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The Binding of Isaac is a single-player dungeon crawler developed by Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl in 2011. You will play as Isaac, a poor boy who has run away from his mother and must now face his deepest fears while exploring the basement of his house.
Isaac and his mother lived peacefully together in a small house on a hill until the day Isaac's mother hears a voice from above stating Isaac is corrupted with sin and must be saved by removing all that is evil from him. Then, Isaac's toys, drawings, and clothes are taken away. After those events, the voice again demands to Isaac's mother that her son must be cut off from all the evil things in the world. Isaac is then locked in his room. One last time, the voice questions the devotion of Isaac's mother and wants her to sacrifice her son. The mother takes a butcher's knife and walks to Isaac's room. This time, Isaac has seen everything. He finds a hidden trapdoor and jumps into the basement.
Throughout your journey, you will have to face monsters, your sisters and brothers, your deepest inner fears, and maybe even your mother. The world is pain, suffering, and loneliness, so be ready or prepare to die.
- Replayability: As a good dungeon crawler, each run will be unique as the entire world is generated procedurally, including dungeons, items, enemies, and bosses. It is genuinely well-designed, and you will explore a new world every time you play that will make you focus on honing your skills, characters' movements, and enemies' patterns. Explore every room, find keys, chests, secret rooms, and win.
- Tons of items: You can use over 100 unique items that give you specific powers and visually change your appearance. There are so many possible items combinations to discover and get the most out of your character that you will always be amazed when finding a new one. Sometimes, trading an item for another might be risky in the short term but beneficial in the long term, so choose well and prepare to face your enemies. Active or passive skills, pills and cards will be your best friends... or the worst.
- Bosses: You will face over 20 different bosses throughout your path to salvation, each one with its own patterns, strengths, and weaknesses. Observe first and learn how to defeat them one by one. Remember that if some items may help you when exploring rooms, others will be much more useful when facing bosses. Lots of monstrous creatures await you, including giant monsters, stinky bags of meat, your mother, and who knows, maybe an even crueler beast.
- Characters and levels: There are lots of places to discover through 4 chapters with 8 levels each. Deep down into the night, you should be ready for what's going to happen. Additionally, you can unlock many characters depending on how far you go and how many extensions you add to the game. Each character has unique abilities, life points and powers to offer lots of diversity and fun.
- Endings: The game has many endings you will have to discover by yourself throughout multiple runs. Some may be trickier to find than others, but it's worth the try as it will make you explore the whole world of Isaac and slowly but surely become a part of it.
Graphics and sound
The Binding of Isaac is a top-down dungeon crawler featuring retro graphics that were rushed to make sure the game was released on time. Still, it gives it a unique look. Moreover, everything is polished and pretty well animated. Regarding the sound, it features a fine-tuned OST composed by the talented Danny Baranowsky, and all the audio feedback has been created to ensure you never miss information on the screen. In a few words, it's a beautiful retro game, well animated, and full of banging tunes and audio effects.
Duration and games modes
The game offers a solo adventure that will last about 10 hours if you only focus on finishing the main objective (but trust me, this is only a tiny part of what the game has in stock). However, if you strive to explore all the aspects of the game and discover how far the nightmare can go, you are likely to spend over 130 hours.
What do the reviews say?
The Binding of Isaac received a generally positive reception with a score of 84 points on Metacritic.
"With Binding, McMillen and Himsl created the rules of the world and then set it in motion. Yet this game is nearly as much fun as Super Meat Boy, and more profound. It proves that there's more than one way to make a masterpiece." (Eurogamer)
The Binding of Isaac has been rated PEGI 16 as it contains violence and bad language.
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