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User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (33,617 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 28, 2011

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Buy The Binding of Isaac

Packages that include this game

Buy The Binding of Isaac Collection

Includes 2 items: The Binding of Isaac, Binding of Isaac: Wrath of the Lamb

 

Recommended By Curators

"Awesome rogue like fun in this atmospheric, fast paced, dark humoured 2d challenge!"

About This Game

When Isaac’s mother starts hearing the voice of God demanding a sacrifice be made to prove her faith, Isaac escapes into the basement facing droves of deranged enemies, lost brothers and sisters, his fears, and eventually his mother.
The Binding of Isaac is a randomly generated action RPG shooter with heavy Rogue-like elements. Following Isaac on his journey players will find bizarre treasures that change Isaac’s form giving him super human abilities and enabling him to fight off droves of mysterious creatures, discover secrets and fight his way to safety.

Key features:

  • Randomly generated dungeons, items enemies and bosses, you never play the same game twice.
  • Over 100 unique items that not only give you powers but visually change your character.
  • 50+ enemy types each with the ability to become "special" making them extra deadly but they also drop better loot.
  • Over 20 bosses.
  • 4 full chapters spanning 8 levels
  • 3+ unlockable classes
  • Multiple endings
  • Tons of unlockable items, enemies, bosses and more.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7
    • Processor: 2.5 GHz
    • Memory: 1GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 50MB
    • Video Card: Direct X9.0c Compatible Card
    • DirectX®: DirectX® 9.0c
    • OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
    • Processor: Intel Mac 2.5 GHz
    • Memory: 1GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 50MB
Helpful customer reviews
57 of 64 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 8
+ Wonderful iteration of a classic top-down dungeon crawler
+ Fantastic and engaging soundtrack; really keeps you in the game and sets the mood
+ Boasts an art-style that strikes one as being both creepy and cute
+ Hilariously strange stage-to-stage intermissions
+ Wholly satisfying variety of enemies and boss creatures
+ Tons and tons of stat-altering item pickups
+ Controls are simple, intuitive and responsive
+ Contains an additional cast of unlockable characters, each with a differing playstyle
+ No matter where you are or what items you pick up, the gameplay is entirely skill-based; this, I think, is one of the game's biggest selling points
+ Gameplay is challenging in many ways, yet the lack of pandering to the player increases the sense of reward and accomplishment on completion
+ Between the unlockables and the randomly generated playthroughs, this game has quite a bit of replay value
+ Dungeon-map is easy to use and makes navigation easy; works well to help one backtrack to items that one might have passed over in other areas
+ Multiple endings

- Game is intensely unforgiving of mistakes; personally, I appreciate the challenge, but I recognize that many will be turned away as a result, and therefore this game is not for everyone
- Each boss creature has a static move-set, making them predictable over successive playthroughs

If you enjoyed this review, please follow my curator page. Also, feel free to join my group, LockeProposal's Big Day Out for discussion and announcements. Thanks for reading!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
47 of 63 people (75%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
100.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2014
this is the game that will make you call your mom and say hi.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
23 of 24 people (96%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
43.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 18
This is pretty much a roguelike dungeon crawler with quite a bit of influences taken from Zelda, and a ton of religious/Satanic overtones and pretty taboo themes, which was probably designed for masochists.
...And I mean this in the best way possible.

Pros
+ Fun and rewarding combat
+ The game is difficult, but also fair towards the player
+ Nice cutesy but brutal art style
+ Gameplay is random with its roguelike elements, making it very addictive
+ A lot of different items and powerups to mess around with
+ Multiple unlockable characters to suit multiple playstyles
+ Plot has a ton of social commentary that will hopefully leave you thinking even after you stop playing

Cons
- Can be glitchy at times
- Difficulty curve can be very brutal for newcomers

Questionable
? If you're a pretty religious person, you may be pretty offended by the game's style, plot, messages and humor, but you may be able to overlook these things.

Overall, I would totally recommend this game to other people.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
31 of 39 people (79%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
342.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 17
Still haven't killed Mom once.

Edit: Still haven't killed Mom once.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
42 of 60 people (70%) found this review helpful
19.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 24, 2014
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.

A brief animated intro sets up the threadbare plot: Isaac is a young boy living a happy life at home with his mom until she starts hearing the voice of God and hiding him from the evils of the world. It isn’t long until Isaac is permanently locked in his room and awaiting execution at the hands of his mother at the almighty’s behest. Escaping into the basement, Isaac begins his bizarre journey.

The Binding of Isaac somehow manages to be disturbing as it is endearing with its balance of gruesome monsters and matching setting with its adorable, wide-eyed sprites. Dungeons are splashed in every foul bodily fluid imaginable—blood, guts, tears, urine, and even an uncomfortable amount of feces. Imagine Hellraiser filmed through the lens of a Saturday morning cartoon for kids. The bestiary is equally grotesque. Armies of maggots and flies are frequent foes, and headless children spewing fountains of blood from their necks are a common sight.

Bosses take things a distasteful step forward: fetuses, conjoined twins, fat slugs urinating on the floor, and even Isaac’s mother are just a few of the end-level bosses that need to be dealt with. Keep in mind that the protagonist is also a perpetually-naked boy using his tears as projectiles. The Binding of Isaac is a pretty sick game with aesthetics that would appeal to one’s inner horror fan and Splatterhouse enthusiast. It isn’t going to be to everyone’s tastes, but those that enjoyed Super Meat Boy are probably going to find themselves like McMillen’s perverted sense of style.

Since the dungeons are randomized, there’s no telling what you’re going to find whether it be a useful power-up or more monsters. This makes memorization of each level impossible and keeps the experience fresh every time. On the downside, this means success depends on good luck and players will often lose because they were dealt a bad hand. Every time Isaac dies, players wind up right back at the start of the game and even the most patient of individuals will become infuriated by such a design choice. After putting in so much effort and acquiring a myriad of useful abilities, it feels way too harsh.

The randomness extends to the power-ups themselves, as there are well over a hundred of them and they don’t always have the expected effect. Some even hurt Isaac and if used in a tight spot are going to guarantee death. At the very least, they can be used in conjunction with other power ups and there’s not much of a limit on how many of them can be used at the same time. Still, there’s nothing worse than getting bad power-ups and items with no end in sight. At that point, it’s probably best to just quit and start again.

There’s even some replayability to the title with extra characters that can be unlocked and a bit of exploring to see if there’s anything particularly useful in a given dungeon. The Binding of Isaac is a purposefully short title designed to be played many times over, not just due to its unforgiving nature, that will yield a surprise here and there when players think they’re seen everything. Its ability to keep you guessing is its greatest strength and weakness as it violently seesaws between an enjoyable 2D romp and unbridled frustration.

The Binding of Isaac is not for those that are easily deterred, and it’s a safe bet that any Super Meat Boy fans are going to sink their teeth into it. For such a small title, there’s a lot of content packed into it and it’s an experience that isn’t always the same from one playthrough to the next. Players will question whether it was their own skill that carried them through to the end or if it was sheer luck, but regardless of the difficulty it’s an approachable game with a unique charm that boils blood just as easily as it encourages laughter at Isaac’s cartoonish spectacle of childhood trauma.

A Must Play

Be sure to check out Nerd House Gaming for more reviews!
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21 of 25 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
131.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
After 130 hours in this game I have to say this game is a must-have. Infinite replayability, awesome gameplay mechanics and challenges freshly from the seventh circle of hell. If you havent bought it yet, do it now!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
19 of 22 people (86%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
60.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
"How cute, my little boy is playing super mario. Do you want to watch some cartoons too?" - My mom, seeing me playing "The Binding of Isaac"

I thought my answer should be something like "No, i'm isaac and my mother is trying to kill me because God told her to do that so i've escaped so i could kill her first. I'm in some kind of basement where i fight monsters with my tears and powers from the Devil. I can buy things which disfigures my body (like a 9v volt like i put inside my head) with money that i found on poop"

I didn't reply that and now my family is still proud of me.

The end.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
128.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 29
How to end up being a bald kid crying on the ground:

- If you expect that this game will be an easy pickup
- If you think you can save
- If you think you can use a controller
- If you think the story is easily understandable
- If you want to get all the achievements
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
24 of 37 people (65%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
Dear Diary,
Today I Died.
I was killed by this
thing -->
in some
basement
I live all that i own
to my cat Guppi

Goodbye Cruel World
xoxo, ISAAC
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
This story is a rougelike horror, Its like Eldritch in 2d. Instead of a dungeon you play in a basement fighting zombie and monster enemys. This game balances horror and comedy!
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
115.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 23
This game is basically a masterpiece and a major success in the realm of randomly-generated games. I found it quite fun to follow the storyline, and am honestly beginning to wonder who Isaac's dad was, and how he plays into the game. :o

Pros:
- smooth, increasingly simple gameplay
- AWESOME soundtrack (Cheers to Danny Baronowsky)
- A near infinite variety of how the game could play out
- Bosses that actually increase in difficulty and pose quite the challenge (unlike some of today's more modern games)
- a challenge in terms of preparing and strategizing, depending on the items you have
- There are a few references to other games within it. (SMB, The Legend of Zelda, for instance)

Cons:
- It can get quite laggy if there are a lot of things happening at once
- It's hard to talk to people while you're in-game, as the fullscreen feature doesn't allow the shift-tab combo to access the community, so you'd have to have it windowed most of the time if you want to talk to people

That's all. :3 I DEFINITELY recommend this game. :D
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
120.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
This game ruined my life.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
9.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
got killed by a walking head

10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
12 of 18 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2,410.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
Best FPS of 2011, even now, this game has given me many hours of happiness as well as rage following by depression.

This is the game you have to buy. Do not finish reading this review, just run out and get it right now. You will have plenty of time to read while you sit through the game's seemingly never-ending opening scene. It is the best opening scene I have ever seen, but you have no choice: it is The Binding of Isaac, the most important game of the year(2011), follow-up to the greatest shooter ever made next to Call of Duty or Battlefield, and you need it.

After a headache-inducing five-hour unskippable opening scene, I thought it might not be fair to play the game in such a foul mood. Yet I was entranced within two minutes as the protagonist, a fake NEET named Isaac, arrived under the basement, a cozy and super comfortable place, perfect for playing hours of video-games & watching Chinese cartoons. Not to mention the super loud asian music playing in the background on full volume.

With expressive eyes and emotive faces, the Mobs look far more real than those in any other game. The effect is weakest when monsters smile, which makes them look slightly ill, so it is just as well that there is little reason for cheer.

The oppressed monsters/bugs living in the same basement have formed an underground resistance, which is constantly trying to kill Isaac as he tries to reach 7,000 MMR in Dota 2. Isaac is greeted as a savior by those familiar with his unbeatable microskills from the first game. He battles monsters and bugs as he makes his way out of the trench to the next International.

The Rebirth (sequel to Isaac) was like the film directed by Michael Bay. In that it did not do a lot that was really new, but did beautifully encapsulate the best elements of its medium. Isaac remains true to its heritage, adding popular features of other games such as the ability to fire lasers or to wear bras which freezes enemies for few seconds. The game also preserves the original's basic structure, in which your first weapon is a AWP, just like any counter-strike fanboy and you slowly gain a light saber, a NERF and eventually a rocket launcher made in China, although these more powerful weapons are counterbalanced by more powerful enemies.

But more notable than Rebirth's similarities to its predecessor are its differences. Sequels, like the recent Advanced Warfare and Mario Kart 8, are often little more than modified versions of the originals. Advanced Warfare is a straight-ahead shooter with ♥♥♥♥♥♥ battles and edgy pay-2-win weapon skins, just like Ghost. Mario Kart 8 lets the player gradually explore more of the RAMBO environment through acquiring the same set of capabilities you gathered in Mario Kart 7. Both games are excellent and true to their successors, but they play essentially the same.

The Binding of Isaac has the most varied gameplay of any shooter since World of Warcraft, with strikingly distinctive challenges. In one, you drop piles of poop, occasionally collecting hearts or coins. In a later mission, you will probably still be doing the same thing but the replay value is still endless!

One of the original Isaac's biggest achievement was the way it seamlessly provided purpose and a context for all the violence, keeping you from feeling as though you were just running around randomly shooting stuff like in Call of Duty. Rebirth does the same thing, choreographing events in a way that keeps you enthralled and on track.

Yet, while Rebirth offers a denser plot and more distinct characters, the story is ultimately less involving. The game only drop hints as to cause this grim future and never bothers to explain the motivation of your main foe, NEET basement's monsters & bugs.

Other video games have told stories better than Isaac, but then, besides graphics, Isaac is arguably more effective in some ways than other games. It was more sacier than Doom 3. Monsters showed a more convincing artificial intelligence than in Far Cry. Singleplayer mode battles were carried out more smoothly than ♥♥♥♥♥♥ team-based games like Dota that requires you to yell at autists. Not to mention it had a more original structure.

Yet no other game does as many things as well as Isaac; I had so much fun that I can forgive the game its abysmal ending. I was continually enthralled and amazed, and would rather replay Isaac than begin a new first-person shooter. I envy those of you who are about to experience Isaac for the first time. Although I pity you for having to watch the never ending opening.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
127.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2014
So.♥♥♥♥ing.Addicting
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
85.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
killed while Mom's Heart explodes and I didn't won

10/10 would restart again
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
77.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2014
8.5/10 Would kill mom again
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
I went to a friend's house and killed a fly inside, he asked me why I did such a horrible thing since the fly was innocent, so I told him:
"Haven't you ever become the true lord of evil with great evil stuff to kill everything in your way but then get killed by flies ? Huh ? Isn't that SO disappointing and frustrating ?"

We've never talked to each other again.

11/10
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
21.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
One of the most fun games that i played in a while,it was so punishing that i was a ♥♥♥♥ing badass with good items and a ♥♥♥♥ing fly killed me before i finish the room.
Pros:
-Lots of bosses and enemies and a lot of random level starting
-Lot of achievments to acomplish with different playstyle and characters
Cons:
-Its punishing
-the learning curve
10/10
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11 of 17 people (65%) found this review helpful
137.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014
Can't.....stop.....playing......what's.....happening.....
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