When it was initially released on PC in 2015, Brace Yourself Game’s Crypt Of The NecroDancer was a surprising delight: a friendly prison crawler on a rhythm game base, it combined the procedurally-produced levels and endless challenge of the roguelike genre with the thumping beat of a dance game. Now that it’s out on Nintendo Switch – equipped with all past DLC and a new character – it’s ready to bring that same musical heartbeat to Nintendo’s newest gaming system, and it’s an extremely welcome expansion. The game is addictive, creative, and overwhelmingly fun.
Of its two fundamental parts – dancing and dungeon crawling – COTN’s primary gameplay lies in the latter. Like most roguelikes, you’ll begin at the ground level and head down, descending through discrete, arbitrarily produced floors on a mission to beat the boss at the base of every region. There are foes to battle and stay away from, minibosses, to thrashing to open the following arrangement of stairs, shops to offer you life-sparing overhauls and hardware, and a lot of traps and mysteries to find as you go.
The musical part of NecroDancer gives it a vibe like nothing else, and it’s as fun as it is difficult. The timing is generous and recalibrates naturally on the off chance that you skip ahead or behind a beat. The boundary to enter for the real beat matching is very low — you won’t require the syncopation skills or heightened dexterity required by straight music games here. Instead, the impressive challenge originates from the way that the consistent march of the meter expects you to think and act at speed, settling on the many little choices that go into dungeon crawling without the advantage of stopping to think about your decisions. The beat, as such, must go on.
Due to that pace – which increases relentlessly as you slide into the speedier BPMs of lower levels – COTN is feverish and exciting where different roguelikes are predictable. Foes boogie, curve, and slide their way around the cell floor in unsurprising musical numbers, and when they gang up on you – as they regularly do – death can originate from a single mistake. Bosses are far superior, with complex, multilayered moves and chorus lines. It’s mind-bogglingly intense, and advancing is moderately difficult, however, it’s never disappointing on account of a fun, wide-achieving variety of lasting updates.
The game is wrapped up in a pleasingly pixel-filled presentation, as well, with superb spritework, noteworthy story cutscenes, and strangely cute foe liveliness. It’s retro-chic, finish with the dark-on-white text trappings of the genre’s prime, and it looks amazing on the widescreen or in handheld mode. The soundtrack is likewise first-rate, with unique tunes by Danny Baranovsky that stay danceable even after being numerous tunes in. Each level has an alternate, appealing subject, and you’ll without a doubt wind up chiming in with the shopkeeper before too long. On the off chance that you need a change, the Switch release additionally has a few elective soundtracks packaged in, from EDM and synthwave remixes to destroying metal and chiptune wizardry obligingness of Shovel Knight’s Jake ‘virt’ Kaufman. Indeed, even the Danganronpa hybrid DLC tracks are incorporated – an appreciated marvel of present-day licensing.
At long last, it must be said that as a snappy fire game with vast replay value, COTN is comfortable on Nintendo Switch. We cherish having the capacity to lift it up and cut up a mat or two while around town, and its blend of procedurally-produced levels and lasting redesigns is an ideal fit for compact play. There’s even a two-player neighborhood community alternative – with single Joy-Con bolster – that is really fun with the correct dance partner.