first_img If you have a Nintendo Switch, chances are you also have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The new Zelda is a massive, phenomenal game that you can and should play for dozens of hours. But eventually, you’re going to want to play something new on your Nintendo console/handheld hybrid. Switch Games That Aren’t Zelda is a new column highlighting cool, smaller Switch games to check out once you’ve saved Hyrule.If you thought my begrudging coverage of Nintendo Switch roguelikes ended in 2017, well I have some good and/or bad news for you. I think the reason I keep doing this to myself, other than my desire to play cool indie Switch games for free, is that despite my distaste for the core of the genre, some of the most creative and interesting concepts and mechanics in indie games and games in general are incidentally coming from roguelikes. It’s just too bad they lean on roguelike formulas instead of literally anything else.The latest example of this bittersweet trend is the Switch release of Crypt of the NecroDancer from Brace Yourself Games. Once again, your mileage will depend on your tolerance for the random punishing difficulty of roguelikes, but Crypt of the NecroDancer does deliver on the sheer potential of the most incredible pun name since Enter the Gungeon.AdChoices广告Playing as vengeful daughter Cadence (or eventually one of several other playable characters) up to two players enter the groovy tomb in search of their missing family. Naturally, the funk of forty thousand years means the dungeon is crawling with grisly ghouls to vanquish the deeper you descend. And again, since this is a roguelike, the encounters are tough, randomized, and send you back to the beginning with no saved progress every time you die. Business as usual. Even the sprite art, while charming, is pretty generic retro fantasy dungeon crawler pixelated fare with some extra disco lights and dancing animations.Of course, like the difference between a necromancer and the NecroDancer, this game’s big hook is that the whole experience revolves around music. Every journey is set to a thumping beat connected to your heart, and every action you and everything else takes must be synced to that beat. Even just moving left and right and up and down has to happen on rhythm or you’ll stop in your tracks and lose your valuable score/currency multiplier.Meanwhile, you have to consider timing when approaching a monster. Each attack pattern works like a dance move with its own choreography, so to safely attack a monster you basically have to outdance them with your own spontaneous improvised yet still rhythmic steps. It’s like a really fast turn-based strategy game that tells you how long each turn is.In both theory and practice, this makes Crypt of the NecroDancer feel super cool. Each run becomes its own mini rhythm game, perfect for portable play. Each successful battle becomes an awesome climactic solo. The semi-mindless flow state music games naturally induce turns the inherent repetition of roguelikes into a strength instead of a weakness, even if I would still prefer crafted levels to a complete blur.And crucially, the music itself holds up its part of the bargain. The gameplay needs require the tracks be consistent loops, not the arrhythmic nightmares of something like Thumper, but composer Danny Baranowsky’s work perfectly blends the dark dungeon crawler meets club funk aesthetic into the perfect pulsing soundtrack for getting you pumped.Too. Bad. It’s. A. Roguelike. It’s great how the music gets faster the further you go since that both raises the mechanical difficulty and makes the game feel more urgent. Too bad I have to keep restarting again and again or reach teleporters to new zones. It’s great how some currency is saved to buy power-ups that persist across runs. Too bad I never want to buy any other new tools and weapons because they are so ephemeral. It’s great how the game lets you turn off on-beat walking in menus to reduce tedium. Too bad I can’t reduce the far worse tedium baked into the chosen genre.Still, if you ever wanted to know what a musical dungeon crawler would play like, Crypt of the NecroDancer tells you and then some. Within its own self-imposed key, it sings.Buy it now!Buy Nintendo labo Variety Kit.Buy Nintendo Labo Robot Kit.Nintendo SwitchProtect Your Nintendo Switch With These Awesome CasesLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target ‘Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball FormSNES Games Officially Come to Nintendo Switch last_img

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