Brace Yourself Games

A roguelike that’s a rhythm game? Jesus Christ, FINALLY!

A roguelike that’s a rhythm game? Jesus Christ, FINALLY!

“With roguelikes you generally have as much time as you need to take a turn: You take your turn, and then the monsters take their turn,” Brace Yourself Games' Oliver Trujillo told The Report. “The goal is to hit them before they hit you.”

You don't have any time to think in Crypt of the NecroDancer. Every “turn” is a beat of the song, and if you move every time there is a beat you keep your groove up, which will lead to more coins when you kill monsters. So the game becomes a dance as you tap the directional keys along to the beat and tempo of the song.

The rest of the game takes care of yourself. “Your goal is to make it through the dungeon without dying,” Trujillo said, stating the obvious. You can play with a controller, but that shit is the boring way to experience the game. At PAX Prime they were demoing the game with dance pads, allowing players to literally dance to the beat of the music.

The combination of directional movements to attack monsters and explore each dungeon created a sort of procedurally generated dance, and the players looked enjoyably goofy.

“We wanted to create a game that is fair (a high win rate among elite players), yet without the onerous knowledge requirements,” the game's factsheet states. “Crypt of the NecroDancer is our attempt at achieving this goal. It is turn based, but the turns are of an enforced length. Lack of time to think renders impossible the careful study and patience of the expert NetHack player.”

You can't memorize the level, and you don't need to study the game in order to do well. Instead, you have to make quick decisions, stay on the beat, and DANCE.

“Basically, the faster the song, the more difficult the level, because you have to think faster. It’s also compatible with your own music, you can download your own library in the game and play with whatever music you prefer,” Trujillo said.

The game will sell for $15 on the Mac and PC, and early access is expected to start in late 2013. I'm not sure if the concept will be enough to keep the interest of players, the game itself will need to be fun and offer enough content to justify its own gimmick, but the crowd at PAX seemed to be having a good time. You can't stop and think about things, not if you want to stay on the beat.

All you can do is step, react, and dance until you die.