COGWATCH – 1. Crypt Of The Necrodancer

Hey! It’s a new weekly video series from Quinns talking about one mechanic in one game. First up: rhythm-based movement in music-infused roguelike Crypt of the Necrodancer [official site].

Remember to subscribe to the RPS YouTube channel for more of whatever it is we do.

This post was funded by the RPS Supporter program.


Top comments

  1. ollymoss says:

    Nice poster.
  1. Sin Vega says:

    Damn, I’d heard RPS had made progress with the new QUINNS-BOT model, but I had no idea it was this convincing. Good work.

  2. Jericho says:

    Hey, Quinns!

    Always good to see your charming face around here. So this is going to be a regular series? Color me excited!

    • Quinns says:

      Yep! Every week, Thursday 7pm GMT.

      • caff says:

        Yay! I’m really glad you’re doing stuff for RPS. Your pathologic series is legendary amongst gaming articles, in my opinion :)

      • EhexT says:

        Will you do a post on RPS as a reminder or will we have to watch the youtube channel like hawks?

        • caff says:

          You should probably just subscribe to the YouTube channel anyway,

          You get:

          – John stumbling around in survival simulators, agog at the lack of supermarkets
          – Alice stumbling around in late night driving simulators, agog at the general tripiness
          – Alec stumbling around in city builders, plonking sewage pipes next to prime residential populace
          – Rab stumbling around Scotland, doing flipping amazing videos on personal gaming experiences

          So go and subscribe. You oik.

          • caff says:

            Having said all of that, strangely this video is not showing under the RockPapersShotgun channel.

            I’m confused now, and I’m going to drink a lot of whisky to make everything better.

          • Harlander says:

            Also, for some reason, a lot of the people who do videos and are associated with RPS have really soothing voices.

  3. CannedLizard says:

    Quinns is back, yay!

    I imagine almost everyone here is familiar with it, but if not, immediately go check out Shut Up & Sit Down, especially the video reviews. They really get to the heart of what makes board games’ mechanics pleasurable, and I’m so excited to see a video series devoted to just that in video games.

  4. JB says:

    Welcome back to the fold, Quinns!

  5. Amatyr says:

    “This post was funded by the RPS Supporter program.” – well worth my sub, Sir!

  6. JeCa says:

    Welcome back Quinns, you’ve been missed! The rythm mechanic in NecroDancer is indeed something special; this is one of those games your brain will continue playing long after you quit the game (especially as you’re just getting the hang of it), often to the detriment of falling asleep.

  7. aterriblesomething says:

    entertaining and interesting video content? RPS, you spoil me.

  8. Freud says:

    Great stuff. I think it is indeed a clever mechanic, but it looks very stressful to play since it requires such focus.

  9. Solar says:

    Other notable games with rhythm mechanic worth some time? Loved Sequence for example.

  10. v21v21v21 says:

    Please don’t do that again. Ever? Seriously. It felt like a cheese grater against raw, throbbing, exposed neurons.
    The most disagreeable experience had at RPS so far. Perhaps one of them games which are fun for the player and hell for the on-lookers. Or my lack of rhythm. Don’t know. Only know had to quit in the middle, cuddle up round my pillow and wait ten mins for my breathing to slow down.

    still a bit shaky…

    • Sin Vega says:

      It would likely help if you specified what exactly you’re objecting to.

    • JeCa says:

      That was an… unexpected reaction. Though you’re not the first person I’ve seen for whom the combination of objects pulsing to the beat has made this game very uncomfortable to play/watch. Personally I get a headache if I don’t turn off the screen shake and disco floor, but I’ve never experienced anything close to what you’re describing.

      • joa says:

        I think he is satirising the extreme sensitivity of some people on this site. Like that article John wrote about how he was super offended by some game with deep bass a few days ago.

        • DXN says:

          Uh, I think John was saying people found the demonstration oft he game uncomfortable due to the sound and speaker setup… ?

          Some people are pretty sensitive about sensitivity…

  11. amateurviking says:

    Well this is a nice surprise. Lovely.

    Game looks ace too.

  12. lowprices says:

    Quinns! Lovely Quinns. How I would’ve missed you if it weren’t for the fact that you didn’t actually stop doing things on the internet.

    I think you’ve articulated perfectly what I love about Necrodancer. It’s the first puzzle game I’ve played were you have to feel the solution, rather than think about it.

    That, and the soundtrack is now my preferred gym playlist.

  13. TheApologist says:

    Quinns!! \o/

  14. thedosbox says:

    Quinns does good video.

    Also love the Firewatch poster in the background.

  15. Shiloh says:

    Blimey, it’s Quinns – haven’t seen you since, ooh, let me think, oh yes I know, yesterday when I popped over to SU&SD. Because, you know, boardgames.

    Jolly well done anyway, good to see you round these parts again.

  16. Immobile Piper says:

    Never enjoyed rhythm things. Interesting stuff nonetheless. Looking forward to more stuff.

    Funk on, Mr. Smith.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:


    *swoons, falling to the ground with a disconcerting thud*

    In other news, I love the living arse out of Necrodancer and everyone should play it.

  18. ollymoss says:

    Nice poster.

  19. Spacewalk says:

    Bad at games? Well at least you aren’t bad at that thing that that other guy is bad at.

  20. Flit says:

    Hi Quinns, what a treat to have you back!!

    I wonder how this game has developed since I saw the RedLetterMedia review back in January? Time to find out!

  21. k47 says:

    I started to visit RPS in a regular manner not too long ago, so I didn’t know about you. And then, you make a very great video about the game that I’m currently loving the most for the past few months. Consider me hooked to your future videos.

    For people that want references about the music, this game’s soundtrack is made by the same guy that made (amongst others) the Super Meat Boy and the original Binding of Isaac soundtracks: Danny Baranowsky.

    • Oozo says:

      Do yourself a favour and searchthis very site for “Announcing: Quindependence Day”, the bittersweet post in which Quinns announced his retirement from RPS, all the while point out which articles he was most proud of. There is so, so much good stuff there. Read everything. Then go on and do the same thing with an an article called “The Sunday Papers Gillen-y Supplement”, in which former Quinns Kieron Gillen does the same for his bastardy career.

      I love all of RPS to pieces, but there’s no denying the fact that Kieron and Gillen brought a quality in writing and soul (also, bad jokes and puns) to this site that couldn’t actually be replaced. Should be mandatory reading for everyone new to RPS.

      In other words: damn son, it’s good to have you back. (Also, I love Shut Up&Sit Down.)

      • Oozo says:

        …a quality of writing that, sadly, does not extend to the comments under their articles. Where was that edit button again?

  22. Josh Reichental says:

    I really loved this, and the whole idea for the column, and the fact that Quinns is presenting (big-time SUSD fan here). This has also convinced me that this game is for me, I hope a full version is released soon as I think I’d prefer to play that than get it in early access.

    I’m excited to see more one-mechanic explorations: I imagine we’ll see Spelunky on here soon enough.
    Some of my personal favourites are 0Space’s ‘you-gun-is-your-sword’ mechanic and 868-Hack’s economic design, where tiles you move on also contain resources which you need to use the special ‘progs’ which in turn spawn enemies …or perhaps that movement and attacking are combined…or the list goes on….. :)

  23. BathroomCitizen says:


    Everybody, Quinns is back!


  24. SuddenSight says:

    This is the best! One of my favorite game reviews talking about the design aspects of my favorite game! What a Thursday.

    On another note, I am amazed at how bad at the game Quinns is. Good stuff.

    I also want to mention Shrines! Such a cool design aspect. These are not just random mutators. Each shrine is intended to encourage some specific, interesting playstyle, and allows players to accumulate item combos that would be rare otherwise (lookin’ at you, shrine of phasing). Very cool.

  25. RARARA says:

    July 4th is no longer Quindependence Day – RPS has retaken Quinns!

  26. Synesthesia says:

    the damn ghost boss is kicking my ass on world 2, but i’m still loving this one.

    Also, good to see you back here quinns! And as always, thank you so much to you and paul for SUSD. My friend meetings would be half as awesome if it weren’t for the two of you. Cheers!

  27. Hanban says:


  28. Low Life says:

    The Smith concentration of this site is getting quite high.

  29. heretic says:

    That was great! :D looking forward to the next one

  30. Premium User Badge

    Earl-Grey says:

    Fuck, I’ve missed you around here.
    I still have that gingerbread biscuit!

    Any chance we could bribe you into squirting out the occasional WIT or game diary some time down the line?
    -there’s a really nice biscuit in it for you…

  31. voorsk says:

    Wow – no-one’s complained about video-only content, yet? Must be a good vid. Anyway, allow me!

    I’m at work, ya gits – I can’t watch this. Some kinda writeup might’ve been nice. *grumblemumblegrumble*

  32. wondermoth says:

    COTND is the greatest rhythm action game of all time, and Mr. Quinns has just eloquently explained a huge number of the reasons why. I’ve dropped 44 hours on the thing, and it currently only has three levels. It is wonderful, and I was mightily miffed that it didn’t get more love in the end of year shenanigans. Nice to see RPS making up for that Obvious Error.

    That aside, I just wanted to mention how much I enjoyed Quinn dropping the combo before opening the door to King Conga. It is the ultimate Necrodancer moment. For the uninitiated, the music for King Conga has an offbeat every eighth beat, where everything and everyone is supposed to stop. It’s vital that you do it correctly, because you get enormous rewards for winning a boss fight perfectly, but the *entire game* requires you to hit every beat you hear… except for every eighth beat in that one boss fight. It is incredibly difficult to mentally adjust to the offbeat before you drop the combo; just one of the many brilliant ways that COTND uses The Mechanic to mess with you. Defeating King Conga perfectly is one of the most satisfying things I’ll ever do in a videogame.

    Crypt of the Necrodancer = funky chess.

  33. Veldzhes says:

    This is the best news ever.
    I still remember this masterpiece of yours
    link to
    Quite quinsesential.
    I eat a pineapple.

  34. Skusey says:


  35. RagingLion says:


    More Quinns is always a good thing *he says pausing the latest ‘Daft Souls’ podcast featuring Quinns*

  36. kdz says:

    Dear Quinns,

    What’s that chair of yours and how do you find it?

  37. Nixitur says:

    Oh man, I’m so happy to see Quinns doing more video game stuff. This video really got to the meat of what makes this game so special.
    One thing, though: I’m pretty sure that music isn’t chiptune.

  38. bill says:

    I’m late, and I haven’t watched the video, but I just wanted to say:

    Welcome back!
    I hope stick around. Yay!

  39. shoptroll says:

    Yay Quinns!

    How many more subscribers do we need to unlock the “Bring back Kieron” stretch goal?

  40. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    Cool! More of this, please.

  41. Drumclem says:

    Dear Mr. Quinns,

    I’ve very much enjoyed this first video, and find the idea behind the series rather brilliant.

    I run a video games blog with a ridiculously small (and French) audience, and I know they would like your stuff, but they can’t access it because of a massive, towering, unbreakable language barrier..

    I would like to write subtitles for this video (and probably the next ones) but I think I might need your help/permission on that. Would you agree ?

    Let me know,
    Thanks again for the videos, more of this please, as Ninja Dodo rightly said.