Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Oct 16, 2011
    100
    The Binding Of Isaac is pitch-black and hard as hell.
  2. Sep 29, 2011
    100
    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.
  3. Oct 3, 2011
    95
    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.
  4. Mar 10, 2012
    90
    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
  5. Jan 4, 2012
    90
    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.
  6. Nov 29, 2011
    90
    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]
  7. Oct 7, 2011
    90
    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.
  8. Oct 5, 2011
    90
    If the style doesn't put you off, buy this. Now.
  9. Oct 4, 2011
    90
    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.
  10. Oct 4, 2011
    90
    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.
  11. Oct 4, 2011
    90
    Addictive and very surprising, even when you have been playing several hours, The Binding of Isaac is yet another quality game from independent developers.
  12. Oct 1, 2011
    90
    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.
  13. Oct 3, 2011
    88
    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.
  14. Feb 28, 2012
    87
    Zelda meets Robotron: Isaac celebrates old school topdown action in randomly generated dungeons.
  15. Dec 17, 2011
    85
    If you don't mind the relative difficulty and dark overtones, forget that footlong and invest your $5 in Isaac. [Feb 2012, p.79]
  16. Oct 3, 2011
    85
    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.
  17. Nov 15, 2011
    84
    Fun arcade-style shooting game combining light roguelike elements, black humor and disgusting things of all sorts. [Nov 2011]
  18. Oct 3, 2011
    84
    McMillen and his team make another essential gameplay shine above all the rest. Disturbing, sadic and incredibly addictive.
  19. Mar 19, 2012
    83
    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.
  20. Jan 10, 2012
    83
    A punishingly tough light RPG that'll draw you in and spit you out without a second thought. Worth it for the presentation.
  21. Nov 21, 2011
    80
    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.
  22. Oct 7, 2011
    80
    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.
  23. Oct 5, 2011
    80
    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.
  24. Oct 5, 2011
    80
    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.
  25. Oct 4, 2011
    80
    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.
  26. Oct 3, 2011
    80
    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.
  27. Nov 10, 2011
    75
    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.
  28. Oct 11, 2011
    75
    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.
  29. 70
    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]
  30. Oct 2, 2011
    70
    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.
User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 773 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 28 out of 231
  1. Sep 30, 2011
    10
    This game is awesome, awesome, and more awesome. Obviously the previous guy who rated this a 2 just doesn't "get" the appeal of this kind of game. It's based on an old model of PC gaming (called roguelike) where you die once and the game is over--completely. There are no saves, no continue spots--you're dead and you have to start all over. But that's exactly what makes this game so damn addictive! I have the Battlefield 3 beta on my computer and I've barely played it because The Binding of Isaac is sucking up all of my time. Because every playthrough is completely randomly generated and you'll never play the same levels twice, dying is not a big deal. Death feels the same way it feels in Super Meat Boy; you die, and die, and die again--but you get better each time, and it makes you want to start the game right back up again. Like SMB it's a throwback to a time long ago when you needed actual skill and quick reflexes to complete a game, and it's precisely that which makes it so appealing to me. Oh...that and the absolutely awesome and hilarious abilities and powerups, which I definitely wouldn't want to spoil here. The game is full of surprises and has a very dark tone about it, feeling like a mix between The Legend of Zelda and Splatterhouse. The fact that it's only 5 bucks doesn't hurt either, but it shouldn't give you any indication of the quality of the game. I've paid 50-60 bucks for games that weren't nearly as fun as this. Just buy it, play it, and enjoy some excellent old-meets-new gaming for less than the cost of a sandwich. Full Review »
  2. Oct 9, 2011
    0
    What happens when you combine a half assed Zelda clone with a poorly written story and badly thought out rogue-like elements? Binding of Isaac happens, that's what.

    The game is not only a lazy and boring mess but its also an incredible technical and design failure. It's obvious from the start by it's godawful menu system. Navigating around the menus is a chore. For example graphic options aren't even visible in the menus unless you press the esc button to bring up an entirely different menu scheme. Not even 10 seconds into Binding of Isaac and I'm already missing my 5$.

    No controller support either, which is especially stunning in a game like this. This isn't a limitation of Flash either, it's entirely possible to program AS3 support for a 360 or PS3 controller (I've done it myself actually). No excuses there except lazy programming.

    As for the gameplay itself, well, it's miserable. It's a mindless click-fest that will leave your hand numb minutes into the game. There's no real strategy to enemies or boss encounters other than clicking as fast as you possibly can. There isn't much more to say about the game, seriously. It's a simple repetitive mess that never evolves or offers you anything but what you see i nthe first few minutes...which is nothing.

    There's simply no reason to play Binding of Isaac. It offers little to no reward for doing so. And judging from how poorly made the game actually is it's clear the developers just threw this out as fast as they possibly could. Simply put, you'll get more entertainment value from watching your money go round n' round your toilet bowl when you flush it. Which, if you actually paid money for this game, you did anyway. Enjoy your 5$ turd.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 1, 2011
    9
    The Binding of Isaac is a fun game, but at first I was disappointed when I saw the length of the game. But when I dived into the game, I found the same satisfaction of playing, like I did with Demon's Souls on Playstation 3. You will die a lot, but that slow progression, and the satisfaction from defeating a boss for the first time is great.
    The soundtrack get's a little repetitive after a while, although it is a short and good soundtrack.
    For being a fairly short game, it still has a great system where it lays every new level map randomly + different bosses for each playthrough + all the loot.
    Even though the game is depressing in many ways and there is an awful lot of blood and tears, there is a twisted and hilarious sense of humor in the game, and I found myself laughing at different bosses and loot I got.

    So all in all this is a fun game, and definitely a must-buy if you are a fan of the roguelike genre, and since it is so dirt cheap I also strongly recommend it for newcomers and computer gamers alike.
    Full Review »