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Crypt of the NecroDancer is a beat-based roguelike that can be played with a dance mat


Roguelikes are on the rise, Diablo 3 and Torchlight 2 have taken the genre forward in the AAA space and games like FTL and Paranautical Activity have been doing the same in the indie realm, but none have done what Crypt of the NecroDancer has: creating a beat-based dungeon crawler that matches its action to your music.

Control is locked down to just the arrow keys and attacks are acted by pressing into an enemy on the beat of the music, try and move at any other time and you’re stuck in place. If you want to pull off a more powerful move then you’ll be looking to learn direction combos that need to be tapped out to the rhythm of the music. Awesome.

Speaking to USGamer, Ryan Clark, the game’s creator, explained that “I was thinking about roguelikes and how to make them more ‘fair’. By ‘fair’ I mean that when your character dies, it should always be your own fault. It should be due to some mistake you made, not due to an inescapable situation created by the game’s random number generator. After you die, the cause of your death – and what you could have done to avoid death – should be fairly apparent. These are things that I feel would make roguelikes more enjoyable for me.” So having all motion caught locked to a beat and all enemies able to be defeated with perfect rhythm it’s always on you to win a battle.

You’ll be able to upgrade your character with new skills and items, as with other roguelikes. And, as with other roguelikes, death means the loss of all your kit – so, put the wrong playlist on to jam to and you may be setting yourself up for a beating. Darude would not be advisable.

It sounds as though the game’s packed with good ideas. Each song acts as a level of the dungeon; at the end of the song a trapdoor opens beneath you and you plummet into the next level. There are also plans to support DDR dance mats if you can hook one up to your PC.

There’s currently no firm release date, but expect to be playing NecroDancer at some point later this year.