There are times when you're looking for the perfect kind of game to play during short breaks, while waiting for something, or when you have a lengthy internet video on in the background and want to do something alongside it. My personal choice for this kind of purpose is Binding of Isaac, a twin stick shooter/dungeon crawler/bullet hell/survival horror...thing from Super Meat Boy creator Edmund McMillen.
Procedurally-generated games are nothing uncommon in the games industry, but for the most part, this pretty much amounts to rooms stapled together differently with very little visible difference in the player's mind. This is something Diablo III suffered heavily from, and conversely, is something that Binding of Isaac manages to work around really well. Not only is the randomly-generated nature of the levels well-suited to the short, bitesized gameplay sessions that this kind of indie game is made for, but the random element also applies to the items that you pick up along the way. In each floor of the cellar, there are at least two items with which Isaac gains not only increased/different abilities, but also certain aesthetic changes (For better or for worse, although the "for worse" part works well with the game's generally disturbing aesthetic). Although one could argue that items tend to get pretty unbalanced at time to time (Particular mention going to the "Technology 2" and "Radioactive spider"), the random nature of the game coupled with the abundance of other powerups of similarly-varied usefulness makes this unbalance issue a minor issue.
This isn't exactly what I would call an easy game, since I've owned it for over a year and have only reached the ending once. However, this is another area where the bitesized gameplay sessions the game is suited to really starts to help with. The short bursts of play from the player allow death to simply be an opportunity for the player to start again and hope for different, hopefully better items along the way, which is what separates a frustrating game from a satisfyingly-challenging game. If you wish for a game to be hard but entertaining, make the player feel like they could have done better.
Binding of Isaac is everything I love about independent game development - short, focussed sections of gameplay that help alleviate most of the problems usually associated with random dungeon games, a difficulty curve that the player feels perfectly in tune with after a few goes, tight responsive keyboard controls, and a wonderfully-disturbing design aesthetic that coaxes the player forward just so they can see what quirky references can be made or what boundary will be overstepped next. Whether you intend to buy it on Steam or through this boxed retail version, do not miss out on Binding of Isaac.
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I had already bought this game on Steam and I loved it so I wanted to follow up my enjoyment by purchasing the collectors edition and boy was I not disappointed. This game is so fun and you get a lot of content for the price. Even though if you wanted to get this game on steam it is like a couple of quid or so. For the price this is a really good purchase and I would highly recommend it to whoever is interested.
For a video review of this product take a look at my YouTube Channel where I review most of the Gaming related products I purchase
Here the link to the unboxing of this product - http://youtu.be/OexsnaNL6rw
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One fantastic game, brought back the past like nothing I can remember, don't be hesitant even if you've already bought the game, show your support for Edmund McMillan, help him make the sequel. It's worth it for newbies and fans alike.
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