The first time I saw the Crypt of the Necrodancer pre-alpha teaser trailer, it was love at first sight.
This pixelated, rhythm-based dungeon crawler was right up my alley, and the gobs of positive feedback from streamers and bloggers with access to the game only intensified my itch to play it. When I finally nabbed a copy this past August, it had me soaring above the dance floor with its smooth moves and catchy tunes.
With an infectiously groovy original soundtrack and tight, learn-as-you-go gameplay, there’s not a single bad thing I have to say about this delightful title from Brace Yourself Games. Although the Crypt of the Necrodancer is still in Steam Early Access, the developer has been tremendously consistent with updates and progress reports, keeping the community’s feedback in mind as the game shakes and shuffles its way to completion, proving that an open development process can be successful when handled correctly.
The monsters are of your typical Dungeons & Dragons fare, with bats, dragons, slimes, and skeletons all making an expected appearance. Despite many of the enemies reappearing through the use of color variations, there is a surprising abundance of variety, and Crypt of the Necrodancer never seems to grow stale. New monsters are added to the mix as you progress through each randomly generated stage, and every foe follows a unique pattern, color-coded to represent the level of difficulty you can expect when encountering them.
As you begin to learn the movement patterns of enemies, you’ll fall into a groove that relies more on intuition and muscle memory than cognitive thought. The boss battles are refreshingly intuitive, including a one-vs-sixteen chess match, a dance with Death, and a zombie conga line where you have to skip every eighth beat (or break your combo).
Although there’s no telling when we’ll see the final product or learn what lies beyond the mysterious “ZONE 4,” a final zone that is still hidden behind the development wall, Crypt of the Necrodancer has come a long way in what feels like such a short period of time.
As it stands, the current offering is well worth your dime. Thrifty gamers can find it on sale often, but even at full price, Crypt of the Necrodancer should not be missed. And if that doesn’t persuade you, perhaps the game’s operatic shopkeeper will.
TL;DR – I can’t stop playing it, so that’s gotta be worth something, right?