Friday, January 13, 2012

Humble Bundle Acquisition: Binding of Issac

I'm currently out of town, so this and Monday's post were written well in advance and may be kind of short.

I'd be crying too.
Today I'm showing The Binding of Isaac, a simple yet engaging adaptation of the story of Isaac and Abraham from the book of Genesis. I said the game was engaging. Two other pretty effective terms would be gruesome and sacrilegious, however, despite that (or if you prefer, because of that) it makes for a fun premise for a game. In this version, Isaac's fanatical mother hears the voice of God telling her that she must kill Isaac as a test of faith. Isaac, in turn, runs and jumps into the basement to hide. Unfortunately for Isaac, the basement is full of legitimately terrifying monsters. You aid Issac in going deeper and deeper into the basement to escape.

You see, there's this dungeon, with monsters in it...

Gameplay wise, the easiest way to describe it is a mix between the dungeons from the original The Legend of Zelda for the NES and with dual sticks for controls (one for movement, one for the direction that you're firing). Dungeons with about 10 rooms and 2 bosses are randomly generated and include a huge assortment of possible upgrades and power-ups that help to keep the game fresh. Binding of Isaac was made by Team Meat, the same guys behind Super Meat Boy, and they decided to keep the art direction the same: simple, cartoony, and effective...with a bit more cartoon blood than is necessary. 

Soundtrack cover art.

And I know I've said it about every Humble Bundle game I've written about, but there's a musical consideration here as well. The soundtrack is very effective overall (i.e. it's really creepy), but one song, called Sacrificial, stands out as one catchy tune.

You can pick up Binding of Issac on Steam for only $5 (the soundtrack is only $1 more: worth it). You can also check out a demo here. It just occurred to me that I should be rating these games that I talk about/review. As I've yet to decide on a static rubric, I'm going to give The Binding of Isaac 3.5 teardrops out of five. To end, here's the aforementioned creepy but catchy song from the soundtrack.

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