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Dance the night away with Crypt of the Necrodancer

"Wait, is this a dungeon crawler played with a DDR pad?"

"You bet it is!"

Okay, I'm sold on Crypt of the Necrodancer right there. Developer Brace Yourself Games should seriously brace themselves for my money.

Oh, what's that? You thought that pun was in bad taste? I should shut up before going on this off-topic, nonsensical post and just write about the game? Fine, then! Sorry for trying to have fun with a fun game concept! 

I have to be perfectly honest with you: I didn't get a chance to play the game with the DDR pad, mostly because I was strapped for time all weekend (I played too much Magic: the Gathering because I really wanted a foil set of Modern Masters, sue me). Still, I did get a chance to play the game with a keyboard setup, reliving my glory days from Flash Flash Revolution. Oddly enough, I'm glad I did get to try it out with the "default" control scheme, mostly because 1.) I don't own a DDR pad, 2.) I am an awful dancer, and 3.) Because Crypt of the Necrodancer is absolutely fantastic regardless of how you play it.

The concept is simple: you're crawling through a dungeon as you attempt to kill and loot everything in sight. Sounds simple enough, right? WRONG! You can only move your character along with the music's beat. Failure to do so will result in failure to move, which can leave you in the absolute worst situations, especially on the harder dungeons. Oh man, trust me when I say that this game can be incredibly hard. 

The design choice works wonders, and not just because the game's music is so catchy you'll find yourself bobbing your head as your character dances through a dungeon. It feels like a quasi-turn-based strategy game. You'll have to plan your moves accordingly, as the enemies move on the beat whether you're moving or not. I look forward to mastering the game's intricacies and defeating the harder dungeons. Seriously, some of the demo levels are absolutely nuts. 

Thanks in part to the design mechanic, it's incredibly easy to get into a groove as you're exploring each dungeon. While this sounds like a great idea, it's important to note that I often got tunnel vision while playing. I was obsessed with trying to show off my mad skills in a Rock Band-esque manner before dying because I didn't see the giant enemy two feet in front of me. I guess the strategic movement is only half the battle; the rest of it is being sure you don't get lost in the music. 

Our time with Crypt of the Necrodancer was far too limited. It's set to release later this year, so get those dancing shoes ready, dust of those DDR pads, and don't let go; you've got the music in you.

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Jake Valentine
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