Each week, Tom Evans will provide insight into a PC game that could be a great addition to your collection. From old AAA titles that you never took a risk on, to delving into the thriving PC Indie scene, Tom Recommends will feature games from all over the spectrum. If you’re looking for a new game to play, or for something to put on your wishlist for that perfect flash sale, hopefully this feature will prove helpful.
“The items’ bleakness seeps into the tone of the entire game: going from ‘Dinner’ – a can of dogfood, to ‘Roid Rage’ warping Isaac’s body horrifically”
Released on Steam autumn 2011 and coming from people behind Super Meat Boy, The Binding of Isaac has long been one of my favourite picks for a short burst of rogue-like action. Challenging and addictive, with a unique tone and setting this game is an easy recommendation to anyone who enjoys the genre. Worth picking up alongside it is its DLC, Binding of Isaac: Wrath of the Lamb, which adds a lot of new, exciting content and I have had installed from the outset.
“The always different combination of these power ups you can find, from progressing through different rooms makes every run truly unique”
Drawing inspiration from the biblical story of the same name, The Binding of Isaac is a dark and difficult game with procedural generated dungeons that play similarly to the original The Legend Of Zelda. From a top down perspective, the player fights their way through procedurally generated maps, room by room. These rooms vary hugely in enemy type and layout, but can also be treasure rooms, arcade/casinos, challenges and more. The simplest randomly generated situations can still prove very difficult for new players, patience and skill are vital virtues of Binding of Isaac gameplay. Each map has a trap floor guarded by a random selection of the game’s monster bosses, your goal to progress to the next level.
As I mentioned before, The Binding of Isaac is a dark game. Isaac destroys his terrifying, mutated foes not with bullets or arrows, but his own tears. Power ups are in fact far more morbid and grotesque, often making additions or changes to Isaac’s increasingly gruesome appearance. The items’ bleakness seeps into the tone of the entire game: going from ‘Dinner’ – a can of dogfood, to ‘Roid Rage’ warping Isaac’s body horrifically. There is a huge catalogue of items, none of which have descriptions. This adds another degree of discovery and exploration to the feelings already common in the genre.
The always different combination of these power ups you can find, from progressing through different rooms makes every run truly unique. The challenge of the varied enemies and bosses makes the game very rewarding to beat, one of the greatest feelings in casual gaming has to offer is achieving a huge run on a rogue-like gaming journey.
The Binding of Isaac is a brilliant game with tight keyboard controls and very popular with gamers everywhere. It may also no longer be the best Binding of Isaac available for purchase now. November 2014, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth came out, which has had even more content added to it, as well as other features and controller support. This ultimate version also recently got a DLC of its own The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth. The newer release is more expensive with more content, but the original is still brilliant and can be picked up cheaply, ridiculously cheap on the last steam sale. Regardless of whether you want the old or new version, there’s even less of an excuse to not get at least some iteration on this excellent title.