By Chase Streetman
A roguelike is a game that features perma-death, procedurally generated environments, and generally focuses on the gathering of gear rather than the act of levelling and, in recent years, there has been an upsurge of this style of game being developed, especially by indie developers.
With such a competitive market, a new roguelike must have some aspect that really stands out, and Crypt of the Necrodancer has two.
Crypt of the Necrodancer isn’t just a dungeon-crawler, it’s also a rhythm game. The main mechanic allows the player to make every action to the beat of the game’s music, or risk wasting a move.
Enemies move on the same beats, and each have their own movement patterns and attack patterns, making Crypt of the Necrodancer more of a puzzle game than an action game like The Binding of Isaac. This sounds rather unintuitive, but it very quickly becomes natural.
There’s also a very creative local co-op mode. Co-op, or multiplayer of any kind, is a very rare thing to see in a roguelike, but Crypt of the Necrodancer finds a way to make it work, provided your partner isn’t rhythmically challenged. There’s no special aspect of the co-op mode. Another character is simply dropped into the dungeon to help you survive the hordes of undead.
Both single and multiplayer are made infinitely more fun by the music. The game’s standard music is excellent and does a great job of setting the tone for each level. The most impressive thing about the music in Crypt of the Necrodancer, however, is that you can import your own music into the game and it will work out the beats so that you can play normally.
In an oversaturated market, Crypt of the Necrodancer manages to stay fresh and new without deviating too far from the tried-and-true roguelike style. Despite being in alpha, v0.375 to be exact, Crypt of the Necrodancer already feels like a full game, and makes a great addition to anyone’s game library.
Image: Slick Entertainment