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Thread: Crypt of the NecroDancer

  1. #1

    Crypt of the NecroDancer

    This is what I'm currently playing, and it's pretty great. Is anyone else playing it?

    It's an inspired mash-up of a rogue-like dungeon crawl, and a rhythm game.

    What that means is that there's a beat to the music*, and you want to be doing something (move, dig, attack, cast a spell, etc) on every beat -- and only on the beat.

    As long as you keep the rhythm, you'll keep your multiplier up which brings various benefits (especially when you have multiplier-based vision/damage/armour). Lose your mojo and those perks fade while you work to get it back.

    Most of the enemies have a predictable pattern to their movements and attacks, and it's up to you to learn the patterns and then sync up with them to take them out (with your current weapons and other artifacts naturally mixing up the details).

    I don't have vast numbers of reference points for the rogue-like aspects, but it's not dissimilar to the Binding of Isaac in that any given (permadeath) attempt will likely result in you acquiring some new option (or permanent upgrade) for your future attempts (you do this by finding gems in-game with which to purchase things between games), so you start out a bit confused and rubbish, but then as you get better at the game, the game gets more awesome as well.

    You can also purchase things in-game using gold you've acquired in that attempt, by visiting the shopkeeper in each level. It's hard not to love the shopkeeper.

    The game doesn't have the sheer variety and quantity of stuff that Isaac does, but the rhythm aspect really sets this game aside, so that when you're in the groove it's tremendously satisfying and fun.

    (*) You can even use your own music, although I've not yet tried that, so I'm not sure how well it works. And because I couldn't figure out where else to put this comment, I'll add here that the production values are really good! There are even multiple versions of the soundtrack (in different styles), with some of the unlockable characters apparently getting their own individual take on the music. I don't think I've ever heard of that feature in another game?!
    Last edited by Shadowcat; 7th Sep 2015 at 07:20.

  2. #2
    Registered: Jun 2004
    I've been kinda burnt on long story-driven games and looking for something short and quick I can casually jump into, play a few rounds, get out. Crypt looks like it might scratch the itch.

    BUT I am not a fan of roguelikes. Didn't get into Isaac, FTL or Spelunky. Think Crypt is different enough to still give it a chance?

    On a side note, I recently tried the Teleglitch demo and after a few frustrating rounds, it started clicking with me. Definitely going back to it again, they kinda nailed the creepy-isolate-space-station feel with uber pixely top-down graphics that have the oldschool ID software / Doom-esque charm (it even has the launch console, brilliant nostalgia points)!

  3. #3
    That's really hard to say. The rhythm aspect makes it very different to any of those games, but it's equally rooted in rogue-like elements, and maybe asking it to stand tall on only one of those foundations is optimistic.

    FWIW I really liked Isaac; really liked TeleGlitch; came to dislike FTL very quickly; and I haven't played Spelunky.

    NecroDancer is absolutely a game you can dip into for short periods (if you can resist the just-one-more-game allure) -- and indeed all games are time-limited as each dungeon ends when the song finishes, and each level has a fixed number of dungeons.

    If I had to make a recommendation, I would probably err on the side of caution (at least for a full-price purchase). If TeleGlitch is the nearest thing that's appealed... well... this isn't much like TeleGlitch.

  4. #4
    Registered: May 2009
    Yep, this is my game of the year. I love it so much. But... after playing it for so long I'm in the position where the regular game with Cadence is too easy and the more challenging characters (for example, the one where you only have a dagger, 1 hit kills you, and missed beats kill you. Come on!!) are too frustratingly difficult.

    I can't recommend the game enough although I realize it's not for everyone. Part of what makes the game so fun is how much better you get from playing it. You become so proud of yourself when you can get to the deepest dungeon levels and are skilfully taking out bad guys who you once had trouble dealing with.

  5. #5
    Woo hoo!! After oh-so-many failed attempts at Level 4, I just beat the game (with Cadence) !

    Hello new character... the story continues... Onwards/downwards we go! :)

    I'm still digging this just as much as before. Every level has its own enemies (and combinations thereof) to handle; and the equipment you might end up with on any given run mixes up the patterns you need to employ against them. And it's just really satisfying doing things in time to the beat. As I said before, the genre-mix is quite inspired.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by smallfry View Post
    the one where you only have a dagger, 1 hit kills you, and missed beats kill you. Come on!!
    Ooh... I've just unlocked that. I'm keen to stick at it for a while and see if I can get good at it; but yeah... Brutal.

  7. #7
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Just started playing this and really enjoying it. I'm a fan of Danny Baranowsky's music so that's definitely part of the attraction. I'm staying away from any guides so I'm still at the "being a bit rubbish" stage but I am starting to getting a handle on the enemies and not dying on the first floor all the time .

  8. #8
    Ah, excellent :) I'm glad to see someone else here giving this a whirl. And yes, the music is very nicely done.

    I'm pretty certain most players must go through the "being a bit rubbish" stage with this game; but over time the elements and patterns definitely do fit together, and your brain starts knowing what to do. Enjoy!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcat
    Quote Originally Posted by smallfry
    the one where you only have a dagger, 1 hit kills you, and missed beats kill you. Come on!!
    Ooh... I've just unlocked that. I'm keen to stick at it for a while and see if I can get good at it; but yeah... Brutal.
    Too brutal, as it turned out. I'm a little disappointed that I won't see the end of the story, but I've officially given up.

    I really enjoyed the game prior to this, and I don't dislike playing as Aria, but there's no longer any reward for the effort I was putting into it. The game just beats me constantly, and I don't have time to dedicate to attempting this over and over and over again with basically no margin for error. I never even reached the boss with this character, let alone had a shot at beating it.

    I don't object in the slightest to the game having uber-hard modes for the players with the crazy skills, but it kinda sucks that the end of the story is locked away behind them.

    Regardless of that, I still recommend the game... just be aware that it might be a game that you don't finish.

  10. #10
    Registered: Mar 1999
    Location: I can't find myself
    Picked this up in the Steam Sale and I am not very good at it. Zone 3 is just completely kicking my ass.

    But holy shit is it addictive. When you pull off a flawless (or near flawless) run of a dungeon you feel unstoppable (whip ftw).

    And the music is great.

  11. #11
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    I found it helped to practice as the bard character. It's pretty much playing on easy mode but you get to learn the enemies patterns without the pressure of the time limit and worrying about missing beats.

  12. #12
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen

    Thread necrodancing alert!

    I finally decided to give Crypt of the Necrodancer a go last week, and until now I've been quite addicted to this little game. I loved it from the first moment, even if I had no idea how the game works for the first half an hour or so - why couldn't the slimeball monsters attack sideways whereas most other monsters could, how do all the different weapons work, how am I ever going to stay in rhythm while trying to figure out the spell combos, etc. I quickly learned all that, and I absolutely loved discovering and unlocking new stuff in the game and figuring out how to beat certain enemies.

    Beating Zone 4 with Cadence felt like a real achievement, but at that point I had already unlocked every single thing in the shops. Now, I've reached that point in the game where I'm supposed to destroy the golden lute without getting hit or going off rhythm even once, and I feel like it's just a stupid challenge. I've also beat the game with most other characters, apart from Monk (dies if he picks up gold - another silly challenge) and two others that are still locked, so there's not much for me to do anymore.

    It's a shame because I really felt that Necrodancer had so much potential at first, but it somehow still falls a bit flat. I haven't had this much fun with a rogue-like since good old Nethack... not that I've played that many. Are there other similar games that I should check out? Has anyone played the Necrodancer AMPLIFIED DLC?

  13. #13
    Registered: May 2004
    Similar in what way? Have you played Downwell? Also, Desktop Dungeons, maybe?

    Or if you want a rhythm game mash-up specifically, there's The Metronomicon.
    Last edited by Starker; 23rd Jul 2017 at 23:27.

  14. #14
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    Similar in what way?
    Good question!

    The Metronomicon, despite of its awesome name, doesn't look like something that I'm looking for. I only watched a very short gameplay video (so my first impressions could be totally misleading), but it looks like a Guitar Hero game with some RPG-like stuff thrown in it. In NecroDancer, I didn't constantly think that my character and the enemies were dancing around the dungeon. Admittedly the idea of a huge underground disco was quite funny, but the rhythm element was just a cool way to keep the action hectic all the time. I liked it how you only have one beat to think about your next move, and if you miss it, it could be your last mistake.

    Desktop Dungeons seems a bit more interesting, even if it looks dated in a bad way. There seems to be tons of stats and stuff, whereas I liked NecroDancer for how easy it is to play when you figure out the basic gameplay mechanics. But on the other hand it looks like there's tons of different kind of things to explore, so I suppose I could give it a try when it's on sale again.

    Downwell seems like a pure action game and perhaps a bit too retro for my liking, but it does seem quite fun. I can't see how it's similar to NecroDancer though.

  15. #15
    Registered: May 2004
    Yeah, I chose three completely different games on purpose. Metronomicon for the rhythm side of things, Desktop Dungeons for the more traditional roguelike side of things and Downwell as a less traditional roguelite game.

    Desktop Dungeons starts out fairly simple and adds complexity over time. You unlock new classes, races, enemies, etc as you complete dungeons and build your town. It's a somewhat lighter take on the genre compared to something like Pixel Dungeon, which veers more to the Nethack side of complexity/difficulty. It almost plays like a puzzle game more than a roguelike.

    Downwell had a similar "feel" for me, in that you are compelled to keep moving and kind of get in the flow of things. It looks like a pure action game, but it's actually not. It's a roguelite and a very well designed one at that. Here's a Mark Brown video on it:

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