The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (commonly referred to as Rebirth for short) is the remake of the original Flash game The Binding of Isaac. It was developed by Nicalis with Edmund McMillen in a supervising position. It was originally released on November 4, 2014 on Steam for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux, as well as the PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita. It was later released on the Xbox One, 3DS, and Wii U on July 23, 2015. 2 years later, its was released on the Nintendo Switch on March 3, 2017 along with already containing the 2 DLC that were made before.
Rebirth features a new, non-Flash-based engine with 16-bit graphics, a new music score, and a redesigned interface intended to streamline gameplay. The game includes all of the content from the original game, as well as the additional content introduced in the Wrath of the Lamb expansion, while adding content that was cut from the original game due to the limitations of Flash.
Rebirth was first conceptualized during the release of The Binding of Isaac: Wrath of the Lamb. Edmund McMillen admitted in a 2014 Q&A that there were plans to release another expansion of the game with a similar amount of content. Due to the limitations of Flash, corrupted files, and a general inability to continue support for the game, McMillen was at an impasse. When McMillen was approached by Tyrone Rodriguez of Nicalis about the possibility of a Super Meat Boy remake, McMillen instead suggested a Binding of Isaac remake as a workaround to the wall they had reached in development of the original. Despite bringing in a new developer to help with Rebirth, McMillen stayed in charge of nearly all aspects of the games development as the lead designer.
From the beginning, McMillen wanted to implement a completely revamped art style. The original Flash art was completed in two months and McMillen was never quite happy with it. It was voted on by the community and eventually a 16-bit Game Boy Advance art style was chosen. McMillen requested that Rodriguez hand-pick a pixel artist as to not force himself to push other projects back to try and do the art on his own.
Also planned from conception were: local 2-player co-op, 150+ new items, level seeds, new endings, and at least three new characters. Something that was deemed impossible at the time of development was support on Nintendo devices (though this was later changed).
The Binding of Issac: Rebirth brings back many aspects of the original. At its core, it is still a top-down, 2D platforming dungeon crawler in which the player controls one of 14 characters and explores the levels of Isaac's basement. The player collects items, trinkets, tarot cards, and pills while attempting to survive a randomly generated dungeon floor composed of hazards such as fire, trapped chests, and challenge rooms. The player must advance through the basement while navigating through a multitude of enemies and bosses of varying rarity and strength.
- Hard Mode and subsequent rewards limited to the difficulty.
- The ability to save mid-session and return at will, as well as multiple save slots.
- Local 2-player co-op play.
- Full screen support with a greater variety of resolutions.
- Animated effects, such as "fog, lighting, moving grass and torches", "non enemy creatures that wander, crawl, fly and eventually get stepped on", and "tons of other little effects like interactive puddles, smoke, subtle quakes, drips, drops and moving foliage".
- The "Faith" Stat implemented as an actual character status.
- Image Export for post-game character appearances.
- Support for more than six Familiars
- Ten new Challenges.
- The Donation Machine, allowing players to donate coins to unlock different shop tiers and better items.
- Synergy between items that modify tears; such as an item that bestows homing and Brimstone leading to a homing Brimstone shot.
- At least one new transformation.
- Rewards for quickly finishing levels; an incentive to "speed run".
- More Mod support.
- Universal controller support.
- Note: For the full list of items, see Items
- Over 150 new items, bringing the total to more than 300 in total.
- Six new Pick Ups, including black hearts that damage enemies when depleted.
- A new Guppy item: Guppy's Collar
- Tiny Planet, a teased item that greatly increases Range but causes tears to orbit the player character's body.
- Champion Belt, a teased item that increases Attack while also increasing Champion enemy encounters.
- Spider Baby, the companion item to The Mulligan.
- Monstro's Lung, allowing the player character a multiple blood shot similar to Monstro's.
- Some items changing categories, such as Wiggle Worm becoming a Trinket.
- Max's Head is replaced entirely by a new item with the exact same functionality: Cricket's Head.
- Some items, such as The Candle, being limited to higher Shop tiers.
- Lemon Mishap's range and duration increased and changed to a one room charge.
- Dr. Fetus and Epic Fetus are harder to find. Epic Fetus in particular is now unlocked by completing Challenge #19, "Family Man".
- Best Friend will no longer kill Isaac upon explosion anymore, likely as a reference to the bugged hits (which can be instant death).
- The Polaroid trinket is no longer needed to go to The Chest, and has been changed into a passive item.
- 4 new playable characters.
- Eden: A randomized character. Unlocked by defeating The Womb for the first time, Eden has evenly balanced stats and two random items. Eden can only be played when a "Token" is earned by beating Mom's Heart or It Lives with any other character.
- Lazarus: Unlocked by obtaining four or more Soul Hearts or Black Hearts in a single playthrough. Begins with slightly lower base stats but with an extra life and a random pill. When the extra life is used, Lazarus will become "Revived Lazarus" with an increase to most stats and the item Anemic.
- Azazel: Unlocked by making three deals in the Devil Room in a single playthrough. Begins with the ability to fly, 0 - The Fool, Brimstone, and three Black Hearts. Unlike ???, he can collect heart containers.
- The Lost: Unlocked under very specific circumstances (before the release of The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth). The player must die consecutively in four different ways with specific characters: Issac, by a Mulliboom in the Basement or Cellar; Magdalene, by her own bomb in Caves or Catacombs; Judas, to any Mom attack in Depths or Necropolis; and Azazel, to any Satan attack in Sheol. Once unlocked, The Lost starts with the ability to fly, no hearts, and unable to gain red hearts.
- 25 enemies and 16 bosses have been completed as of 17 October 2013.
- Three New bosses have been teased, Dingle, The Haunt (Both shown in the gallery below) and Mega Maw
- Three new enemies has been confirmed, the Fatty (shown in the gallery below) the Nest, and Bony. The Fatty are similar to Gapers as it has a chance to turn into another enemy when killed, the Nest is a Spider version of the Hive spawning a Butt Spider upon death, and finally the Bony who are remains of an unknown monster, it has an A.I identical to Knights but instead will stop and throw a bone in Isaac's direction then continuing to walk in whatever direction it was facing.
- The Isaac and ??? boss fights will be less similar to each other in Rebirth.
- Champion enemies will be more different in new ways.
- All Champion enemies now drop specific items based on their suit of color and will have special abilities such as invisibility (Black), leaving a trail of green slime (Green), or attracting tears to themselves (Purple).
- New special rooms like the Curse Room will be added in Rebirth.
- Rooms will come in different shapes and sizes, some being so large that the screen will scroll when Isaac walks around them.
- Room configurations with 3, 2 or one possible entrances can appear (e.g. rooms with only a single walkway to the other side).
- More environmental hazards like Cobwebs and Spikes will be implemented, but no "slippery" hazards like ice, since Edmund dislikes them.
- A new final chapter will be added, along with new endings.
- Choosing between Sheol and the Cathedral will be more meaningful by making Sheol more interesting and difficult. Edmund also hinted at another "The Chest"-like level for Sheol.
- Shops will be more important in Rebirth, although there will still be only 1 shop per floor. There will be 20 cent items, and various new items will be added to the Item Pool.
- Edmund has said that Sacrifice Rooms will be more interesting in Rebirth.
- More Curses and graphical reworks for already existing ones will be added.
- Spikes that retract into the floor.
- Edmund might possibly add an angel counterpart of Krampus for Angel Rooms.
- Edmund wants to add new secrets that can be unlocked by performing certain actions. For example, using the We Need To Go Deeper! item in Sheol does nothing in the original game, but doing this in Rebirth could uncover new secrets.
- There will be a lot of changes to the effect of the "Everything's Terrible" secret achievement.
- Edmund might "do a bestiary like spelunky did", but he will never add detailed item descriptions.
- Brimstone horns hats will be available for Team Fortress 2 to the people who preordered the game on steam.
- A new type of Beggar who asks for keys. 
- Beggars will look at nearby Beggars. 
- Decorative pots.
|“||"The creepy-cute dungeons of The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth are amazingly different and challenging every time."||”|
–Dan Stapleton, IGN, November 25, 2015
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth highly favorable reviews from various sources. Multiple reviews gave the remake a higher rating than the original, citing the improvements in gameplay and the introduction of various items, enemies, bosses.
|Reviewer||PC||PS4||PSVITA||XBOX ONE||WIIU||New 3DS|
- A majority of the game's bugs have already been fixed, even ones that Edmund was not aware of.
- Arcades will be retooled to make them less time-consuming, although Edmund did not specify how this will be done. The probability of the machines blowing up will be increased.
- In general, there will be a greater incentive to spend less time on floors. Some new items will somehow be sensitive to time, which was impossible in flash. Edmund's goal is that the average run time in the remake will be a little shorter than in the current game.
- Steam's "Early Access" feature will not be available for Rebirth.
- Choosing between going to Sheol or the Cathedral will be more meaningful.
- "Breaking" the game with extremely powerful item combinations will still be possible, especially with the large number of new items. Edmund wants to avoid breaking the game in terms of crashing, however.
- The Stats in the pause screen will not be any more detailed than they are currently, because Edmund does not want players to see the exact stat numbers. The bars themselves will be less confusing, though.
- There will be no items referencing famous people in the Binding of Isaac community, because Edmund doesn't want people to feel left out for not getting the reference. He also says that it feels like breaking the fourth wall, and is unnatural.
- Some item pick-up quotes will be re-written so they are more understandable.
- Some graphical updates will be added so items will look better when stacked on top of each other.
- Edmund and Nicalis reduced the price by 33% for anyone who had the original game and tried to preorder the game before November 4th.
- The remake features local two player co-op, but no online multiplayer as to avoid extending the development time any further (it will not be included in an online patch, either). The second player can join in at any time as a shooting Familiar by pressing "Start" on his/her controller, causing Isaac to lose a Heart Container (which will be given to the new player). Subsequent presses of the start button will give more heart containers to the second player, and Isaac will lose them accordingly.
- Edmund wants to balance unfair rooms and "ham-fisted" bosses that depend on the player's items rather than their skill. He said that he originally wanted The Binding of Isaac to be more of a bullet-hell style game, but it lagged Flash too much, resulting in the current Binding of Isaac.
- The controls of a keyboard/controller are now able to be rebound.
- At first, Edmund presented four different possible styles for the remake. The GBA look was the most voted on. After some tweaks, the graphical style for Rebirth is now set. Edmund releases periodical GIFs and updates on the game. Any images released will be posted here. In case of .gifs, click the image in the gallery to show them animated.
- Edmund McMillen, 2014. http://bindingofisaac.com/post/77761867219/the-binding-of-isaac-rebirth-2014-qa
- playscore for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth on PC, whatoplay.com, Retrieved April 6, 2020
- playscore for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth on PS4, whatoplay.com, Retrieved April 6, 2020
- playscore for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth on PS Vita, whatoplay.com, Retrieved April 6, 2020
- playscore for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth on Xbox One, whatoplay.com, Retrieved April 6, 2020
- playscore for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth on Wii U, whatoplay.com, Retrieved April 6, 2020
- playscore for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth on 3DS, whatoplay.com, Retrieved April 6, 2020