The Binding of Isaac is Terrifying

The Binding of Isaac is the stuff of terrifying nightmares.

With Binding of Isaac: Rebirth inching ever closer, I figured it would be a good time to review the original Binding of Isaac and its expansion, Wrath of the Lamb. When I first started playing The Binding of Isaac, I didn't know just how nightmare inducing it would be. I figured, "It's a cute adorable flash game. There is absolutely no way it could possibly be scary."

I was so very, very wrong.

The Binding of Isaac is the stuff of terrifying nightmares. Isaac lives with his mother in a house on a hill, and all was happy for the little boy until one day...

Isaac's mother has a psychotic break! 

After hearing the voice of God, she attempts to murder Isaac! He flees to the basement and that is where the game begins. 

The tutorial is swift and silent before you are thrust into a world of terror and darkness.

Here's what you need to know about BoI:

  • It's a roguelike dungeon crawler with a throw back to the original Legend of Zelda. 
  • Isaac's weapon of choice is tears, and for some inexplicable reason, explosives. 
  • Made in flash so it runs on PC and mac
  • Excellent Music 
  • Stuff of nightmares; so much blood, piss and tears
  • Over 200 different items, trinkets, cards and pills
  • Steam Trading Cards
  • Multiple characters 
  • INSANELY difficult
  • Randomized maps

Items in Binding of Isaac affect stats, some give health boosts, others increase the range of your tears, increase movement speed, make you fly, turn your tears into laser beams.

More importantly, they change your appearance:

Changing Isaac from terrified and tortured little boy, into a ridiculously terrifying freak with super powers.

Gameplay

Binding of Isaac is quite possibly one of the most addictive games ever. I've logged more than 50 hours. Its gameplay is to blame.The controls are simple and responsive: WASD to move and the arrow keys to shoot. Dungeon crawl, destroy enemies, find power ups, kill bosses, make deals with the Devil, defeat your mom.

Graphics

It's a Flash game. What were you expecting? Its dark themes and spooky atmosphere are both undermined and complimented by Flash's cartoony style. It will be interesting to see what Rebirth, the Binding of Isaac remake will be like with 16 bit graphics instead of Flash.

Music 

The music for The Binding of Isaac was created by Danny Baranowsky, and although it can sometimes get repetitive, it is well done and pleasant to listen to. The soundtrack features 40 different pieces that can be heard throughout the game.

Gross out factor

The Binding of Isaac is special. So special, in fact that I had to give it its very own category, the gross out factor! 

Everything in BoI bleeds, explodes, vomits, poops, or otherwise gets all nasty.  Some of the enemies can get pretty messed up. From brains that roll around and leave acid trails to the seven deadly sins. Things go from sureal to terrifying almost instantaneously. 

Overall I give The Binding of Isaac 8 out of 10 for its bloody, disgusting enemies, atmosphere and tone. Totally worth picking up Steam, but if you're super broke I suggest waiting for the remake, Binding of Isaac: Rebirth.

 

Our Rating
8
The Binding of Isaac is the stuff of terrifying nightmares.

Columnist

Hi I'm Ian!

Published Nov. 1st 2013

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