Review: The Binding of Isaac


“Edmund McMillen is no stranger to the grotesque. The indie game designer’s earliest work is slathered in a drippy sauce of profane creepiness that makes the gore-drenched sadism of Super Meat Boy seem tame. It’s from this dark, turbulent womb of roiling blackness that McMillen and his cohorts birth their latest project. The Binding of Isaac is a demented dungeon crawler that borrows familiar elements from gaming classics like The Legend of Zelda, Robotron, and Rogue, stitching them together into a freakish patchwork automaton. It’ll no doubt turn your stomach, but that’s a big part of the draw.”

Check out the full review here at GameSpy.

EGM Nov. 2010 IssuePrint Contributions

In addition to doing some regular review work in EGMi, I’ve been writing news features for the print edition of EGM lately. This month’s issue has a massive two-page feature spread titled “Through The Lens” that I’m pretty psyched about. Located on pages 12 and 13, the piece focuses on a handful of interesting independent film makers that have created or  are working on documentaries chronicling various aspects of gaming-related culture. The main piece focuses on 2 Player Productions (Reformat The Planet, Penny Arcade: The Series), the nice folks working on Indie Game: The Movie, Dan Lamoureux’s Nerdcore for Life, and the collective project that put together The Demoscene Documentary. There’s also a nod to Get Lamp, for text adventure gaming fans. Unfortunately, space limitations left a cool side-bar I wrote up (sorry Scott S.) on the cutting room floor, but that might see the light of day eventually in a separate piece.

This was a pretty busy issue all around. Beyond the feature, you can find my review write-up of And Yet It Moves (WiiWare) on pg. 76, and my second opinion to Bryan Stratton’s R.U.S.E. review is over on  pg. 75. I have a few pieces headed for the next issue as well as some other stuff I’m working on for the digital edition. Awesome. Over and out.

Feature: Super Meat Boy

Like most respectable indie gamers, I’ve had Team Meat‘s Super Meat Boy on my radar for some time now. A little while back I went hands-on with a preview build of the game’s first world. Man-oh-man, was it something else. My preview/feature write-up on the game is now out in the March 2010 issue of GamePro. Check out the three-page spread that starts out on pg. 19. The artwork/layout is simply adorable. Pork Chop Boy…so sad! Also, I wanted to point out that the new look and direction of the magazine is really impressive. Obvious bias aside, the last two issues have really kicked things up a notch.

Quote Punch #1: A Meaty One

Quote Punch

“The game will be so amazing that you will crap your pants and so awesome that your body will suck the crap back up inside you.”

– Edmund McMillen explaining how much players will enjoy Super Meat Boy on Wii.

The story:Edmund is an interesting fellow. His indie games are right up my alley: packed full of weirdness and disturbing imagery. My jaw dropped when I read his response to a simple question about the differences between the Meat Boy flash game and the improved Super Meat Boy for WiiWare he’s working on. I’ve interviewed hundreds of people since I first became a journalist, and rarely do you get a quote as juicy as this one. The piece this quote appeared in can be found over here at The Escapist.

Indie Queue: Meat Boy Gets Supersized

“Subversive artist and indie game designer Edmund McMillen is known for constantly venturing beyond the traditional boundaries of art, videogames and even good taste with his edgy creations, yielding some incredibly original (and rather twisted) titles in the process. From outrageous games featuring dueling genitalia to stylish and thoughtfully introspective explorations that blur the definition of what some might even consider a game, McMillen is not afraid to push the envelope. Meat Boy, one of his more recent game collaboration successes, is being super-sized for WiiWare, and he’s hopeful this bloody and gruelingly challenging vertical platformer about a boy made of drippy, raw meat will win over the hearts of Wii owners.”

Check out the full story here.