User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 865 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 865

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  1. Oct 6, 2014
    The best $5 you will ever spend on a video game.
    Wander naked as a deformed boy shooting tears at slabs of meat in his mom's uterus, and cry on her heart until it explodes.
    The Binding of Isaac is a game with deceptively simple mechanics, that sucks you in with its soundtrack and graphics, You'll want to play this indie gem over and over again. It's imaginative and utterly absorbing. 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.
  2. Oct 4, 2014
    I bought this as it was highly rated during a 85% sale off. Also reason why I didn't do too much research on this one.

    Your character's mom wants to kill him and your character has to kill his mom WTF!? This game is so screwed up man and if this is supposed to be a joke it is not the kind of joke I want to get?

    Fun roguelike gameplay, sick story not for mass appeal,
  3. Sep 22, 2014
    I love this game. It packs a Roguelike and Dungeon Crawler in one, with an insane difficulty. Sounds like my kind of game. The enemies, the bosses, and the items are just PERFECT. It really can't get any better. If you like LOZ, PLAY THIS GAME. If you like FTL, PLAY THIS GAME. If you don't like difficulty, DON'T, I mean DON'T play this game. It can take you 20 hours of gameplay to beat it for the first time. You will get frustrated often, but all the new unlocks and secrets make up for it. You WILL want to beat it as soon as you touch it.
  4. Aug 7, 2014
    A lot of companies should learn form this game. First lest have biblical references, mix it with dark humor in a childrish style of graphics, an awesome dungeon crawler gameplay and BOOM you get TBoI. Also the DLC is amazing and such references to the original sin, king Midas, Satan, the hangwire reresenting blasphemy... this game is so sinful and disgusting that I love it.
  5. Aug 5, 2014
    This game is the most re-playable game that is made and will ever be made. I love this game so much. Sadly, achievements don't work on mac. So much content, that even me, with hundreds of hours of gameplay, have not completed this game 100%.
  6. Aug 4, 2014
    This game is so ridiculously difficult that it makes Dark Souls set on hard look like a kid's game. You can expect to live about 3 or 4 minutes on average. I don't know how people can think this is a good game when you can only play 3 minutes before dying. It is not even fair how poor the controls are. You have basically no chance to win. Look at the stats. On Steam, 37% of the players couldn't even get the EASIEST of the 84 achievements. How sad is that? Unless you are a masochist, please don't waste your money. Expand
  7. Aug 4, 2014
    Be warned: this game is ROGUE. If you do not like dying a bunch and restarting from scratch over and over, this is not for you. If you do not like challenging games, borderline frustrating deaths, this game is not for you. I died over 300 times in 60 hours= about one death (restart) every 12 minutes.

    This is the epitome of old-school rogue games. Main difference is that each
    play-through is random instead of the same exact thing every time. That said, you will often find yourself playing in much the same manner over and over again. Items are random, so some runs you will get lucky and others you will get unlucky.

    At one point I considered it just barely above a flash game, now I find it's pretty decent, I played over 60 hours, though not all of them were fun. Buy it on sale, I don't value it at $5. If you're patient and willing to master the simple but challenging gameplay, give it a shot.
  8. Jul 31, 2014
    This game is disgusting. Maybe it has a lot of action and fun gameplay, but it is disgusting. I am not so timid to be afraid of blood and guts in the game, but if the game consists only from blood, guts, gore and terrible freaks it is not for me. And especially such kind of games where you kill your own mother. Disgusting.
  9. Jul 10, 2014
    this game is so cool. the first 1 hour of playing it like me you will have no idea what is going on. but after 3 hours of gameplay the game becomes unique. and its only 5 pounds. must buy.
  10. Jul 8, 2014
    This is a great game, that can give you hundreds of hours of varied gameplay, for a low price of admission. I would best describe this as a Rogue-like meets the original Legend of Zelda, but it really goes way beyond that simple description. Basically, you play through randomly generated dungeons reminiscent of the dungeons from LoZ using a choice of six different characters, w/ each character playing like a traditional RPG "class" like the Warrior, Druid, Cleric, etc. There are a total of six "chapters" for each play-through, and each "chapter" contains two floors. On each floor you will find at least one treasure room, 2 secret rooms, and one boss room, w/ a lot of other possible "bonus rooms" thrown in like the Shop, Arcade, or Library. The general idea of the game is to battle your way through each floor collecting power-ups that do things like give you a different type of shot (for example homing shots, or turning your regular "bullets" into missiles), increase your stats (Health, Speed, Damage, Shot Rate, and Range), or give you other items that alter the way you interact with the world and the enemies. This is what some of the other reviewers here don't seem to get, this game is all about finding, and using, all the really neat and widely varied power-ups with the different characters to complete the game in different ways. It's easy to see that some of the other reviewers did not spend a lot of time with the game b/c the true genius of this game isn't apparent after just an hour or two, or even a play-through or two. Since the game features randomly generated rooms, strung together to form new dungeons every time you play, when you mix that with the literally HUNDREDS of items, and power-ups that significantly alter game play, you will never play the same game twice.

    I can understand not everyone "getting" this game, it IS quite difficult until you really get a hang of the feel of the controls, and there are certain points where the game actually makes itself harder (after defeating certain bosses, or completing the game a certain number of times) and for the longest time I played w/ the browser open in the background so I could look and see what a certain item did. Then there is the story...which is a bit, weird (to put it mildly). The story is loosely based off of the Biblical story of Abraham and his son Isaac, whom god ordered Abraham to sacrifice as a show of faith, fear and obedience. I don't see why anyone would take offense, but then again, I'm not a very religious person. But, imho, all these are very minor quibbles with what I have found to be one of the best values for my gaming dollars EVER.

    If you ever see this game on sale during a Steam sale, do yourself a favor and grab this game, you can get both the original + the xpac for like $3 when they have it up at 75% off. At that price, this should be a no brainer.
  11. Jun 13, 2014
    I am conflicted about what to say about TBoI. On the one hand, I have played it obsessively and found it fun and frustrating in equal turns. Of course, that is how I felt about Edmund McMillen's other smash-hit PC game, Super Meat Boy, and that is one of my favorite independent games. Isaac has a similar sense of humor, though it is even darker, and that could certainly turn some people off (but, hey, if you look for two seconds at the game you're purchasing, you should know what to expect). I found most of the grotesquery pretty amusing, but certain things still managed to turn my stomach. The art design and music are both absolutely perfect (I suggest a soundtrack purchase, honestly), and the game feels like a cohesive piece of morbid art. Where it has issues is in the gameplay. Isaac is a rougelike, meaning you progress through randomly generated levels with little foreknowledge of what to expect, little idea of what to do, and when you die, you come all the way back to the start. One of the hallmarks of the rougelike is the typically insane difficulty, and this is due in part to the lack of information given about items, enemies, and the like. I love rougelikes (this game is among the three best on Steam, in my opinion, with Dungeons of Dredmor and FTL filling out the list) for these very elements--it's great, for instance to equip an item, only to learn that it has a high risk-reward factor, and say, "So it's going to be one of THOSE runs"--but I can understand that the high difficulty would again turn some away. Isaac's issues don't come with the randomness, but rather, with the controls. Isaac feels too slippery, especially when you receive speed boosts, and this can lead to many, many "cheap deaths." Also, the game is set in mostly confined rooms, and Isaac's sprite is just too large; his hit box can even grow with certain items, making his life extremely difficult to save. Also, after beating the main boss for the first time (I'll leave them nameless so it can be a surprise), I felt a rush of achievement and exhilaration...only to not get the achievement. I looked it up--certain achievements are a bit glitchy, meaning they could come the next time you open the game, or maybe you might have to just re-achieve them. Oy vey! I purchased the DLC for the game as well, which is a great expansion, but I suggest getting used to the base game first because the DLC is even harder. For what it's worth, if you're ready for the challenge of your life, pick this game up and revel in its silly, macabre humor. Good luck. If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, you ought to back away slowly, and pretend you never stumbled into this game. Expand
  12. Jun 5, 2014
    Fantastic game, as long as you're okay with some gross dark humor. It's hard at first, but get in the zone and you'll be playing this for a lot longer than intended. If you're a classic Legend of Zelda fan, you'll appreciate this game even more. I like it because it's incredibly fun for long or short periods of time.
  13. May 28, 2014
    Pretty awesome though quite sick occasionally. Though I find it unplayable with anyone other than Cain.

    The programer is occasionally spotty (java, man oh man) and bugs have gone unfixed (some items apparently do nothing..?) but I really do enjoy this one.
  14. May 17, 2014
    Absolutely cool game!! I`ve never seen games like that!!! Thanks for the game and nice soundtracks)! This is the best indi-game i`ve ever played before!!!! Dani Baranovski, you are the best!!!!
  15. May 14, 2014
    Dark with endless replay ability. Stupid amounts of fun if you enjoy rogue like games. Soon to be remade and extended greatly as The binding of Isaac Rebirth.
  16. May 13, 2014
    This is a rogue-like. An infuriatingly difficult rogue-like. The randomly generated levels, enemies, items drops and bosses makes BoI extraordinarily re-playable. The art is gross, the music is creepy, and the anti-religious theme is controversial. I love it. It makes for a violent and hilarious game. Pros: - Fast paced action - Great replay, random generation! - Smooth controls - Easy to learn, hard to master
    - Hilarious art and effects
    - Tons of weird and gross items/enemies/traps/bosses/maps

    - Rage quittingly difficult
    - No controller support
    - Flash game
    - Item explanations are occasionally vague

    A really great game that will provide you your money's worth. Your girlfriend will be grossed out and you will laugh. Laugh until you begin howling with fury. 82/100
  17. Feb 18, 2014
    Easily one of my top 5 favorite games ever. The randomness, difficulty,and insane amount of strategy involved makes this still fun to play, even to this day. If you never played this game, and don't mind a few mature themes, do yourself a favor and pick this up as soon as possible.
  18. Feb 16, 2014
    +Infinite replay value ; every run is different
    +Challanging ; you have to play with what you get
    +Hilarious ; the appearance chance can makes Issac very funny looking

    -Might be too difficult for people who're new to the genre
  19. Feb 6, 2014
    Let's talk about Zelda for a second. It was a good game in it's time, and is still addicting and fun today. But I feel like that kind of fun is squandered upon newer, higher- tech games. It's the system of trial-and-error that makes you want to play it for hours on end. And that's what The Binding of Isaac is. There are no saves or checkpoints. It gives you a keyboard and mouse and says "scratch your ass with this and see what happens". Once you find out that it probably won't do anything, you realize something. You realize that you have, in fact, been scratching your ass the entire time. Or it seems that way because the game is so hard! Anyway, I digress. Just like Zelda, they give you a game and you play it. And eventually get better and better, until you scratch your ass so hard that magical fairies pop out and make you beat the game. It teaches you not to be an idiot, and gives you a couple magic beans along the way to help you win. All the bosses and the entire story is based on the bible. Your mom is a christian fanatic, and she hears a "voice from God" telling her that Isaac (the character you play as) is a spawn of Satan, so she tries to kill him with a butcher knife. Out of fear, you find a trapdoor under the carpet which brings you down to the basement, where you fight monsters that look like they come straight from some deranged kid's sketchbook. But the cartoony, creepy art style is what makes the experience more magical. Overall, this game is super addictive, just don't play it at an age where it will scare the crap out of you.

    Also, don't try and explain it to your parents. The conversation I had went something like this: "What is that game?" "It's a zelda-like top down shooter where your mom thinks you're a spawn of Satan so she tries to kill you with a butcher knife and you find a trapdoor and-" "Okay! I've heard enough! I don't know if I want you playing that though..."
  20. Feb 6, 2014
    A great "five more minutes game". I'll just try it one more time. Oh, I almost made it to the womb. OK, I gotta try again. Oh, I unlocked a new item. Better go look for that.

    There is no stopping this game.
  21. Feb 4, 2014
    absolutely perfect game. even with all the newest and fanciest games installed on my computer. I still find myself coming back to Isaac over and over again even after getting all the achievements.
  22. Feb 2, 2014
    Playing again and again until you do not finish your evil christian mom. Surprisingly, it is not boring and repetitive, it is challenging. The world is randomly generated so your game is never the same. Nice graphics and soundtrack, a lot of different creatures and interesting boss fights.
  23. Dec 18, 2013
    This is easily one of the best games i have played, i have played it for like 200 hours.
    When you get into the game there is so much depth, variation and cool ideas.
    If any people whine over its to hard, they really need to just stop playing games, if a game like this is hard and cruel there is a meaning to that. That feeling when you kill the last boss of the first section is fantastic,

    and you wanna do that again and again to see the new bosses the new items the new characters the new enemies and the new everything. This game is so worth youre money, if you pick it up on sale it is some of the best money you will ever use.
  24. Dec 11, 2013
    Binding of Isaac is like a bottle of wine. It gets better each time you come back. There is a slight learning curve, if you have never played a roguelike, and the dark humor might not be right for everyone. However,
    for $5, I'd say to give it a try.
  25. Dec 11, 2013
    Cartoon horrorish art style, dungeons with cruel enemies, random generated levels and ten other reasons why to play Issac. But be careful this is the most dangerous one-more-level-like game.
  26. Nov 20, 2013
    Such a fun game. Lots and lots of replayability. The difficulty though, oh boy. It honestly became a bit tiring after countless of times dying and starting over without beating the game even once. Luckily it has so many different item routes to take, even though in many situations the choices aren't yours to make. And besides, isn't challenge what games like this are all about! Very addictive also. I just wish they gave you some more info than just the name about the items you find.
    I'd recommend it to anyone who looks for challenging, fun and long-lasting game experience and doesn't mind the old school looks.
  27. Nov 14, 2013
    Essentially a game that lasts forever. For $5 dollars, you get countless hours of fun. The game has you rely a lot on luck, which can be frustrating, but it works for the most part. A few slowdowns, even on powerful machines, due to flash. Still great worth the low, low price!
  28. Nov 9, 2013
    This is an amazing arcade game and it is 100% worth the price! This game does what not many arcade games can do and that is not to be repetitive. Every time you die there will be another randomly generated level for you to play so you don't get bored. The only problem is this game can get extremely frustrating especially as some of the bosses (like Gurdy) are near impossible to beat.
  29. Nov 8, 2013
    Anybody that gives this game a bad review is just crazy. For the price, no other game can compare. It is quite simple, with the player entering rooms of enemies to move to the next floor. This simplicity is followed up with an insane amount of upgrades and depth. The story isn't too compelling, but that really isn't what the game is about. The Binding of Isaac is about going as far as you can in one run. To put it into perspective, I have spent 39 hours playing this game, the most out of any game I own on steam. It is easily worth the price, and will offer hours of addictive play. A must buy for any gamer. Expand
  30. Nov 5, 2013
    To the person who says that people who hate this game "don't get the concept of a roguelike", please stop talking. I've played roguelikes. Hell, Nethack is one of my favorite games of all time and I consider it the best RPG ever made (Keep crying, Skyrim and FFVII fanboys). This is nowhere close to a roguelike. For one thing, Roguelikes don't constantly rely entirely on luck. Skill has no place in The Binding of Isaac. They had to leave it out for more references to poop and Newgrounds videos. If you get dealt a bad hand, you can't make the most of it. You will get killed to the point of frustration. At least in Nethack, you rarely can blame the game for your bad playing.

    The graphics? Do I even need to explain why they are bad? I don't mean in an artistic sense, even. If you like naked formaldehyde babies in a "cutesy" art style, then you might like this game. Also, I never want to meet you. I mean in a technical view. It is literally made in Flash. Flash is an AWFUL animation program, especially when you want to look professional. You mean to tell me that Edmund McMillen couldn't use any of his Super Meat Boy money to buy actual animation software? How lazy is he?

    Speaking of Flash, did you know that this game is also CODED in Flash? So when your game crashes or has inconsistent performance (Achievement sounds loudly blaring when you turn off sound and music), thank Flash for that.

    The "indie sense of humor" (toilet humor and "funney innernet joeks") is in full. References to meme faces, poop, and a bunch of Newgrounds games make up the humor. It's like Epic Movie except people who aren't entrenched in internet culture won't get the jokes and nerds like it because it "appeals to them". Give me a break. Binding of Isaac sucks. It's $5 and often goes down to a buck. Not even worth it at that price. You can get a real roguelike like Nethack for free.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Mar 19, 2012
    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.
  2. Mar 10, 2012
    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
  3. Feb 28, 2012
    Zelda meets Robotron: Isaac celebrates old school topdown action in randomly generated dungeons.