Eric Kelly On May 22, 2015 at 11:36 am

Crypt of the Necrodancer LogoRogue-likes are making a comeback to the PC scene, even if they aren’t in the same realm of popularity of the Metroidvania genre. Crypt of the Necrodancer, however, does something a bit different to set it apart from previous and current efforts. However, its steep challenge might turn away most players and keep only the most dedicated gamers.

The game’s basic plot revolves around a woman named Cadence who challenged the Crypt to prove that she was capable. Of course immediately upon getting there, she falls into a pit where she encounters the Necromancer. He steals her heart, and now she needs to fight through the crypt to defeat the Necromancer and reclaim it. The Crypt itself is made up of four zones with four levels in them each, all of which are randomly generated. Dungeon exploration is done with the added twist having to make your step align with Cadence’s heartbeat. Success means increasing your coin multiplier while failure means resetting it, as well as making it easier for an enemy to attack you. Managing your steps and taking notice of the enemy’s movement patterns are key to preserving your small pool of health. Death like any roguelike, results in losing all gold or collected items. There are no levels to gain or retain either. Your only means of permanent gains lie within collecting diamonds. Diamonds can either be used to buy items that will show up in chests or receive permanent upgrades like max health. There are also imprisoned people that will offer additional services once they are freed. It’s very fun and the tunes are great, but if fancy using your own music, you can. But the game is also extremely challenging. It’s a short game, but it will be tough to conquer.

Outside of the base zones, there are challenge levels, and monster training sessions. There’s also survival and time attack modes for hard core players. There are some odd design decisions though. The initial control scheme is a bit odd. If playing on a keyboard, your inventory items are initially bound to directional button combos rather than having their own keys. This means messing with the configuration, which is a bit annoying. This also leaks into the resolution, where you need to manually set it to your preferred setting. And the game’s RNG seems to be too unfairly stacked against you too often. But its fun tunes and addictive gameplay will keep those hard core gamers glued to the screen. It really has that ‘Just one more run’ mentality. If you can endure the beating it dishes out, it’s very rewarding. There are also plenty of mods out there to increase replayability. You can even use a DDR dancepad as a control option, which sounds like loads of fun. If you like either rogue-likes or rhythm games, you just might like Crypt of the Necrodancer


Play to the beat of the music to keep up your coin multiplier while playing a tough but fun dungeon crawler.


Nice 2D sprite work that looks good all around.


Easily the best part of the game, but you can also swap out tracks from your own library.


A very fun, yet harsh dungeon crawler with some rhythm game elements, but it’s difficulty might be a just a bit unfair at times.

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