Check out our Monthly Survey Page to see what our users are running.
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. See more here.
The excellent and frustrating Crypt of the Necrodancer comes to Steam Early Access on the 30th of July, and comes complete with a Linux version.

The game is all based around the music and rhythm, so if you're like me and you utterly fail at keeping up with the beats of the music then you will probably fail a lot, but it's extremely fun to play and really well done.

The developers actually sent over a copy to test out and the Linux port has been a pleasure to play with no issues that I can see. The only problem is that I feel the gamepad support needs its own set of controls as the normal controls on a gamepad are a little awkward.

It took me quite some time to get to the second zone in Necrodancer and just wow the difficulty level sure does ramp up something special. What I really love about the game is that you can play it with dance pads, and they even have some customized pads just for the game! Although the solid pads are a bit on the expensive side you can also get some massively cheaper soft pads, but sadly they don't have the awesome art pictured below:

Will you be picking this one up? I can easily recommend it. Article taken from
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
See more from me
The comments on this article are closed.

DrMcCoy Jul 18, 2014
To the beat of the music, with your own mp3s?
Probably not the perfect game for some Sunn O)))? :P
Liam Dawe Jul 18, 2014
I was thinking of trying it with some heavy metal...see how that works out :P
Sabun Jul 18, 2014
Quoting: liamdaweI was thinking of trying it with some heavy metal...see how that works out :P

Now that's an idea I can get behind! Some Trivium, Metallica or A7X for my tastes :D
Cheeseness Jul 18, 2014
Quoting: GuestYeah, often rythm games are extremely difficult… For example the recent « Fredric » games on Steam, the first level of the demo is way too hard. And no way to train at a lowered pace.

Crypt of the NecroDancer has a pretty good learning curve to it, IMO. The first zone isn't too hard, and is enjoyable in its own right, the second zone becomes a skill wall that prepares you for the rest of the game.

There was also a new playable character added with the last update who doesn't have to move in time with the music (instead, all enemies move in time with his movement, creating a more "turn based" environment that might be a little easier to get the hang of).

Unlockable training stuff was added recently as well, which lets players choose a particular enemy to face off against to learn/practice against their patterns.

The developer has talked about how he sees NecroDancer as being inspired by Spelunky in terms of being an "accessible" roguelike-like. It's easy to jump in and feel like you're playing, but there are also skill walls like the second zone which Liam mentioned (that'd be the equivalent of the Jungle in Spelunky) that are there to make sure you're prepared for the challenges ahead before you can proceed.

I went into a bit more detail in my first impressions article back in May.

Quoting: DrMcCoyTo the beat of the music, with your own mp3s?
Probably not the perfect game for some Sunn O)))? :P

I haven't tried any metal, but it works OK with some original acoustic recordings. I haven't tried to get custom music running in a while, but last time I did, the beat file generator wasn't included with the game and getting my own tracks in was a bit fiddly. The developers have said that the final game should include the ability to do all that in-game on all platforms.

With the game's fantastic soundtrack, I've found it hard to justify keeping custom music in though :D
Cheeseness Jul 18, 2014
Quoting: Guest
Quoting: Cheesenessthe second zone becomes a skill wall that prepares you for the rest of the game.
To me that sounds like “the second zone is suddenly way more difficult with no progression and no hints to help the player, and if it’s too hard for you then we don’t care about you”… Hopefully I’m wrong.

Hmm. I see it as an important gating mechanism that makes sure that players don't feel the way that you describe when they reach later parts of the game. It's the point at which difficulty starts ramping up, but you still feel like you're learning all the time (or at least I did). It introduces a couple of new enemy types which encourage you to hone particular play styles.

With enemy movement styles being very readable, the game gives you plenty of opportunity to learn the new stuff that's introduced. It's the emergent complexity from variations in procedural level generation and enemy placement combined with different equipment that become the challenge rather than the new enemy types.

In "normal" mode, the game only lets you play through one zone at a time. If you play zone 2 in normal mode, you'll always be playing with default equipment, meaning that you'll never end up feeling more disadvantaged than your first exposure (which makes practicing feel easier/fairer than it does in something like Spelunky when using the shortcut tunnels).
Liam Dawe Jul 18, 2014
The problem is if you start sugar coating a game like this, then the difficulty ramping up takes too long and the game gets unnecessarily drawn out.

For Necrodancer it's quite hard to begin with anyway, so it feels about right. That said I haven't played the second zone enough yet to really feel its pain.
N30N Jan 8, 2015
I wasn't sold on this game till I saw the PreRec/RedLetterMedia review:

View video on
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Reward Tiers: Patreon. Plain Donations: PayPal.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
The comments on this article are closed.