Crypt of the NecroDancer is easily the most addictive game I’ve played in quite some time. It compels you to want to play more, and more, and more!
Part of this is the fantastic soundtrack that blends so seamlessly with the rhythm based roguelike.
The story is rather cliche, you’re name is Cadence and you’ve gone to look for a family member. Only to get yourself killed, and then resurrected by the NecroDancer. Now you must move to the beat and fight your way deeper into the darkness.
The game is difficult, but don’t let that dissuade you, it’s amazingly good. One of the few early access games that feels more like a completed product that some thrown together tech demo.
What’s not to love about it?
The 16-bit graphics and art style are beautiful and charming, and animations very well executed and the beat. That cursed beat that compels you to try again, and again.
In all the hours that I’ve played I’ve only made it to Zone 3, and here there is a mix of techno and metal. Ice and fire, the dungeon is separated by these two elements. With creatures embodying either of the elements, and music shifting and changing as you move from the blue to red squares.
Timing and rhythm is truly everything for the NecroDancer. All creatures in his dungeon must obey the beat, each bouncing and writhing in their own unique and horrific dance. Your yourself must do the same, although your consciousness allows you to move more freely.
The simplest way to describe the combat and various weapons is Chess. Each creature, and each weapon, works in a similar way to chess. Do you attack diagonally, or straight forward only. Do you hit ahead of you, or to the side.
You must learn each item’s use, and abilities, while doing the same for the enemies that stalk you so.
Not surprising that one of the first bosses you encounter is actually an animated chess board. With the King at the far back playing his dark melody to move and order his minions and queen. The pawns are rather useless, but ignoring them spells doom, for they quickly turn into powerful Queens once they reach your walls.
Don’t fret though, as you can also empower yourself with magical weapons, items, spells and even more life. Dotted throughout the zones are diamonds. That precious stone is used to upgrade your character and unlock more items, and spells.
Along with gems, are towns people, free them as you find them with golden keys and they will join you in the game lobby. Offering you these upgrades, and even to train you against monsters, and even bosses. For a fee of course; more diamonds.
If you can’t get enough punishment in the normal play style, there’s hardcore mode. None of your upgrades work, and you have to attempt to clear the entire game with a single run. Die, and you start again. The pinnacle of the masochist gamer.
The game is fun, more than fun. It’s a masterpiece of Indie gaming, roguelikes and rhythm games. Hell, you can even play it with dance pad. You can even import your own MP3 collection if you want. Enjoy a fantastic game, and dance!