Crypt of the NecroDancer Pocket Edition review
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Crypt of the NecroDancer Pocket Edition review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on July 8th, 2016
Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: ROGUE BEAT
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A rhythm-based roguelike sounds super hard and bad, but this one manages to be the former without being the latter.

Developer: Brace Yourself Games

Price: $4.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

Crypt of the NecroDancer Pocket Editionfeels a whole lot like if someone took Sproggiwoodand tried to make it more like Dance Dance Revolution.It's a weird concept for sure, but one that somehow works incredibly well.

The build up

The setup of Crypt of the NecroDancerisn't entirely clear, though there is a short expository cutscene at the beginning of the game that suggests your heart has been removed and that you need to quest to get it back ... or something. Whatever the case may be, it is not as important as knowing that NecroDanceris a turn-based dungeon crawler set to a beat.

In this game, you'll find yourself tapping to move and attack enemies, but only when the music matches up to your actions. If you think this sounds hard, you'd be right. This game is incredibly difficult. Thankfully though, the penalties for not continuously hitting every beat aren't huge, and there's even a character that lets you play without having to be rhythmic at all.


Every time you play NecroDancer, your experience will be different since the game's dungeons are procedurally generated. Things will also change as you earn diamonds, which you can spend between rounds on permanent upgrades, item unlocks, and more.

If this weren't enough, clearing zones in NecroDancercan unlock new characters, all with their different playstyles, which can really help keep every play through feeling fresh.

Production values

What truly makes NecroDancera delight though is its meticulous attention to detail. As a rhythm game, it has a stellar soundtrack (as well as the ability for you to substitute your own tunes). As a roguelike, the dungeons are varied in structure and contain a wide variety of enemies with different behaviors that will keep you on your toes on every run.

Aside from its core components, there are also charming touches like the singing in-game shopkeeper, disco lighting for score bonuses, and really good replay tools that just make NecroDancerfeel like a lovingly crafted package.

Musically challenging

In terms of drawbacks, NecroDanceronly has one potentially fatal flaw. If you aren't bought in to the idea of learning how to play a dungeon crawler to a beat, there is not much here for you.

Although there is the Bard class, which takes the rhythm components out of the game, the true and complete experience comes with learning how to dance your way through dungeons.

The bottom line

Crypt of the NecroDanceris a fantastic game that's hard to put down, even when you die over and over again. If you are at all interested in roguelikes, rhythm games, or just good games, check this one out.

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