Deep down, everyone loves a good party and according to Skeletal Dance Party those bones are eager to shake it all night, even if the flesh is unwilling. Released today by Catalope Games and No Studio In Particular, it’s an adorably bouncy physics’y spin on the dungeon crawler. Young necromancer Reva is throwing a dungeon dance party for her monster friends and bony pals. Sadly, the grumpy Temple Of Righteous Light frown on rowdy parties (and blasphemously raising the dead), so they’re trying to put a stop to all this. Below, a smile-inducing launch trailer and a demo here.
Built on the charmingly wobbly foundations of the freeware Skeletal Dance Simulator (which you can find on Itch here), Skeletal Dance Party is vaguely Pikmin-esque, but intentionally messier. Everything in this cute little voxel world is either flailing around to the beat, or inanimate and begging to either be knocked over or telekinetically thrown around. It’s so bright and happy that we’ll gloss over the fact that this lonely child is on a (literally) unholy murder rampage, converting the corpses of her foes into more cheerful skelepals. Eh, nobody likes paladins anyway.
From the bit I’ve played of the demo (and I’m eager to try the full game), there’s depth beyond skeleton japes. While you’re mostly trying to ensure that your skellington crew is bigger than any enemies they bump into, there’s offensive spells to cast, other types of undead to raise and loot to find. Most of the gear is for the skeletons, who’ll pick up whatever hats, helmets, weapons or musical instruments (they do love their trumpets) they find lying about. Occasionally you’ll find new wizard-hats or wands for Reva, though. Cartons of milk (good for strong bones) heal her, too.
While I’ve yet to see how well the full game’s missions and side-quests stack up, Skeletal Dance Party feels like just the kind of cheerful villainy we need for this final stretch of Skeleton Appreciation Month. We can all overlook a few dozen murders if there’s a great party and good friends waiting on the other side, right?