Finally the Full Release is here for NecroDancer! I got it in Early Acces a few months ago and could see the evolution of this game into the great game that we have now. But what is Crypt of the NecroDancer exactly?
Well, it calls itself a Roguelike Rhythm game - and what that means is, that as opposed to your usual Roguelike game, you will have to follow the beat of the music (the Standard soundtrack is produced by Danny B., and trust me, it's possibly his most awesome work). There are also 2 greatly done remixes of the Soundtrack that you can select, in addition to that you can also choose your own custom music.
The main difficulty comes from learning the patterns of the enemies, weapons, what items and shrines do and how to manage all of this while keeping the rhythmn. Now that might sound overwhelming at first but the game has a beat system that is fairly lenient, which means that you can be half a beat off without losing your multiplayer and screwing up. Which is good since the monsters will make you sweat bullets later on. Patterns in the beginning are fairly easy though, so don't worry about getting stuck from the beginning.
The Lobby system of NecroDancer allows you to train against monsters, bosses and practice with different weapons, so that you can find out why that red bat utterly destroyed you last time. Aside from that you can earn Diamonds when you play the separate zones to unlock items to find in the same mode. The All zones mode has everything unlocked item wise from the beginning, but it is advisable that you learn the ropes by starting with just Zone 1. Generally it is a good idea to practice with Zones separately if you have problems with them. Once you are familiar, you will probably stick with going trough all Zones, similar to how Spelunky works, to build up good equipment over the run.
Every run is different, as the layouts get randomly generated. There is a fair variety of items, from weapons to rings, weapons, spells, potions that give you an extra life to boots that make you light as a feather (advised for escaping from fire and ice!). Generally speaking, and that is the second comparison to Spelunky, you should be able to get through even with your base equipment, since Crypt of the NecroDancer is mostly skill and Rhythm based. However, getting a Bow, Spear, Long Sword or other weapons will give you more range and/or different attack patterns which you can use to get an advantage over your fellow Golems, Goblins, Slimes, Bats and many, many more monsters. The variety of enemies is huge and you will learn to love and hate most of them.
Each Zone is separated in three level Levels with a mini boss at the end (you will love Red Dragons) and one Boss Level. For the first three Zones, you will face a random Boss, the fourth has a special one. The boss fights have unique songs and all very well done, reaching from playing a well paced Chess game to keeping the beat against a Death Metal Skeleton Master.
The is also a roster of different characters with varying difficulty to them. Your standard character is Cadence and she is pretty straight forward, while other characters have some unique movement patterns or restrictions attached to them. If you feel like playing a classic roguelike game, you can choose the Bard. With him, you don't have to follow the beat. You make a move and then the monsters move afterwards. He is best used for learning patterns but be warned: it`s possible that you will struggle a bit with normal characters when you switch back to them. Another noteworthy character is Adria, if you screw up with the beat than you will face the fate of instant Death. Best used to either challenge yourself or to practice performing well under the positive stress of the beat ^^
The game also offers a Daily Challenge, a seeded run that is the same for all players. You can also play in local co-op (the mode is a bit easier) with your buddies. And if you feel like it, you can also use a Dance Pad for it.
All in all, I can recommend this game completely. It has been my go-to example of well done Early Access games and now that it is released, it's as of now my game of the year 2015. What is left to be said is me wishing you fun with it and thanking the awesome developers for listening to community feedback and polishing their game up to this gem that we have now.