The Binding Of Isaac Review

by Stephen Heller Featured

4 Comments 11 Votes 3500 Views 03/10/2011 Back to Reviews

The Binding of Isaac Review

The Binding of Isaac ironically had to live up to a reputation of biblical proportions; Edmund McMillen who makes up one half of indie darlings Team Meat not only had to live-up to the immense success of Super Meat Boy, but he also needed to provide a compelling gameplay that set this aside as the side-project that McMillen claimed it to be.

Filled with video game homage, religious references and what could be considered a return to classic dungeon crawlers, just how good is The Binding of Isaac?

Get the Adobe Flash Player to see this video.

Check out our video review or keep reading

What The Binding of Isaac Got Right

Classic gameplay - The Binding of Isaac is a return to classic dungeon crawlers that we used to see on the NES, and even the older Atari consoles. Players are presented with a top-down perspective as they move through rooms, clearing them of enemies and collecting items. It's a great throwback to older games, yet feels modern and exciting thanks to McMillen's flair.

Retro love affair - From the second you land in the basement you'll see The Binding of Issac as a retro love affair. Everything from the gameplay to the interface screams The Legend of Zelda, right down to your LIFE bar in the top right corner. You'll run into a mini-boss that sets you in a Bomberman esque room, with the boss himself looking like a character from that franchise. As you move through and discover items and areas you'll notice a number of classic gaming references, and for retro gamers out there it's more than a pleasant surprise.

Items, items, items - The Binding Of Isaac is filled with a huge bunch of collectible items and bonus weapons to help you on your quest. The video game references are still flowing thick when it comes to items - when picking up pills a message comes across the screen saying "Pills Here" which is a nice shout-out to Left 4 Dead players. You'll find all amounts of amusing and quite frankly, weird weapons including a crown of thorns that turn your tears to blood, lemon mishap that causes a yellow substance to pool on the ground, and Mom's pad, which is exactly what you think it is. Weird, wacky and wonderful.

Endless replayability - Dungeons are randomly generated, and thanks to the massive amount of enemies, over 10 bosses and a bunch of collectibles, you can play The Binding of Issac over and over again. The game is quite short which means you can play in a nice, controlled burst which is a great touch.

What The Binding of Isaac Got Wrong

Too short - The Binding of Issac can be completed in one sitting while waiting for the bus which is part of the appeal, but because the game is so addictive we want more. It would have been nice to have two or three different "chapters" to prolong the experience, and put Isaac into some new areas.


Controls - Firing your tears can be a little hit and miss without the ability to fire in a diagonal direction, which can cause some serious tension in the later areas. The game is screaming for gamepad support, but as it stands right now keyboard is the only control method offered.

The Final Verdict

The Binding of Isaac has the same signature elements as Team Meat's indie hit, but provides a very different experience that is addictive, fun and just a little disturbing. The ability to play in short amounts of time, and to have a continually surprising experience thanks to the randomly generated dungeons will keep users playing for quite some time. If you want a challenging look at how games used to be, then you simply cannot beat The Binding of Isaac.

By Stephen Heller

The Binding of Isaac
4.5/5
4.5
Published Edmund McMillen
Platform Windows PC, Mac OS X
Rating PG
Similar To The Legend of Zelda
MMGN game reviews are rated out of 5 stars

The Binding of Isaac

Platform: PC
 
Vote for this article Log in with Facebook

More Info on The Binding of Isaac

Indie Competition Isaac's Father, Or as I like to call him. MR BOX HEAD!
Game Profile: The Binding of Isaac
The Binding of Isaac Australian Release: Out Now

The Binding Of Isaac Review Comments

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook
It should be noted that the mouse can also be used to fire, but it's still limited to non-diagonal fire.
This game is so hard, I die in room 2...
So awesomely wicked. Love it!
It's pretty damn good, I keep coming back to it for 20-30 minute bursts almist daily.

Post a comment

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook
  • Indie Competition
  • Isaac's Father, Or as I like to call him. MR BOX HEAD!
  • The Binding of IsaacThe Binding of Isaac Video

Recently Read

Featured PC Content

Games of October: Your most wanted

Games of October: Your most wanted

06/10/2014 Polls 9 17
3D Realms returns with an epic 32-game retro anthology

3D Realms returns with an epic 32-game retro anthology

Tano 2 days News 5 6
Dev threatens Gaben and gets game taken down

Dev threatens Gaben and gets game taken down

maxiboy 2 days News 3 4
World of Warcraft to get local Australian, NZ servers

World of Warcraft to get local Australian, NZ servers

Tano 2 days News 1 7
GTA: San Andreas 10th Anniversary - A look back

GTA: San Andreas 10th Anniversary - A look back

Tano 3 days Articles 10 11
Property developer caught out using SimCity screenshots

Property developer caught out using SimCity screenshots

Tano 3 days News 1 8
The Evil Within Essential Survival Tips

The Evil Within Essential Survival Tips

Gryllis 3 days Articles 2 5
Shadow of Mordor is a must buy: Here’s why

Shadow of Mordor is a must buy: Here’s why

Tano 4 days Articles 8 11
Gyromanic: I played 3 hours of Far Cry 4, but ignored story

Gyromanic: I played 3 hours of Far Cry 4, but ignored story

Gryllis 4 days Articles 3 9

Community Content

Dev threatens Gaben and gets game taken down

Dev threatens Gaben and gets game taken down

maxiboy 2 days News 3 4
Awesome Gaming Stuff Of Tomorrow, Today! Vol. 3

Awesome Gaming Stuff Of Tomorrow, Today! Vol. 3

02/09/2014 Blog 10 0

MMGN Updates

Status
Updating..
Username

juggerhead is now Level 2!

juggerhead 4 mins ago
Username

commented on The Evil Within review

stonecold 19 hours ago
Username

kangle4, MrMoo, Tano, KezDaMuss commented on 3D Realms returns with an epic 32-game retro anthology

kangle4 2 days ago
Username

Pilkingbod, Tano, Mobe1969 commented on Some 10 years on, San Andreas’ Grove Street is still home

Pilkingbod 2 days ago
Username

punk, A2ra3l, Tano commented on Dev threatens Gaben and gets game taken down

punk 2 days ago
Username

Tano, Brutus commented on Some 10 years on, San Andreas’ Grove Street is still home

Tano 2 days ago