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The Binding of Isaac

Reviewed on: PC
Edmund McMillen
Publisher: Edmund McMillen
Rated: N/A

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

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User Rating:        6
Presentation: 6

The Binding of Isaac comes off as a cartoon like homage to the Legend of Zelda, with more than a bit of Super Meat Boy thrown in for good measure - and it works. Though some of the game is quite simple looking, it all works here.

Gameplay: 5

Much like Super Meat Boy before it, Isaac is an unforgiving and punishing game, but it's also very rewarding. All of the enemies, weapons and items in the game are randomly generated each time you play, ensuring things will stay interesting.

Lasting Appeal:

Though it's not the longest game, The Binding of Isaac offers enough challenge and depth that besides the occasional fit of frustration, you're unlikely to put the game down anytime soon. This is simply one of the most addicting games in a long time.

Overall: 6

I smashed my keyboard, I cursed the game is frustration - at one point I even swore that I would never play it again, but I always ended up going back to The Binding of Isaac. At only $5, you can't afford not to check this one out.

CHEATfactor: 6

Somehow, the gaming industry has become one influenced heavily influenced by big names and bigger budgets. Don't get me wrong, I get excited about the next AAA shooter or franchise title as the next guy, but it's not these games that move the industry along; it's the tireless works of indie developers that give the industry the spark it needs to innovate. The Binding of Isaac, the new platformer and dungeon crawler from half of the team behind Super Meat Boy, is one of those titles.

Much like its sleeper hit older brother before it, The Binding of Isaac is an unapologetically difficult and harrowing experience, but it's also incredibly fun and rewarding. You're likely to break a few keyboards before you finish The Binding of Isaac, but it'll all be worth it in the end.

The game may use a cartoonish style, but it's far from a children's game. Isaac is the child of a devotedly religious and unhappy family. When they decide to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice, he takes off running and must fight off the house's demons and other deformities. The game takes more than its fair share of jabs at religion and unfit parents, two touchy subjects; especially for the gaming medium, but it works since the HD cartoony visuals push to violent nature almost to the background.

"...every lesson also feels completely fresh and new."


Upon first glance, The Binding of Isaac is instantly recognizable...well, sort of. The game employs the simplistic cartoon visual style of Super Meat Boy - Isaac himself if just two pink circles put together, but here it lays it over a world inspired heavily by The Legend of Zelda. Much like that of Nintendo's favorite Hyrulian, much of Isaac's adventure takes place in a series of dungeons. You control Isaac much as you would any other twin stick shooter, but here's the key, the game's items, power-ups and most importantly enemies are all randomly generated, so not only is it fast, every lesson also feels completely fresh and new.

Indeed, The Binding of Isaac is an incredibly fast and twitchy game, which also makes it incredibly difficult - like Super Meat Boy difficult. Save points aren't gracious, and the random generator of the game will cause you to get into a rhythm and be forced to break it when you run into a brand new enemy. Unfortunately, dyingalso means giving up a lot of your power-ups and weapons, but you'll also get the chance to get better ones in the next play through. Don't get me wrong though, this difficulty level is not a reason to avoid The Binding of Isaac, playing through the game is one of the most rewarding experiences I've had in quite some time, and there's even somehow a bit of fun in constantly dying. That's the mark of a truly good game.

"...I always ended up going back to The Binding of Isaac."


I've got to be honest though, I'm not much of a mouse and keyboard gamer - I like having a controller in my hands, and even though it's your basic twin stick shooter, The Binding of Isaac didn't give me this option. I was truly amazed that this control scheme, which seemed like it would be perfect for a game like this, was unavailable; so much so that I e-mailed the team behind the game, they're looking into bringing it to the game via a patch, but it just seems like it should have been included from the start.

I smashed my keyboard, I cursed the game is frustration - at one point I even swore that I would never play it again, but I always ended up going back to The Binding of Isaac. Sure, it's challenging, but it's also one of the most rewarding and well done games in recent memory. At only $5, you can't afford not to check this one out.  



CHEATS USED: Unlimited Health, Bombs, Coins

The Binding of Isaac is one of those really tough yet really satisfying indie games that have been hauntingly popular here lately. The trainer for the game from has only three features, unlimited health, bombs and coins, each is great, especially the unlimited bombs, which can pack quite a punch. Amazingly Isaac keeps its frustratingly fun nature even with these cheats.



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