Scroll down for more in-depth gameplay.
Over a year ago, Robert Bowling put me in touch with Studio71, who approached me about doing a possible Binding of Isaac themed board game. I kinda blew them off saying I didn't have any ideas for something like that and I was far too busy with The End is Nigh and Bum-Bo to start thinking about it (but the seed had been planted).
Fast forward 9 or 10 months.
I was sick with the flu, stuck on the living room couch, bored out of my mind when the basic structure for a Binding Of Isaac card game started taking over my brain. Within 5 days I had roughly 200 cards, drew them up and started testing things with Danielle.
Even at this phase the game was fun, every play session felt totally new, dynamic and interesting.
Within a month U had a fully fleshed out a prototype using sleeved cards with sticker paper, I scribbled down and reverse engineered the mechanics for as many iconic monsters, items, characters and random happenings from the digital game as I could.
It was really fun to take a well known item or monster from the game and think up ways to convey stuff like, How could I show that the carrion queen takes damage when you hit her butt? Or how could I represent the rng aspects of cursed floors or troll bombs only using a deck of cards?
Once we finished the first 4 player game session, I knew this was something super unique that really embodied everything people love about The Binding of Isaac.
People joined forces to take down giant bosses, bartered their way to more items and stabbed each other in the back once someone started inching closer to having 4 souls.
I called up Studio71 and told them I was ready.
The prototype has gone through many different major revisions over the months and i’m sure things will change as the Kickstarter unfolds but it’s in a place where I’m extremely happy with how well it plays and everyone I've tested with always wants another round so that's a good sign.
2-4 players take turns playing loot cards and using items to kill monsters that yield more items, loot, and sometimes souls. The first player to end their turn with 4 souls is the winner. Cooperation, barter, and betrayal is encouraged.
Starting the game:
Shuffle the monster, loot, and treasure decks and place them on the table.
Take the top 2 cards from the monster deck and place them face up on the table. These are the current active monsters.
Take the top 2 cards from the treasure deck and place them face up on the table. These are the current store items.
Each player starts the game with 3 loot cards and 3¢.
Cain always goes first, if Cain is not one of the characters drawn, then the saddest player goes first.
1) Charge all activated items (Turn all used items upright)
2) Draw 1 loot card
3) Main phase
During their main phase the active player may do any or all of these things in any order:
1. Play 1 loot card, this can be in response to any action.
2. Purchase 1 store item or purchase the unknown top card of the treasure deck. (All store items cost 10¢, including the top card of the deck)
3. Attack a monster. (The player can choose to attack any active monster or attack the unknown top card of the monster deck)
4. Activate their player card to play an additional loot card. (Player cards can also be saved and activated on other player’s turns in response to any action)
4) Ending phase
1. Check to see if any player has 4+ souls. if they do, they win and the game ends.
2. Heal damage done to all players and monsters.
3. Pass the turn to the player to your left.
Keep loot cards in your hand without revealing them to other players. You may play one loot card during each of your turn.
Trinkets: These rare loot cards play like treasure items and have passive effects. Place these cards face up on the table next to your item cards, they count as items when in play.
Basic loot: Basic loot comes in the form of coins, bombs, hearts, pills and the like and are used to gain resources or help in combat.
Tarot cards: Tarot cards are more advanced loot cards that can drastically change the course of the game.
Special loot: These are secret! shhhhhhhh...
The Monster deck is the meat and potatoes of the game. It’s filled with basic monsters, bosses, treasures, curses and other surprises.
Basic monster: Monsters that are easier to kill and yield loot, coins, and on rare occasion, treasure.
Bosses: Harder monsters with bigger rewards that all yield souls when killed (Souls are how you win, remember?)
Chests/Bonus cards: Rare cards that yield rewards with little effort and change the game... but they may also kill you…
Curses: Rare cards that, when revealed, curse the player in the lead. Curse cards are placed to the left of your character card. Curses are discarded when the cursed player dies.
Active items: These items can be activated at any time to use their abilities and are noted with a turning arrow symbol. You show an item is activated by turning it sideways. (These items can be activated in response to any action) Once an item has been activated, it can't be activated again until it’s charged at the start of that player's turn.
Paid items: These items activate when you pay a specific cost (ie, discard a card, pay 2¢ or take 2 damage). Paid items can be used in response to any action and can be used as many times as they can be paid for.
Passive items: These items give players special abilities that usually change the rules of the game or modify existing effects. These abilities don't require activation.
Each player may attack the monster deck once during their turn. If the player chooses to attack, they may choose to attack an active monster card (face up monster card next to the deck) or the top card of the monster deck. If they attack the top of the deck, reveal that monster card to all players and place it over one of the active monster cards face up.
When a player attacks a monster card, they roll their d6. If the number is greater than or equal to that creature’s DICE number, then they deal damage equal to their damage number to that creature. (That is, unless someone uses an ability to modify or reroll the result!) If the attacking player rolls lower than the creature’s dice number, that player takes damage equal to that monster’s damage number. The attacking player continues to roll their d6 until that creature takes lethal damage(damage greater than or equal to that creature’s hit points) or that creature deals lethal damage to the player.
If a monster is killed, the active player gains any rewards for killing it and the card is placed on the top of the monster discard pile face up. If an active monster is killed and there are no cards underneath it, reveal the top card of the monster deck and place it face up in the active monster card zone, replacing the killed monster.
If a monster deals lethal damage to a player, that player is killed. (see Death:) That player pays a penalty and ends their turn.
All damage done to players and monsters is healed at the end of any player’s turn.
If a non-monster card is revealed when a player attacks the top card of the library or is revealed after killing an active monster, the active player reads that card to all players and follows the directions on the card. You can no longer attack the monster deck this turn.
When a player takes lethal damage or is killed for any reason, that player suffers a death penalty.
If that player has any items beyond their starting item, they choose and destroy one of them, placing it in that cards discard pile.
In addition to an item, that player also discards a card, loses 1¢ and deactivates all their items and player card.
After paying the death penalty, if the player was killed during their turn, their turn ends.
Advanced play aka the bonus souls: Once players have a better understanding of the games mechanics, you are encouraged to add the bonus souls, the Soul of Greed and the Soul of Gluttony, to your games.
These bonus cards aren’t added to any deck but instead exist face up on the table next to the game decks in view of all players.
If any player completes their turn with 25¢ or more, they acquire the Soul of Greed. If any player completes their turn with 10 or more loot cards in their hand, they acquire the Soul of Gluttony.
Once acquired, these souls can’t be gained again for the rest of that game.
Risks and challenges
In developing the game we have been obsessive with the details throughout designing, prototyping, and planning for production so we can get the game to all of you ASAP. Unfortunately, there is always the chance that things can go wrong.
In the event that there are any changes, whether it's a delay in the manufacturing timeline, shipping date, or something else, we promise to communicate honestly with you and work around the clock until we correct the issue.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)