Binding of Isaac, The

The A.V. Club

The Binding Of Isaac is pitch-black and hard as hell.

The Binding of Isaac is a loony action/adventure game with a Kawai Gore atmosphere, random challenges and a varied gameplay. Thanks to the talent of the developers, the formula works perfectly well and draws you back in easily to slaughter some more, or see the poor Isaac being bludgeoned violently.


A deceptively deep game. That it only costs $4.99 is nothing short of astounding. I don't see myself putting it down until I hit that magical 100% completion mark, which is hours and hours away at this point. This is one trip that I recommend to everyone open-minded enough to give it a chance.


One may play for an hour or two, but they're constantly tempted to go back in and uncover the scads of remaining secrets. It's a style of game that really intrigues me, and one I want to see more of

We do not very often see simple and funny, yet smart and primarily an entertaining action role-playing shooter game. You need a skill of the best ones to make a basically positive, joyful thing of the Game Over message. Edmund McMillen proves once again that he belongs to those best ones.


In my personal ranking The Binding of Isaac joined Limbo and Frozen Synapse, thus completing the podium for the this year's best indie games. [December 2011, p.82]


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.


If the style doesn't put you off, buy this. Now.


Thankfully, Isaac's shmup-like approach makes the game a little easier than the nightmare of a melee-only roguelike, though it's still no cakewalk. Like the Souls series, you'd best keep on your guard, since death is permanent and there are no saves. A playthrough can be as short as an hour, but with randomized loot and boss encounters on top of several unlockables, you'll want to put Isaac through hell multiple times.


The Binding of Isaac is a game I would reccomend to anyone old enough to hold serious opinions on family planning. It is available on Steam for less than the price of a cinema ticket and it deserves your attention.

Vandal Online

Addictive and very surprising, even when you have been playing several hours, The Binding of Isaac is yet another quality game from independent developers.


Sprinkled with humor and nods to gaming's past, The Binding of Isaac is a ballsy game that revels in its absurd moments. Shock value aside, you'll want to play this indie gem over and over again. It's imaginative, utterly absorbing, and the best five dollars I've spent all year.

The Binding of Isaac is a small game with very simple mechanics, but it will catch you with its huge amount of contents, great soundtrack and polished graphics. Eventually the flow of new items and bosses will start ending, but before then, those are indeed the best five bucks you can spend in a while.

Zelda meets Robotron: Isaac celebrates old school topdown action in randomly generated dungeons.

PC Gamer

If you don't mind the relative difficulty and dark overtones, forget that footlong and invest your $5 in Isaac. [Feb 2012, p.79]


I'll put it simply: If you can roll with the macabre toilet humor and if religion jokes don't put you off, AND if you enjoy games with non-optional permadeath, randomized content, tons of secrets and considerable replay value… it's hard to go wrong with The Binding of Isaac. Especially at five dollars.

Pelit (Finland)

Fun arcade-style shooting game combining light roguelike elements, black humor and disgusting things of all sorts. [Nov 2011]

McMillen and his team make another essential gameplay shine above all the rest. Disturbing, sadic and incredibly addictive.


The Binding of Isaac looks like an old school game like the original Zeldas, but with a dark scenario and dark humor. It has the typical difficulty of a McMillen game, which is not found anywhere else these days. This game will motivate you to try and try again in such a simple way – just brilliant. If you like the style and the old school gameplay of The Binding of Isaac, you'll have a lot of fun with it.

PC Gamer UK

A punishingly tough light RPG that'll draw you in and spit you out without a second thought. Worth it for the presentation.


While it does lack some of the extra bells and whistles of other modern games, The Binding of Isaac remains an enjoyable (and demented) adventure.

Edge Magazine

Funny and miserable, disgusting and endearing, the end result is a game that's smart enough to have things both ways, offering an often brutal critique of certain religious sacraments, while wallowing comfortably inside the rituals of one of gaming's oldest genres.


An enormously entertaining experience. For those not daunted by challenge, in the market for a game that's quick to jump into and a great deal of fun, The Binding of Isaac is a fantastic way to spend five bucks.


After the fantastic Super Meat Boy, Edmund McMillen goes to his more experimental roots to create a really original and engaging hybrid. Part SmashTV, part Rogue, The Binding of Isaac offers hours and hours of entertainment in a highly replayable adventure.


Cumbersome controls hamper what would otherwise be a resoundingly memorable adventure. At just five dollars The Binding of Isaac is a great indie title that offers up a ton of replay value and gruesome fun.

Game Informer

The Binding of Isaac is an exceptionally weird game with a list of caveats longer than I'd like, but when McMillen's vision shines through, it's as compulsory of an indie title as Castle Crashers or Everyday Shooter. Even if you get bitten by a save or achievement bug, I have a hard time believing you'll regret dropping five bucks here.


An enormously entertaining experience. For those not daunted by challenge, in the market for a game that's quick to jump into and a great deal of fun, The Binding of Isaac is a fantastic way to spend five bucks.


Anytime you play, The Binding of Isaac offers different dungeons and enemies and this is great. Graphics and music are good, like everything else, just nothing is excellent.


As it is, it reminds me of avant-garde art or haute cuisine; interesting and bold but made for a small group of devoted connoisseurs. Those of a certain palate are sure to love its humor, weirdness and replayability but the broader gaming audience is likely to find it more of an acquired taste.

LEVEL (Czech Republic)

Stylish indie action game you can play over and over again. Sometimes frustrating because of its high difficulty setting but overall Isaac is pure fun. [Nov 2011]

Da Gameboyz

It's a good game, with a surprising amount of content for the price, but it will definitely turn away those who don't like even cartoon gore, and leave a slightly bitter taste in even the most hardened gamer's mouth... and mind.


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