HANDS ON: CRYPT OF THE NECRODANCER

Feel the rhythm, feel the ride, get on up, it’s fighting time! Crypt of the NecroDancer, developed by Brace Yourself Games in Canada (As all Indie games seem to be currently), is a recently released Early Access game on the Steam Marketplace. This isn’t your ordinary rogue like game, you got to feel the rhythm and move to your beating heart as it feels the music. Everything, and I mean everything, moves or does something to the beat of the music. The idea is for you to move through the dungeons, which are all randomly generated every play-through, while battling dancing enemies and eventually slaying the NecroDancer.

The game was released for public Early Access Alpha (currently on v0.370) on July 30th 2014, but was streamed live on Twitch for 10 days beforehand for a competition called The NecroThon. This was a competition between some of most well-known Youtubers and Twitch broadcasters to raise money for charity and to get the game into the public domain for thousands of people to before its release. This worked a treat and definitely enticed me to buy the game.

Necro 1

You only need 4 keys to play the game, up, down, left and right, that’s it! A simple premise which means anyone can pick it up and die just as easy as a player who has put in well over a hundred hours of gameplay. You move with the arrows, you attack in the direction of the arrows and to use items you press a combination of the arrow keys, again this has to be all done to the rhythm of the music and is so easy to make a mistake, take it from experience.

At the bottom of the screen you have your heart and some lines which get closer to the heart and these are the beats for you to press the arrow keys to. The rhythm stays the same throughout each dungeon level, it also gets faster each new floor you get to, ramping up the difficulty quite quickly. Zone 1 is getting you into the groove, Zone 2 makes you get a sweat on and Zone 3… well let’s just say you need hands and eyes of a champion to get through these levels and I don’t even want to think about the final Zone.

Necro 2

The music can only be described with one word, spectacular! The music is done by composer Danny Baranowsky, whose previous works include Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac, which were brilliant soundtracks and a must to have in your music collection. This is another masterpiece and gets you moving to the beat, moving your shoulders and head while sitting down in your chair, whilst also avoiding the Minotaur charging you at a rate of knots. In terms of the music, you can also use your own mp3’s as music within the game, now that is a rather cool idea. All you need to do is go into the games folder on your PC and place the mp3’s within the custom music folder and away you go.

The beginning of your journey starts in a nice, open space with the beat at a nice slow tempo and lets you get into the game at a nice gentle place… this is a rogue like game, so of course this isn’t going to happen. When you die, which you will many, many times, you can go to the shop and spend the diamonds you have collected which act as the currency for the game. This will give you the ability to buy items, which you will be able to find in the dungeon and will help you next time, that’s if you have found the shopkeeper in the dungeon first.

Necro 3

There are various modes for you to play as well, you can access each Zone individually, if you have got there first, a blast from the past – local co-op, then like Spelunky you have Daily Challenges and a Hardcore mode and if you’re feeling really energetic and if you want to physically groove to the music you have a Dance-Pad mode. Yes, you heard me right, you can play it with a dance-pad, I’ll pass cheers, it’s hard enough on a keyboard never mind a bloody dance-pad.

Yes, this is in Early Release, therefore not everything is available, but when this has a full finished version, expect this game to fly of the Steam shelves even faster than it already is now. It is more than playable now so when you have finished reading this, go and get this game!

 

PAUL DAVIES

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