12 years later, The Binding of Isaac remains my go-to roguelite. There have been some incredible Rogue-inspired games since, but nothing has quite stuck its disgusting, fly and poop-covered hooks in me like Edmund McMillen’s tale of a crying child fighting his murderous mother using the power of his tears. Yes, I’m in therapy, why do you ask?
Watch on YouTube
Part of Isaac’s appeal – for me, at least – is its delightful local co-op, which lets a player jump in and join the multi-floor descent into a procedurally generated basement/hell/heaven/womb.
As Isaac evolved over a decade-plus of updates and expansions, so too did it’s local multiplayer, going from the basic ability for a second player to become a floating ghost pal to being able to choose from the full roster of unlocked characters, including Isaac, Maggie and the laser-spewing GOAT, Azazel.
While McMillen seemingly waved Isaac off into the sunset (or a locked box) in 2021 with final expansion Repentance – following its previous final expansion, Afterbirth+ – the developer clearly isn’t done with Isaac just yet (or ever).
Isaac executive producer Tyrone Rodriguez teased a screen of an online multiplayer mode for Repentance on Twit-X-er, showing the option to invite up to three friends to play as four different characters in different modes. The screen also shows that online winstreaks (both your current run and highest streak to date) will be tracked, and you’ll be able to load up a specific seed if there’s a certain loadout you prefer.
It’s happening folks! https://t.co/S4K2mT0Muh
— 🜏 Edmund McMillen 🜏 (@edmundmcmillen) September 28, 2023
Rodriguez confirmed in further responses to fans that “you will be able to play with random matches or friends”, and that treasure rooms – which appear once per floor on standard playthroughs – will offer one item per player on each floor. Boss rooms will also give you one item per player on each floor, meaning there will be a lot of items to go around.
The online multiplayer mode is coming “soon” according to Rodriguez’ post, with the dev confirming that the mode will launch a beta on Steam and will be limited to those who own the latest Repentance pack.
McMillen has separately been reminiscing about Isaac (which was co-developed with programmer Florian Himsl,) reaching the grand age of 12 on PC, writing: “At the time of release I thought nothing could ever come close to super meat boy in popularity but really just wanted to take a big risk and making something “weird/special” again. Thanks for accepting my boy into your lives.”