HomeReviews4/5 ReviewPinball FX - Crypt of the NecroDancer Pinball Review

Pinball FX – Crypt of the NecroDancer Pinball Review

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Zen Studios have adapted numerous games into pinball tables over the years, with the Bethesda Pinball pack being a particular standout. More recent offerings have seen Borderlands and Brothers in Arms transformed into tables, but the latest partnership for Pinball FX is a little more low-key. It’s time for Brace Yourself Games’ award-winning indie title Crypt of the NecroDancer to get the pinball treatment. 

Will Crypt of the NecroDancer Pinball manage to capture the magic of the acclaimed rhythmic rogue-like?

Pinball FX - Crypt of the NecroDancer Pinball

Well, straight away it’s clear that Crypt of the NecroDancer Pinball isn’t going to conform to the usual pinball rules. Forget having three balls with which you must procure high scores, because you’re instead given three lives represented by hearts. A heart is depleted when a ball is lost during a time when the score multiplier hits zero. Basically, as long as you keep your multiplier up by hitting lanes and targets to the beat of the BGM, then balls lost to the drain aren’t going to be a problem.

I must say, it’s a nice change to not worry too much over drainage and provides plenty of chances to succeed in the challenges ahead. 

These challenges differ depending upon the Zone you start off in, with five zones immediately available to select prior to launching a ball. For example, in Zone 1 it’s all about hitting lanes in a specified order, while Zone 2 sees Golems on the playfield that take damage from being hit with the ball and Zone 3 focuses on the spinners. It’s nothing majorly taxing and helps prepare for the more skilful tasks ahead.  You see, achieving the objective of a Zone is a gateway to partaking in a boss fight, which adds to the variety of the table’s features. 

The bosses will be instantly familiar to those who have played Crypt of the NecroDancer, with the likes of King Conga, Deep Blues, and Coral Riff all involved. Undoubtedly though, the Death Metal fight is the most interesting as you’re transported to a smaller table where a pinball battle ensues. Death Metal is directly opposite, with the idea being to knock the ball into its drain to deplete its health. It’s not easy as a whole line of skeletal creatures are in the way, plus Death Metal has a pair of flippers too. Accomplishing everything leads to the Wizard Mode, where the big bad NecroDancer awaits… but it takes real skill to reach that! 

I like that Crypt of the NecroDancer Pinball offers the option to choose which zone to play in, allowing even the worst players to have a bash at every mission and a decent chance of encountering a boss. It does take some getting used to though, mainly due to the life system and having to complete tasks before the music track ends. Other unique features can also initially be confusing, such as the ability to turn the ball into a bomb to cause extra damage and the pop-up shop that can be visited.

Design-wise, the table is adorned with a piece of art focusing on the main protagonist Cadence wielding a sword as she’s surrounded by a handful of the bosses. There’s also a really cool 3D model of Cadence standing atop the table, ensuring the spotlight is on her. The actual layout makes the gameplay trickier due to its shortness, however Zen Studios have compensated for this slightly by including two kickbacks – losing the ball down the sides is less frequent as a result. It’s a very simple table otherwise, with just the single set of flippers which can send the ball flying up any of the six lanes and ramps.

Given how the music is a rather important aspect of the original game, it’s great that the soundtrack here is tied into the gameplay. And not just that, but the fact each Zone has its own BGM to really set the tone of proceedings. Whether it’s leaning more towards a grunge or spooky style, expect an upbeat tempo throughout that’ll get you in the groove almost instantly.

Ultimately, Crypt of the NecroDancer Pinball is a Pinball FX table that’s going to be loved by fans of the game and enjoyed greatly by everyone else. Sure, the concept isn’t entirely straightforward, but it’s a risk that pays off once you get the hang of it. The boss encounters are darn fun and the music is on-point too, ensuring a fair amount of variety on what is in essence a simple table in terms of the layout.

Don’t delay, venture into Crypt of the NecroDancer Pinball in Pinball FX for a funky good time.

James Birks
James Birks
Been gaming casually since the SNES as a youngster but found my true passion for games on the Playstation 1 (the forbidden word ooo). My addiction grew to its pinnacle with the purchase of an Xbox 360 & Xbox Live Service. A recovering GS hunter that will still play literally any game.
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Zen Studios have adapted numerous games into pinball tables over the years, with the Bethesda Pinball pack being a particular standout. More recent offerings have seen Borderlands and Brothers in Arms transformed into tables, but the latest partnership for Pinball FX is a little...Pinball FX - Crypt of the NecroDancer Pinball Review
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