Crypt of the NecroDancer – Preview
Follow Genre: rhythm-based dungeon crawler
Developer: Brace Yourself Games
Publisher: Brace Yourself Games
Platform: PC, OS X

Crypt of the NecroDancer – Preview

Good: huge potential, easy to play
Bad: beat algorithm could use fine tuning
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(5 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (5 votes cast)

When we hear the genre dungeon crawler, we immediately think of games like Diablo, Torchlight, Dungeons & Dragons,… Even though these games are very popular, Brace Yourself Games has found a way to re-invent them. How? By adding a beat! Yes, you can only move your character on the beat of the music, which creates a very fun and fast-paced environment.


“They told me I was too young. They told me I needed more training. I told them to drop dead! How ironic. I don’t know how I survived that fall, something strange must have happened. My pulse is beating like a drum but my blood is running cold. I’m not sure what’s going on but I came here with a question, and I’m gonna find the answer if it kills me.”

This is pretty much the story of the game, you are a little girl who falls through the ground and finds herself in a dungeon. Her heart only beats on the beat of a song and that’s the only time she can move, so well timed moving and a sense of music is the key to success!


You start off in a tutorial zone, where you learn the controls of the game, which are just the arrow keys. To attack, you just run into the monster and the game will do the rest. You also learn the basics of the game and you get to use some new weaponry. Each weapon has its own unique ability; the broadsword for example can hit multiple monsters that are 1 block away from you.  When playing, you quickly realize that every monster has a logical path, one jumps in place, another one jumps back and forth, some try to cut off your patch etc… With fast thinking and a good angle of approach you can easily beat every opponent without losing too much health. If you keep moving and attacking on the beat, you will get a coin multiplier and the dungeon will turn into a giant disco. If you skip a beat, the dungeon returns back to normal and your multiplier resets. The coins you find can be used to buy upgrades in the dungeon shop, but if you die, you lose the upgrades. There are also diamonds you can find, those can be spent in the lobby shop.


At the end of each level there is a miniboss, when you defeat it, a staircase opens to the next level. Trapdoors are also located throughout the dungeon which make you fall to the next level. At level 5 of each zone, there is a boss room. The boss room can vary from a conga line of monsters to a real boss and boss fight.

When you die, you return to the lobby, where you can choose various game modes and buy permanent upgrades with your diamonds like spells and extra health. There is a third NPC present but the items still have to be implemented. The game features a DDR mode (easier than normal), the standard mode and a hardcore mode. When playing in the hardcore mode, none of the permanent upgrades you bought in the lobby will be of use, you start with a new character and play though all the zones after each other.


The most important aspect of this game is the music. Each zone comes with its own music that has its own beat, so you have to get used to every zone. At this moment, zone 2 reuses some music, but that will probably change in the final build.  Your own music can also be imported, although it’s not advisable to play it with high upbeat music (hardcore for example). Right now you have to go through a lot of steps to implement the music, and the algorithm to make the beat map isn’t that great either. Nevertheless, the developers have promised this will be much easier and better in the final build!

Each weapon and monster also has its own sound effect and they are pretty much what you expect. A swinging sword, shooting bow, a bull,… It’s the combination of the music, sound effects and beat what makes this game so fun and addicting!


This game is still in alpha version 0.125 and it is already great! In this build, only 2 zones are opened, but it’s still a blast to play. You’ll want to keep replaying the zones over and over to get better upgrades in the lobby and find every possible weapon and armor piece. Even though 2 zones might not sound much, it’s still far away from finished! I can’t wait to revisit this game once it’s released. The early access build should open somewhere in late 2013, until then, this preview should get your heart pumping on the beat while waiting to buy this great game!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (5 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Crypt of the NecroDancer – Preview, 9.0 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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