The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls is a rib of the roguelike video game The Binding of Isaac, made by Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl, and which we have come to love since 2011. Biblical references and almost disturbing atmospheres made it unique in its kind. Hours and hours spent exploring the rooms, facing strange creatures and fearsome bosses, always trying to reach new goals, unlock new objects and characters.
But we are not here to talk about the video game.

The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls was presented, in the summer of 2018, on the platform Kickstarter. It was a successful campaign as, in less than two hours, it reached its goal, then closing with a 5300% of the target. The game then came out the following year, in 2019.

The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls is a board game for 2 to 4 players and lasting from 30 minutes to about 1 hour.
Each player will embody a "character", chosen from among the same that can be unlocked in the video game of the same name, equipped with an object with unique abilities.

The packaging of the game and its components are of excellent workmanship and visual rendering. The fabric bag with the plastic coins is a little touch that adds that little bit extra that never hurts!

Along with the base game, again through the Kickstarter campaign, an expansion has been launched that adds new characters, monsters and objects, thus increasing the variety of the gaming experience.

The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls - The game

During the preparation of the game, three different decks of cards are arranged on the table: the "Loot", I"Monsters"And"Treasures". Each of these during the entire game must have the first two cards face up and visible to all.

From here on the game remembers in many respects Munchkin with its mechanics EUMATE ("Enter Kill the Monster Grab the Treasure and Exit").
During his turn, the player must draw a card "Loot", Can then decide to face a"Monster"Face up or risk going against the possible monster that hides behind the top card of the deck, buy a"Tesoro"And / or use their own equipment.
By defeating monsters you will get rewards, ranging from coins, to Loot cards, to treasures, to the much coveted souls (SOULS). Whoever gets 4 first will win the game.

The fights are resolved with the roll of a die, consulting the specifications of the monster shown on the card, modified by the equipment of the current player.

Other players will be able to help (if inexplicably they want to) or hinder the fight by playing cards or activating equipment.

Fights won't always turn to our advantage, it would be too easy!
Often our character will "die", but this will not cause major disadvantages. In fact, if our counterpart dies, we will find ourselves losing some resources: 1 coin, 1 Loot card from the hand, 1 treasure, and we will end our turn. However, the collected souls will not be affected, so as not to make the game exhausting and long.

In addition to getting the Souls needed to win by defeating Bosses, there are also 3 Achievements. Each of these requires a specific condition: being in possession of a certain amount of resources (Coins, Loot or a specific type of Treasure). The first to meet this condition will be in possession of the corresponding special Achievement card. This, in terms of play, will be treated as a Soul for the final victory tally.

The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls

Card Anatomy of The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls

Character cards, except for the name and art, all have the same characteristics: Life Points, Damage and Skills. Each character starts the game with a unique item that they can never lose and that will affect their strategy throughout the game.

The Monster cards show the Life Points, the result of the die needed to wound it and the damage the character will suffer in case of defeat. Each monster, or almost, also has a unique ability that distinguishes it. Last feature is the reward, more or less interesting, that we will get once we have defeated him.

Cards from The Binding of Isaac

Treasure cards are the heart of victory. They allow to build the strategy through synergies, a bit like it happened in the video game. Each card has a trigger, situational or voluntary. The effects conferred by treasures are varied and very heterogeneous.

Binding of Isaac ipecac card

Cards "Loot”Contain mainly consumable resources and are the most diverse. In fact, we will find coins, tarot cards, bombs and much more. These will help us build and make our strategy work when used to the fullest.

Conclusions

The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls it doesn't have the depth of the video game, but neither does it try to have it. He starts with another goal and fully succeeds: to apply the gameplay strategy of The Binding of Isaac, that is, trying to build new synergies between the various objects on a board game.
The graphics of the cards are spectacular and evoke a lot of its videogame counterpart. On balance it is an excellent filler, entertains and involves, making it more accessible, in my opinion, than Munchkin which sometimes gets really, really too long.

I found myself on several different occasions to propose it and, each time, it has met with success and interest. Those who loved the video game will love this transposition, and those who have never heard of it I think will be attracted by its graphics and, perhaps, will want to try the videogame progenitor. These are two synergistic titles but at the same time stand alone.