Latest posts by Seth Ryals-Fernandes (see all)
- $25 for Kickstarter Edition
- 2-4 Players
- No Playtime Listed
- Based On “The Binding Of Isaac” Game Series
Binding Of Isaac: Four Souls Is Exactly What You Hoped
About a week ago, Edmund McMillen started teasing a new Binding of Isaac Game. I’m sure I was not the only person that assumed it would be a video game. Edmund has never mentioned, to my knowledge, that he was developing a board game. To my surprise when I returned several days later to see what have come of all of it, I found a link to this game. As an avid board gamer, and also a huge fan of the Binding Of Isaac series, I was ecstatic to see that Binding of Isaac: Four Souls was the project that Edmund had been working on.
Binding of Isaac: Four Souls is a board game version of the video game sharing the same surname. Although I have not gotten my hands on it, yet, it seems to be kind of like Munchkins. Initially you might take this as a negative statement. Because Munchkins already exists and is beloved by casual and hardcore gamers alike. But in my mind there was nothing else this game could have been. All of that being said, let’s dive into how the game works and my thoughts on what we have so far. Also in the interest of disclosure I have backed this game.
Basic Mechanics of Binding of Isaac: Four Souls
At the start of the game, each player randomly chooses one of the four character cards available: Judas, Isaac, Maggie, or Cain. Each character comes with a starting ability that allows the character to change the game in some way as it is played.
Isaac can reroll dice, Maggie can heal, etc. These abilities should seem very familiar to you if you have played the games. Also as a side note, if you have not and you do like video games, I would highly recommend them. After each player gets a character they also receive three loot items and three cents. Each turn the player starts their turn by drawing one loot card. After that the player whose turn it is can choose to do any or all of these actions:
- Play 1 loot card
- Purchase one item
- Attack a Monster
- Activate their player card
These actions do not have to be done in any specific order.
The goal of the game is to collect four souls, hence the name of the game. Once a player ends their turn with four souls, that player wins. Souls are collected by killing bosses, which are mixed into the monster deck.
The Unique Story of The Binding Of Isaac: Four Souls
Having followed The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth and all of its expansions, I know a decent amount about the game. Beyond that I am also a big fan of their creator, and the creator of this game, Edmund McMillen. Edmund, like many talented people, did not have the happiest upbringing. These themes can be seen throughout the games, and I’m sure in the card game as well if you look closely. He has talked very openly about how this has inspired him to create these games.
Edmund has continued having a unique creation and inspiration in this game. On the Kickstarter page for Binding of Isaac: Four Souls, there is a whole section discussing the origins of the game and how it was invented. I won’t ruin the entire story for you, because I think it is worth a read. The long and short of it is that he was approached over a year ago by a studio wanting to help him create this very game. He put it off over and over until one week he was down sick with the flu. When he was down sick he started to think about how the items and events in the game could be transferred into board game mechanics from video game mechanics.
From there Binding of Isaac: Four Souls was born.
My Thoughts on Binding of Isaac: Four Souls
I love the Kickstarter page for this game. The art is all of the same style from the games, and I love that. I’ve already backed this game as I stated before. Mostly because I know even if I don’t like the game, I will love having it as a collector’s item. That leads me into my concerns for the game. I think the game will be well received regardless, just because the creator is well known and it is his first foray into board games.
My concern lies with that exact same thing though. I don’t think that this game will be mind blowing. I think Binding of Isaac: Four Souls will ride on the coat tails of the fame that the video games have already achieved. The theme of this game is definitely the main selling point in my mind. The mechanics don’t strike me as being very unique in comparison to many games that already exist. The good news is for all of you that are out there this may be a good way to bring those friends you have that don’t play board games, over from video games. I think that a lot of people who have never played a board game created after 1990 will probably play this game. They might even branch out into more games that are more complex.
My point is that Binding of Isaac: Four Souls has the unique opportunity to bring new people into the hobby that maybe would never have been introduced otherwise. That being said, unless you are a big fan of the source material, I don’t think this game is something you should be jumping out of your chair to go put money towards.
Thank you guys as always for taking the time to read my writing. I am forever grateful and always trying to improve. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions pertaining to the article. If you are a current designer and would like to advertise with us, you can do so at our Advertise With Us page. But if you think your game is a game I would like feel free to shoot me an email from our Contact Us page and I would love to write an article for you free of charge.