Summary: If I weren't already so fond of game jams -- and rapid prototyping in general -- The Binding of Isaac likely would have pushed me into such fandom. It began life as a week-long project between Team Meat's Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl, eventually growing to what it is now, a twisted roguelike centered around religious themes and classic gaming influences.
Excerpt: Few games can truly claim to walk the fine line between fun and frustration as much as The Binding of Isaac , another hellishly difficult title from Edmund McMillen: the man behind Super Meat Boy . It’s a title that delights in pushing players to the point where they want to start taking swings at their computer before attempting another round guiding its titular tyke through a series of nightmarish and randomized dungeons.
Excerpt: It’s exceedingly rare for a five dollar downloadable game to engender real creepiness, but the intro sequence to The Binding of Isaac delivers plenty of disturbia. An update of the biblical parable (in which God demands the sacrifice of Abraham’s son Isaac), the game tells the story of a woman driven mad by Christian telecasts. Her fragmenting mind begins hearing the voice of God, who eventually demands she demonstrate her loyalty by carving up her only son.
Excerpt: The Binding of Isaac released in September of last year and brought PC gamers one of the best independent titles of the entire year. For only $5, the game was more that a bargain for gamers, and added another great, if totally strange, title to the growing list of incredibly addictive and challenging titles from developer Edmund McMillen. Now, it's a year later, and the first DLC expansion has arrived for the game.
Conclusion: When was the last time you played a game that blew you away with craziness? It’s been a while? The Binding of Isaac is easily one of the craziest games that I’ve played with some of the most simple yet incredible gameplay I’ve seen. I’m not going to hide how much I like this game before getting into the body of the review because it’s that damn good!
The Binding of Isaac is a 2D platformer that features ‘The Legend of Zelda’ inspired dungeon crawling gameplay.
Excerpt: Remember Super Meat Boy and Gish? Both were, in their own way, slightly creepy games with disturbing cartoon visuals. Well, both games were at least partly designed by Edmund McMillen, and The Binding of Isaac is what happens when Ed really lets go. It's a horrific game with an Old Testament theme (Indeed, the Binding of Isaac is a bible story), and gameplay reminiscent of several games, such as Zelda's dungeon sections and twin-stick shooters like Robotron 2084.
Excerpt: They say that God has a plan for all of us. In Isaac's case, the plan begins and ends with the business end of a butcher's knife. To escape his grisly fate--at the hands of his own mother no less--our young hero must brave a labyrinth of unspeakable horrors while tapping into the dark arts of witchcraft and household objects. Spawned from the mind of Team Meat ( Super Meat Boy ) cofounder Edmund McMillen, The Binding of Isaac is a twisted tale.
Pros: Dozens of interesting items to find, Smart difficulty curve, Tons of unlockables increase replay value, Randomized dungeons keep you guessing.
Cons: Items lack any description after discovery, Doesn't offer official controller support.
Conclusion: The Binding of Isaac is the conclusive proof that quality gaming is not all about graphics or who has the best console. It’s a game designed by gamers, for gamers, filling a void that was left by the apathy of the gaming industry of the last decade that churns out title after title with little to no emotional value. It’s a good game and you can’t be called a gamer until you die at least 20 times in The Binding of Isaac.
Pros: Although the graphics are not much to look at, the character only moves in four directions and the controls scheme is tiresome, at best, but the overall feeling of the game and the sheer number of combinations that can result from mixing intelligent level design and dozens of items, makes The Binding of Isaac a great game and a must have for people who experience melancholia overs the "good old days".
Cons: There is only one major problem. The game is designed in flash and there's no gamepad support, which seems to be the best control method for this game. As the players have only one way to control the character, with the WASD keys, and fire with the arrows keys (the mouse can also be used to fire and seems a better alternative). The game is hard, but not that hard. I mostly died because of the faulty control method. It’s a shame that a problem such as this almost ruins...
Excerpt: The Binding of Isaac tells the story of Isaac, a warped reimagining of the Biblical story of Isaac, son of Abraham. In this game, Isaac lived a happy life with his mother who watched a lot of the Christian broadcast network on TV. Isaac’s life took a turn for the worse when the Lord told his mom to remove sinful stuff from his life. She obeyed and took all of his toys away from him.