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Crypt of the NecroDancer is a hardcore roguelike rhythm game. Can you survive this deadly dungeon of dance? Groove to the epic Danny Baranowsky soundtrack, or select songs from your own MP3 collection!
Release Date: Jul 30, 2014
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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game may or may not change significantly over the course of development. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you may want to wait until the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Earlier in the year we released an alpha build to everyone who pre-ordered, and the feedback we received on that build helped us to vastly improve the game. We're excited to release via Early Access because we know Crypt of the NecroDancer is going to improve greatly as a result. Our community is amazing!”

How long will this game be in Early Access?

“We plan to finish zone 4 and the final bosses in late 2014 or early 2015. However, if the game proves to be popular we hope to continue to add additional features beyond that. We are having a great time developing this game and we want to keep on improving it!”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The full version will include zone 4, the final boss battles, as well as more playable characters.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The current version includes zones 1, 2, and 3. It also includes 4 of the 8 playable characters. Many fans have racked up hundreds of hours of playtime already, so there's no shortage of fun to be had with this current version!”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The game's base price will be $14.99 both during Early Access, and after.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We've already taken many suggestions from the community and incorporated them in the game. By expanding our community via Early Access we look forward to doing this even more!”
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“Editor's Choice”

“It's just so ingenious!”
Adam Sessler

“It's unlike anything I've played before and represents everything that I treasure about the indie games scene.”

About the Game

Crypt of the NecroDancer is a hardcore roguelike rhythm game. Can you survive this deadly dungeon of dance, slay the NecroDancer, and recapture your still beating heart? Or will you be a slave to the rhythm for all eternity?

  • Move on the beat to navigate ever changing dungeons while battling dancing skeletons, zombies, dragons, and more!
  • Groove to the game's epic Danny Baranowsky soundtrack, or select songs from your own MP3 collection!
  • Play with keyboard, controller, or even a USB dance pad!

PC System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP, service pack 3

Mac System Requirements

    • OS: Minimum 10.6 to run the game, 10.7 if you also want to use your own music files

Linux System Requirements

    • OS: Steam OS and Ubuntu 12.04 are the only supported Linux OSes
Helpful customer reviews
411 of 430 people (96%) found this review helpful
430.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
I've been playing this game obsessively for a couple months now, and still can't get enough of it. Learning the patterns of all the enemies is one of the most satisfying things I've ever done in any game. When you start out, you're just fumbling around, faceplanting into enemies and getting torn apart. If you practice enough, though, you'll be able to take on any situation without suffering so much as a scratch. Every part of the game is very doable with the default equipment, so you're never just screwed because the right items didn't drop for you. The weapons and spells that you can find all work differently and cause you to change your method of attack, but they're all pretty balanced. There are a ton of different weapons types with their own unique advantages and drawbacks, rather than traditional "tiers" of weapons (1 damage, 2 damage, 3 damage, etc.) And there's an instant replay feature upon death, where you can look and see what you could have done differently to save yourself (there's always SOMETHING). This is quite possibly the most well-balanced game I've ever played, and I adore it. Pick this game up right now if you can.

Edit: If you have any doubts, just look at how many hours I've logged on it ;)
Posted: July 27
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255 of 279 people (91%) found this review helpful
26.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
"Kick! Punch! It's all in the mind."

These words were spoken by the great Tamanegi Sensei (better known as Chop Chop Master Onion) over 15 years ago when music-based games were first making a name, and they ring even truer today as the rhythm genre takes an evolutionary step into the dungeon crawling arena.

NecroDancer is the holy matrimony between addictive rhythm game grooviness and challenging roguelike complexity, and I'll be damned if it doesn't hit the spot. It's amazing that a concept this unique took as long as it did to come to fruition, but it's been more than worth the wait.

Not only is the concept unique but it's done right, something we hardly ever see when a new mechanic or gimmick is introduced to the gaming world for the first time. We see so many "new" ideas that are merely just a melting pot of previously established genres. Lo and behold, these developers have obviously set out to refine and perfect their concoction of varied gameplay elements on their first attempt and that is highly admirable. Necrodancer stands not only as a magnificently well-realized combination of genres but as a completely new experience of it's own and the start of what is hopefully a new trend of taking fun and risky chances in game development.

The in-game music is dark, fantastic and quite danceable itself lending to the blissful feeling of hitting each beat of the song with perfect timing. The precision of the music-based movement has lead lots of early adopters of the game to swear by playing with DDR dancepads which apparently add a lot to the fun and engaging nature of exploring the Crypt. This shows a serious level of dedication from the rhythm game community and has already garnered enough attention to spawn it's own design of custom NecroDancer dancepads.

And if you somehow are crazy enough to get tired of renowned composer Danny Baranowsky's heavy electronic horror jams, the game features an intuitive beat detection function for usage of songs from your own library. The detection of beats in your songs is generally spot on, and makes trying and discovering those perfect tunes for the game infinitely explorable and replayable for audiophiles in the same way games like Audiosurf and Beat Hazard Ultra provide endless entertainment. Even for those songs that might be a bit too fast or slow for manageable NecroDancing, there's a feature to alter the speed of in-game beats to give more accessibility for a wider range of genres. No form of music shall go undanced in the heart of these Crypts.

There are four main floors to the game with three levels and a boss-type enemy each, but beating any single one of them won't be an easy task. You will retry many times being forced to scour every diamond, buy up all the upgrades, and loot your way through multiple plays before you succeed, but what makes this so much more of a pleasure to replay than any other games which borrow rogue elements is the musical nature of the game. NecroDancer replaces the repetitive and stale turn-based combat of traditional roguelikes with the fun and engaging audio interaction of the best rhythm games made to date.

With a touch of the strategic approach of traditional tactics games, the enemies each have a very distinct pattern to their movements and attacks that the player must learn through multiple failures and awareness. Starting out you encounter the easier monsters such as slimes that move passively back and forth as well as skeletons that follow behind in a predictable way that is easy to counter. Protecting the exit of each floor are the harder and more complex mini-bosses, ranging from hulking Minotaurs that charge towards you in a straight path or determined Dragons that you must outsmart and keep just out of harm's way in order to retain your doomed life just a little longer.

Throughout your journeys into the crypt you'll have two different forms of currency, first being gold coins that you can spend within the levels at merchants on equipment and items to help you on your current run. Second, and most importantly are the much harder to find Diamonds which are the only thing that carry over into the lobby after death, allowing you to purchase upgrades to the gear and loot you come across during your runs. This adds an insanely addictive level of persistence in the same way that the character growth in Rogue Legacy or shortcut system of Spelunky do.

The shops you purchase these upgrades from won't be made available to you that easily, however, as each of the different merchants and trainers you need will be imprisoned and strewn about the various dungeons forcing you to dance deeper and deeper to rescue the people you will rely on in the future. The game is hard and you'll die many times, but the deeper you go the more you discover, and the more you discover the easier your respective trips will become. This adds a ridiculous amount of replayability and persistence to an already engaging and genre defying new formula.

Here I am hopping and slashing away to the beat of Castlevania's 'Vampire Killer', and I come across a Blood Whip. Things could not be more perfect. Necrodancer isn't just a gimmick, it's the start of something beautiful, it's a new kind of entertainment that can be enjoyed from the hardecore-est of dungeon delving roguelite aficionados to the most casual of rhythm game fans, but there is one thing that all of these demographics must have in common; a dedication to the sound of music.
Posted: July 30
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91 of 94 people (97%) found this review helpful
10.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review

I've spent far too much time in a single night playing this game. It's unfinished right now, still having some placeholder art and more things being added, but the core is there and it's a blast.

There are two main components to the game - rhythm and pattern recognition. You'll need both to survive this game. The first is simple, just stay on the beat and you'll be fine. The second is the trickier one and more important one in my opinion. Each enemy has a defined movement and attack pattern, and you need to slip in at the right time and attack when you won't be hurt. Sometimes it's easy, like with slims that only move up and down, or skeletons who raise their hands before attacking.

Sometimes, it's trickier. Mushroom people who throw out AoE attacks. Dragons who move every second turn, or bats who I have yet to figure out the pattern for. Of course, if you get bit by a bat, it's likely not such a big deal, but missing the dragon could get you clawed or charred, a one turn death.

There's no "gotcha!" kills to this roguelike, though plenty of dying to do as things get frantic and you fail to keep up, misjudge the enemy attack pattern, and suddenly find yourself cornered, and you'll do more than a little dying as you learn the patterns of some of the more dangerous enemies.

Rarely frustraing, lots of fun, occasionally repetitive due to the single assigned song per level - hopefully this increases. The rest is headed in the exact right direction.
Posted: July 18
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82 of 86 people (95%) found this review helpful
62.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Over the past several months, I've had the pleasure of testing an alpha of Crypt of the NecroDancer, a retro styled rhythm based roguelike.

A what?

Crypt of the NecroDancer is a procedural dungeon crawler where the player and enemies movie on the beats of the game's music tracks. That may sound like an eclectic mix, but it works. It works really well.

You play as Cadence, a firey young woman who, against the better judgement of her elders, descends into the NecoDancer's crypt in search of answers. The intro cinematic shows Cadence prone, her head against a blood smeared rock whilst her narration says, "I don't know how I survived that fall."

Cadence is resurrected by the NecroDancer, who makes her heart beat to the rhythm of his music. Armed only with what she learned about the undead from her uncle Eli and the equipment she discovers along the way, Cadence must descent farther to find her answers and hopefully free her heart in the process.

Inspired in part by Spelunky, developer Ryan Clark has pointed out that they've tried to create something more accessible than typical roguelike, focusing on making the player feel like any deaths are their own fault rather than the game being unforgiving.

To help convey this, each enemy has its own behaviours which players can anticipate and respond to after learning their movement patterns. For example, skeletons move on every second beat, whilst ghosts move on every beat, but only when the player is facing away from them. The game's complexity is emergent and comes from the combinations of enemies which make each encounter feel unique and challenging. Each of the game's four zones is populated with its own enemy types, which become more varied as the game progresses.

As you play, Cadence comes across many weapons and items, each with their own behaviours that lend themselves towards different styles of gameplay. The properties of each item seems to be something you're expected to learn as you play, discovering that a broadsword will let you hit enemies on any of the three adjacent tiles, or that a karati gi will enable Cadence to move past traps without setting them off.

In addition to buying and finding items whilst playing, the game's lobby features a number of shopkeepers from whom items which impact on the game can be brought. Some items will be permanent buffs, such as health increases, whilst others will be more subtle like giving a particular weapon the chance to spawn in a chest within the game. Items from these shopkeepers are purchased with diamonds rather than the gold you buy items with in-game, and provide a way for players to feel a sense of progression as they complete the game's zones.

Rather than progressing onto the next zone when completing one, you are returned to the lobby area to find a staircase leading down to the next zone unlocked. In this "normal" mode, players are encouraged to explore and master each zone before moving onto Crypt of the NecroDancer's Hardcore and Daily Challenge modes which allow players to forego any items bought from the lobby shoopkeepers and play through the entire game with one life.

Beyond Hardcore mode and Daily Challenge mode, the game also offers some additional challenges and characters for varied gameplay.

The game ships with an absolutely rocking soundtrack from Danny Baranowsky (Canabalt, Super Meat Boy, The Binding of Isaac and Drifter, amongst others), but also features the ability to load custom tracks.

Currently, testers run a utility which generates beat definition files that the game uses to track whether your movements are done in time with the music. A Linux build of the utility isn't yet available, and there's some path/case issues which haven't been resolved yet, but the developers seem to be attentive and I expect these to be resolved soon. Eventually this functionality will be built into the game, but for now, there's a little bit of manual handling.

The game also offers game pad and dance mat support (if that's exciting, you can keep an eye out for some NecroDancer themed dance mats) in addition to keybaord controls. I found that I had to configure custom bindings for my Logitech F310 gamepad and a "Dance UK" dance mat (which overrides the keyboard bindings), but after doing that, both were usable.

Crypt of the NecroDancer feels rich with atmosphere. Small things, like the subtle screen shake when striking a successful blow, or the shopkeeper's voice as he sings along to whatever music is currently playing really show the kind of attention to detail that is going into this game, and I find myself eager to see what each update brings.

Crypt of the NecroDancer will be launching on Steam Early Access on July the 30th (which is just over a week away right now).

There's no solid release date at this point, but it's expected to be released this year. You can find a few bits and pieces on the Brace Yourself Games dev blog (recently, they've been showing off some enemy art) and Ryan is quite active on the Brace Yourself Games forum.

I've been streaming the game a couple of times a week on HitBox. People are welcome to subscribe and watch the game in action when I play.
Posted: July 21
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93 of 108 people (86%) found this review helpful
231.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
AMAZING game, deceptively difficult! Even with INSANE hours put in trying to beat Hardcore Speedruns - you dont get sick of DannyB's soundtrack or the levels as they randomly generate each time.

10 characters to choose from with different abilities/rewards/downfalls (not all in yet)

TONS of replay
Posted: July 30
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  • Multiple Nominations, Independent Games Festival, Game Developers Conference, 2014
  • Official Selection, IndieCade East, 2014
  • Winner, Best Audio, Brazil Independent Game Festival, 2014
  • Selected for the Indie MEGABOOTH, PAX East, 2014
  • Official Selection, IndieCade West, 2013
  • Selected for the Indie Game Fest, Tokyo Game Show, 2013
  • Fantastic Arcade Showcase Selection, Fantastic Fest, 2013
  • Destructoid Editor's Choice, PAX Prime, 2013
  • Selected for the Indie MEGABOOTH, PAX Prime, 2013
  • Official Selection, Toronto Gamercamp Festival, 2013
  • Official Selection, Portland Stumpquest Game Fest, 2013