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Crypt of the Necrodancer (Switch) Review

by Daan Koopman - February 9, 2018, 6:57 pm PST
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9

Hop, step, and fight your way through a series of rhythmic mazes.

Even though this is my second time around, Crypt of the Necrodancer remains one heck of a game. Roguelike, rhythm, and survival elements follow each up like it is nothing, making this mixture of genres a weirdly satisfying cocktail. What makes Crypt such an event, however, is how I'm discouraged in failure. In fact, failure is just another step in becoming the best player you can.

This begins with learning how to move. Instead of taking regular steps, you must move on the beat. This can daunting, considering Crypt of the Necrodancer has much to keep track of. Listen to the background music to find the groove that works best. Stick to that beat and glide around the dungeon. It’s much harder than it might look.

Naturally, the gameplay is more important. Enemies are also moving to the beat, and that needs to be taken into account when dancing around the dungeon. Learning their patterns is key to moving through the dungeon floor. The roguelike elements add randomness to the proceedings, but the tools are there to make a run successful. Secrets are hidden between the walls, treasure chests hold loot, and a store is fabulous for buying potent items. Despite the challenge, it’s exceedingly fair.

Don't get me wrong though: the enemy replacement is unrelenting. Once you have a strong string of items, a dragon is surely lurking behind the bend lying in wait. They are fearsome to take down, requiring multitasking ability. Spatial awareness has always been one of the spears when it comes to roguelikes, but Crypt takes that to whole new level with its assortment of hazards and obstacles. This is something I absolutely adore about the game, too. The maze-esque environments are quite sharp looking on the Nintendo Switch, always feeding you a new challenge once you start all over.

With multiple zones and various modes to uncover, Crypt of the Necrodancer has enough content to stay fresh for quite a while. It is possible to train against the different enemies, throw in new elements with collected diamonds and try out different ways to play. Even though I finished all the main content, daily challenges still bring me back. Those are fantastic for commutes as they only take a few minutes to complete. The amount of options is impressive as well. Various soundtracks can be switched between, including music from Danganronpa – a series that hasn’t been on Nintendo platforms. So that’s nuts.

At the end of the day, Crypt of the Necrodancer is a trip. You hop on for the ride, enjoy some groovy tunes, and overcome a slew of challenges along the way. Even though every run is different, I always felt I was in control. It’s hard to get on the beat, but once over that initial hump, Crypt of the Necrodancer becomes one of the most intriguing experiences available on the Nintendo Switch eShop. Don't sleep on it.

Summary

Pros
  • Every run feels unique
  • Grand focus on spatial awareness
  • Strong amount of content
  • Unique mixture of genres
Cons
  • Steep initial difficulty curve

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Game Profile

Genre Rhythm
Developer
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Crypt of the Necrodancer
Release Feb 01, 2018
RatingTeen
jpn: Crypt of the Necrodancer
Release TBA
PublisherSpike Chunsoft
eu: Crypt of the Necrodancer
Release Feb 08, 2018
Rating12+
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