Tenjutsu: Everything We Know

3 weeks ago 48

Devolver Digital just has no shortage of badass protagonists. Soon to join the ranks is Tenjutsu’s female renegade Yakuza member. Also, if you’re a fan of Dead Cells, you’ll want to keep an eye out for Tenjutsu. Dead Cells designer is leading the charge in bringing Tenjutsu to our doorstep. So, what do we know so far? I mean, besides its doubtlessly violent romp through crime-ridden streets? Here’s everything we know about Tenjutsu

What is Tenjutsu?

Tenjutsu fight

Tenjutsu is an upcoming beat ‘em up action game from Dead Cells’ designer, Sébastien Benard. It plans to infuse roguelite mechanics with Japanese martial arts. The upcoming game will be the fully fleshed-out version of Tenjutsu (48 hours). If you haven’t played Tenjutsu (48 hours) yet, it’s an early jam karate game prototype made in 48 hours by Sébastien Benard. Now, the solo developer is ready to team up with publisher Devolver Digital to bring to life a full-on rogue-fu Tenjutsu game with a strong focus on one versus many combat systems.


Ninja hack

Tenjutsu will cast you in the shoes of a renegade Yakuza member. She swears to fight back against her former associates. Meanwhile, she’s taking on a bigger cause to loosen the chokehold the Yakuza have on Secret Garden City. Tenjutsu’s Steam page describes Secret Garden City, the setting of the game, as “densely packed yet vibrant.” The city has been ruined by the Yakuza’s influence. Four crime syndicates rule Secret Garden City with an iron fist. Now, it’s up to you to defeat all four crime syndicates. 

Bit by bit, you’ll begin to restore the shops and restaurants of the once-vibrant and full-of-life streets of Secret Garden City. In the end, you’ll look back at a city reborn, proud of the work you’ve accomplished. But it shouldn’t take too long to complete your mission, as the longer you prepare, the stronger your enemies become.


City Map

Tenjutsu’s gameplay promises fast and fluid combat action. The game’s description via Steam calls it, “rogue-jutsu,” which is a combination of rogue-lite mechanics and jujutsu (Japanese martial arts). It’ll incorporate gritty combat that infuses martial arts and weapon expertise. The Steam page goes further to reveal that you’ll be taking on four crime syndicates. One by one, you’ll dismantle the crime syndicates. You won’t have to take them on in order, with the freedom to start wherever you please. Tenjutsu’s Steam store page lists the following key features you can expect in the final game:

Key Features

  • Brutal and fluid combat systems – Get ready to grapple with roguelike mechanics akin to Dead Cells. You’ll explore fast-paced melee combat that requires mastery of tactical precision. Each encounter will be brutal, so much so that it’ll demand taking them on as if they were your last. You’ll also access a wide assortment of weapons, including specific techniques and upgrades that elevate your skill against the crime syndicates.
  • Choose your path to conquest – You’ll be free to choose the crime syndicate you would like to start with. Keep in mind that the first crime syndicate will allow you to employ the element of surprise. However, the last crime syndicate will have more time to prepare, reinforcing their ranks and putting up the most difficult challenge. As such, you’ll need to study each crime syndicate’s strengths and weaknesses against your playstyle.
  • Repair and rebuild a broken town – The goal, at the end of the day, is to loosen the grip the Yakuza have on Secret Garden City. And so, with each victory, you’ll be helping the world rebuild its shops and restaurants. These will mark the spots where you can spend the resources you gain in each run. You’ll explore the city, optimizing places to upgrade your weapons, combat moves, and general exploration. Meanwhile, the more you play, the more hidden shortcuts you’ll unravel, increasing replayability.


Ninaj fight den

Developer Deepnight Games and publisher Devolver Digital are currently working on Tenjutsu. The upcoming game was created by Dead Cells designer  Sébastien Benard, also a solo developer at Deepnight Games. You probably know Deepnight Games’ debut 2D fire fighting platformer, Nuclear Blaze. It garnered high praise, citing “absolute blast” and “engaging, almost therapeutic gameplay” among players’ reviews. 

Devolver Digital, on the other hand, has a wealth of experience curating “exquisite video games for the distinguished gamer.” They publish indie games that often climb to the top of the gaming ladder. Some of their greatest hits include Hotline Miami, The Talos Principle, The Messenger, Cult of the Lamb, and Katana Zero, among many more. Combined, Tenjutsu is in more than capable hands.

Tenjutsu has only just been revealed to be in development at the Devolver Direct 2024 event. While we have a trailer to give us a rough idea of what you can expect in the final game, the developing team will likely be releasing more information about the upcoming game ahead of launch day.


Tenjutsu | Reveal Trailer

Do check out Tenjutsu’s official announcement trailer, out now on YouTube. It kicks off with cartoony animation that seamlessly transitions into actual gameplay. Combat looks stylish and frenetic, with hardly any leeway to catch your breath. But there are no complaints here. If the final game is as speedy as it looks in the trailer, Tenjutsu will be nothing short of addictive and fun to play.

Release Date, Platforms, & Editions


Unfortunately, we don’t know when exactly Tenjutsu might arrive. Tenjutsu’s Steam store page says the release date is “to be announced,” giving us no clue when the launch window might be. However, we can confirm that Tenjutsu will be coming to consoles and PC platforms via Steam. With Tenjutsu’s Steam store page already up, you can add the game to your wishlist to get a notification as soon as it drops. Editions are not confirmed at this time. Feel free to follow Devolver Digital here to keep track of new updates. Meanwhile, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for new information and let you know as soon as it comes up.

So, what’s your take? Will you be grabbing a copy of Tenjutsu when it drops? Let us know over on our socials here.

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Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.

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