Posted: April 23
I'm so excited to finally be able to review this game post-launch!
I pre-ordered Crypt of the NecroDancer back in 2013 when they started allowing people to do so, and I've been playing the alpha since it became available in April of 2014.
It's a rhythm-based roguelike with some small measure of cross-play achievements (you unlock things as you progress in the game for future playthroughs in other modes), and while all items start identified (i.e., you always know what a scroll or weapon is, unlike a 'true' roguelike), their placements and whether or not they even show up is randomized.
The dungeon randomization is great, and you can specify specific seeds if you want to share levels with other players or work on one specific layout, but where the game really shines -- and its purpose, really -- is the music.
You can only move, attack, use items, cast spells, and anything else *on the beat*. Monsters also move on the beat, and they move in routinely predictable patterns so that over time you learn how to anticipate them and counter them, and in fact some monsters require you to learn these patterns and match the beat in order to even damage them. The skill cap is pretty high, the amount of replayability is immense (there are 9 playable characters and a 10th 'challenge' character, all of whom greatly alter the gameplay in different and interesting ways), and there's even a 'beatless' character that allows you to play the game like a traditional roguelike (monsters move when you do, and you're not forced to stick to the rhythm). And if you want a real challenge, you can even play on a dancepad...
As someone who has been playing roguelikes ever since actually growing up playing Rogue, and who used to religiously follow rec.games.roguelike, I am so delighted to see an injection of 'newness' into the genre like NecroDancer. It's sorely needed, and while I doubt we'll ever see it emulated, I hope it inspires another developer to merge *their* love of two genres into something as incredibly engaging, challenging, and outright *fun* as this.
I am so happy for Brace Yourself Games, and I'm so incredibly excited that this game has finally surfaced for others to experience and play. It's VERY good.