Indie Reviews – Reigns and Crypt of the NecroDancer

So here I am, bored as hell on a Sunday afternoon with nothing to do (Well, I have like a million things to do, but I’m certainly in no mind to do them). I’m feeling like playing something new today, so I open up my Steam library. It is then that I realize that I have not touched most of the games in the library. Weirder still, I do not remember even buying said games.
Where did they come from? Did I buy them out of impulse? I’m sure I would’ve remembered…
And so I install them, partly out of curiosity but mostly because it would be a waste not to play them.
The games in question? Reigns and Crypt of the Necrodancer.


Image via Madhouse

Developed by Devolver Digital (famous for such classics as Genital Jousting and Shadow Warrior 2) and published in 2016, Reigns is an interesting blend of card game, simulation, RPG, and rogue-like. It is currently available for purchase from Steam, Google Play, and the iTunes App Store.
In Reigns, you play as a Monarch of a fictional Medieval kingdom. As Monarch, it is up to you to stay in power for as long as possible by trying to balance the four main groups of your kingdom: the church, the people, the army, and the treasury. You do this by making decisions based on what problems and issues are presented to you by your advisers.
Give too much power to one group, your reign ends. Lose the approval of another, your reign also ends. And thus begins the reign of another.

Gif via Devolver Digital

Interestingly enough, no choice in this game is inherently bad or good as one choice might affect one group positively while affecting another negatively. The key is to keep everything in balance (easier said than done). In addition to that, the choices you make will also affect future events as well as future monarchs. Hidden secrets, events, and advisers will also be unlocked depending on what choices you make.
Overall, Reigns is an elegant time waster. Don’t expect it to take up more than half and hour at a time due to its repetition and simplicity. However, the more time you spend playing the game, the more you’ll appreciate carving out your own narrative via your choices and discovering the larger mystery of Reigns. As of the current Steam Summer sale, Reigns has a 50% discount. Get it while it’s cheap!

Crypt of the NecroDancer

Image via Necrodancer

Developed by Brace Yourself Games and co-published by Klei Entertainment in 2015, Crypt of the NecroDancer is a top-down, 2-D, rhythm-based, rogue-like dungeon crawler.
As with most dungeon crawlers, you play as a character fighting monsters and finding loot in a procedurally generated dungeon. Included in each dungeon are bosses, item chests, hidden secrets, shops etc. as is expected of a dungeon crawler. Find the exit of the dungeon and proceed to the next one until you run into a boss. Defeat said boss and unlock the next zone and so on and so forth. Pretty basic stuff.
Where this game really shines, however, is its rhythm-based mechanic where you can only move your character to the beat of the music. You can do this via the arrow keys, controller, or a dance pad (Yes, you read that right). Keep moving to the beat and you’ll boost your gold multiplier. Miss a step, and the multiplier will reset.

Image via Giffiles

It also helps that soundtrack is a particularly excellent mix of electronic tunes written by music composer Danny Baranowsky who’s written the music for games like Super Meat Boy and the Binding of Isaac. In addition to that, you can also put in your own music and fight monsters to a soundtrack of your choosing!
In between games, you will return to the lobby where you can access the different zones, characters, and options. If you find and liberate NPCs in the dungeon, they will appear in the lobby where you can buy upgrades from them with diamonds you collect in the dungeon.
All in all, Crypt of the NecroDancer is a solid, enjoyable game with little to no major faults. If you’re a fan of dungeon crawlers and/or rhythm games I highly recommend you check this one out! It is currently available for PC, PlayStation 4, PS Vita, iOS, and Xbox One. As of the current Steam Summer Sale, the game is featuring an 80% discount. Don’t miss out!

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