Crypt of the NecroDancer, the rogue-like rhythm game by Brace Yourself Games!

Crypt of the NecroDancer, the rogue-like rhythm game by Brace Yourself Games!

So, Crypt of the NecroDancer just went from early access to full release on Steam, and man is it good. Every wondered what it would be like if you combined Dance Dance Revolution with a dungeon crawling rogue-like game? No? Didn’t think so, but prepare for this weird combination to kick you square in the nuts with awesomeness.

NecroDancer starts with our heroine, Cadence, falling into a crypt and bashing her skull, and presumably losing her life. Then, for reasons unknown, a necromancer (or a necrodancer?) brings her to life, and thus begins her journey through the crypt. Once into the game, you are tasked with completing a short tutorial, which you and revisit anytime later, that shows you the basics about timing your movements with the beat of the music, as well as how and when to attack enemies. Though its controls and premise is simple, the game quickly ramps up to be one hectic, beat-fueled motherfucker of a dungeon crawler.

NecroDancer Minotaur!

Even in the first level, expect to see big scurry bosses.

Crypt of the NecroDancer consists of randomly generated dungeons or zones, each having of four levels, that you dance your way through, killing the undead, uncovering treasures and rescuing characters. Beating all the levels of a dungeon unlocks new characters to play with other than Cadence, all of which either control differently or bring interesting twists, such as the monk who dies upon collecting any gold but comes with some nice perks. Rescuing characters from cages unlocks new areas in a central hub, known as the Lobby, that one can visit between dungeon runs, areas that contain new shops or ways to alter the game in minor ways.

Crypt of the NecroDancer Lobby.

The Lobby.

Practically everything in NecroDancer is tied to the beat of the song playing, both your movement and the actions of the enemies. This makes it quasi-turn based, albeit really short turns that come and go whether or not you are ready for it. Stepping out of beat with the song kills your coin multiplier, and coin collection is a rather important aspect of the game. This can lead to you dancing around a room or digging dirt for no real reason just to keep the beat combo alive while looking for an opening to kill an enemy.

NecroDancer has a few modes other than the standard story mode. The game sports local co-op, a daily challenge mode which pits players against the same randomly generated dungeon with a single attempt, an all zones mode which tasks the player to play from the first level to the last with zero lobby breaks, and finally, a dance pad mode. Yep, dance pad mode. You can hook your DDR pad up to this game, and rock the fuck out. The dance pad mode starts you with an easier difficulty, more starting items, and a shorter overall game. But still, how many people can say that they beat a dungeon with their DDR pad? Three. Exactly three.

Crypt of the NecroDancer local co-op.

We can dance if we want to, we can leave your friends behind. ‘Cause your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance, well they’re no friends of mine.

The sound and the music of the game are fantastic. The music, while not my cup of tea, fits the game perfectly with high emphasis on the beat. And if you can’t stomach it, you can add your own MP3s and rock the fuck out to them. I personally intend on running some dungeons to some Slayer rather soon. The shopkeepers of the game will also sing or yodel to the music as well, adding a nice little humorous touch while you’re shopping and/or plotting their demise.

In closing, Crypt of the NecroDancer is a great take on the rogue-like dungeon crawler, successfully infusing the addicting nature of a rhythm game with that of an 8-bit rogue-like. If you’re a fan of rhythm games in the slightest, you got to play this game. And given NecroDancer’s low-scale graphics, practically any functioning computer made this century can run it. There’s little to no excuse not to treat yourself to this game if it’s something that you would enjoy.

Good Ole Score: 9 out of 10.

Good Ole Score: 9 out of 10.


  • Great, unique rhythm based gameplay.
  • Randomly generated dungeons ensures nothing gets stale.
  • Controls are simple yet the nature of the game lends to situations that are hard to dance your way out of.
  • The sound effects and music are perfect for the game.
  • Local co-op lets you and a friend rock the shit out of the game.
  • 8-bit retro graphics brings back that nostalgic feeling and allows nearly any system run it.


  • No online co-op. Understandably so, though, as it would not take much latency to kill the gameplay.


  • Some mechanics of the game aren’t explained very well, it was easier to read the wiki page.
  • Somewhat of a steep learning curve to grasp how to excel at the game.