulty curve and more mutations to play around with

The free Whack-a-Mole update is out on PC and consoles

[Update: Dead Cells‘ Whack-a-Mole update released today on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.]

New weapons? More mutations? Hard-hitting balance tweaks? Where do your eyes dart when scanning the patch notes for a major Dead Cells update? It probably depends on your goals for the game and where you’re at with them. For folks stuck in Boss Cell hell, the revamped difficulty curve is a big deal.

In today’s Whack-a-Mole update, the difficulty in Dead Cells was rebalanced again:

  • BC0: Health fountains in every transition.
  • BC1: Health fountain every other transition, with one minor flask when the fountain is missing.
  • BC2: No more health fountain, one minor flask in every transition.
  • BC3: One minor flask after the first boss and before the second.
  • BC4: No more health in any transition, enemies teleport to your position.
  • BC5: No more health, enemies teleport, malaise added.

For those who haven’t kept up lately, these changes are meant to make things “easier.”

Elsewhere in the Whack-a-Mole update, we’re getting three amusingly beefy weapons: a doom-inflicting Tombstone, a last-hit-chaining Oven Axe, and a hold-to-charge club called the Toothpick.

There’s also three tempting mutations to mull over, two of which speak to me as a tactics player:

  • No Mercy (colorless): Instantly kill enemies that are under 15 percent health – and bosses under 7.5 percent health – by hitting them with a weapon.
  • Barbed Tips (tactics): Inflict damage per second to foes based on how many arrows are stuck in them.
  • Point Blank (tactics): Close-range attacks have scaling bonus damage.

So uh… I think barbed tips might be a little busted. from r/deadcells

How do you unlock the new mutations and weapons? They’re drops! According to the wiki, you can get No Mercy from Slashers, Barbed Tips from Toxic Miasmas, Point Blank from Corpulent Zombies, Tombstone from Swarm Zombies, Oven Axe from Oven Knights, and Toothpick from Ground Shakers.

The team has tried to stamp out seed-related crashes for good, touched up the Malaise mechanic (including new icons to “give you a better idea of what’s about to hit you”), and made it so Legendary items scale “based on the sum of your two highest stats” and Legendary status doesn’t raise an item’s level. That said, those last two reworks are “very subject to change.” Dead Cells doesn’t stand still.

As always, it’s worth poking around to see the minutia. For instance, it may not be a headliner for a lot of players, but a new accessibility-focused hold-to-chain-attacks toggle sounds pretty sweet.

As noted on Reddit, the Whack-a-Mole update should be ready for consoles in the next three to four weeks. If you’re a Dead Cells mobile player, that version just got The Bad Seed DLC – it’s $3.99.

Back to the grind we go!

Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.