Crypt of the Necrodancer (Crypt) is a game that’s now known far and wide in the gaming community. It was the first indie to cross over with a first party Nintendo series, and Zelda no less! Many people were inspired to try Crypt after its spinoff Cadence of Hyrule was revealed. I, too, was one of those people. I’d heard tons of great things about Crypt over the years, but I never bit the bullet on downloading it. So let’s see if I can spot what even Eiji Aonuma saw in this little dancing gem!
Years after Cadence’s father goes missing, she finds a map leading to an old graveyard. Perhaps she can track him down herself, or at least make sure he has passed. The story doesn’t matter much. It reminds me of many early arcade games, where the story only serves as the catalyst to gameplay. Crypt features wonderfully drawn cutscenes which are even voiced, the cutscenes start after completing each of the game’s Zones. I definitely got a kick out of what few of these I saw.
Crypt is a rogue-like, dungeon crawling, rhythm game. An interesting combination, but a welcome one. With every attempt at a zone being randomly-generated from head to toe, and it often felt inconvenient. Designed for a specific type of gamer, not always a terrible choice, but never the best. If I had to liken it to anything, I’d say Enter the Gungeon. You can cast spells, buy items in the shops, and most everything is up to your choice. In the hub, you buy items to throw in the pool which will appear in the zones you play. An interesting concept, but not something I enjoyed.
In Crypt of the Necrodancer, everything you do must be to the beat of the music, this is perfect for combat. The immediate gameplay of Crypt grabbed me, but something tugged at me as it went along. I stopped enjoying it very quickly, but it wasn’t that the game was bad. This feeling dragged me down for every play-session and I don’t even know what caused it honestly. I found myself putting off playing for the review, or even beginning to play.
The music in Crypt of the Necrodancer is absolutely wonderful. It is my favorite part of the entire package. I often pull up the soundtrack on Spotify just to listen to it. Sound design in general is absolutely exquisite. Every crack, clank, even the sound of shoveling dirt has purpose, and was wonderful to the ear. The only thing that comes close to matching how Crypt sounds, is how it looks. The sprite work definitely feels like a “classic” indie, but it has it’s own distinct style to it.
Crypt of the Necrodancer doesn’t fit the way that I play games, but I can’t count that against it. Crypt is perfect for short bursts of gameplay, but I prefer long form sessions. I had quite a bit of fun with Crypt, but I moaned and was put off more than I laughed. Crypt of the Necrodancer was on the absolute borderline of getting the seal, yet it didn’t feel right for me to count it off because it didn’t appeal to my schedule. For, in the end, I do truly enjoy Crypt of the Necrodancer.
Crypt of the Necrodancer was developed by Brace Yourself Games.
Available on Steam, PS4, PS Vita, iOS, and Nintendo Switch
Available for $3.99 on mobile, $19.99 on Nintendo Switch, and $14.99 on other platforms.
A Nintendo Switch copy was purchased by the reviewer
supiroguy has awarded Crypt of the Necrodancer the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval