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The Binding of Isaac (Series) Accessibility Report

We've documented 23 accessibility features for The Binding of Isaac in the Difficulty, Getting Started, Reading, Navigation, Controls, Visual and Audio areas to aid enjoyment of the game for different players. This report is created with input from accessibility experts and the player community to help people find games that have the accessibility features they require. Once you have found potential games on the database, there are excellent specialist accessibility sites that offer in-depth reviews to guide your purchasing decisions.

The Binding of Isaac is a series of adventure games where you progress through randomly generated rooms, collecting items and fighting off monsters. It's a twist on the simple Zelda dungeon, with hundreds of enemies, room variations and upgrades. The joy is in the variety you meet in repeated attempts to get further with each run. As you battle a myriad of enemies and bosses, an abstract (and darkly comedic) story emerges of misguided faith, obedience and (eventually) mental health, grief, abuse and religious fanaticism.

NotesAccessibility Notes

In The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, there are two difficulty options: normal and hard, although both will offer a reasonably difficult challenge, with normal being around the same difficulty, or a little harder, than the original.

Although overall progress, such as unlocks and endings, are saved, you can't save your progress on a run, but as each run is relatively short, due to the single life of your character, you'll never lose much progress.

All the story is voiced, and during cutscenes, written text is only ever used for comedic effect, but during gameplay you'll need to read a few basic game controls. Some parts of the games, in particular the cutscenes feature purposefully jittery animation of black on white. Although the text is large, some of it is of a similar, slightly darker, colour to the background which may make it difficult for some to read. The game does not feature subtitles.

The map is a small overlay on the top right corner of the screen, which you can adjust the opacity of, and only shows which room you are in and the rooms next to where you are, making it clear where you can, can't yet go and need to go but not much besides. While game elements are generally large, many of the colours are similar and quite dark. The background is static, as the whole room is visible all the time, but it gradually gets bloodier, although not to a point where it's overwhelming.

The standard control scheme uses only the keyboard, but you can fully remap the controls to whatever suits you best. There is also full native controller support, again where you can remap buttons fully. To drop an item you will need to hold down on a button.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 28/09/2011, updated in 2021

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, PS5, Switch, Wii U and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Narrative, Role-Playing and Shooting

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Edmund Mc Millen (@EdmundMcMillen)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases

 

DifficultyDifficulty

We've documented 3 accessibility features for Difficulty in The Binding of Isaac which deal with how you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Difficulty Options

Select Difficulty: Select the level of difficulty from a range of presets. This not only offers a way to adjust the challenge of a game but enables you to do so without dealing with individual criteria.

Adjust After Setting

Adjustable Between Levels: You can adjust the difficulty between levels/rounds. Although you have to restart your checkpoint or level, this enables you to adjust the difficulty after selecting it at the beginning of the game.

Cognitive Pressure

Save Anytime: The game automatically saves progress or you can save any time, and not lose progress. This avoids being forced back to the start of a level, or checkpoint when you fail a particular challenge.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Difficulty

If you want to play The Binding of Isaac, but it doesn't offer the Difficulty accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Difficulty accessibility:

Getting StartedGetting Started

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Getting Started in The Binding of Isaac which deal with what support is offered to get started with the game. This includes customising the experience when you first open the game via any onboarding processes it provides as well as tutorials and other assistance when you first start playing.

Assistance During Play

View Control Mapping: You can view a map of controls during play. This clearly displays the mappings of actions to buttons/keys/mouse/keyboard without having to leave the game.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials and instructions on how to play. Information is provided in a timely manner, with appropriate level of detail.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Getting Started

If you want to play The Binding of Isaac, but it doesn't offer the Getting Started accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Getting Started accessibility:

ReadingReading

We've documented 3 accessibility features for Reading in The Binding of Isaac which deal with how much reading or listening comprehension is required, how well the game provides visual and audible access to the text and whether subtitles and captions are a good fit for purpose.

Reading Level

Simple Minimal Reading: Minimal reading is required. The quantity and complexity of reading are at a level that a primary/elementary student (9-year-old) could understand.

Text Visibility

Large Clear Text: Text is large and clear or can be adjusted to be. The general text used throughout the game in menus, instructions and other information (excluding subtitles that are assessed separately) is at least 1/20 (46 pixels on 1080 screen) the height of the screen.

Voice Acted

All Dialogue is Voice Acted (Or No Speech In Game): All of the game dialogue and narrative can be voiced, or there is no speech in the game. This means there is no requirement to read the dialogue and narrative text to play the game.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Reading

If you want to play The Binding of Isaac, but it doesn't offer the Reading accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Reading accessibility:

NavigationNavigation

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Navigation in The Binding of Isaac which deal with how the game provides guidance and assistance to navigate its worlds and spaces.

Clarity

Large Clear Navigation: The in-game navigation and maps are clear to read. They offer large text and offer markers that are large and of high contrast. Where text or information is small, there are settings to zoom-in and increase visibility.

Head-Up Display

Game Map: View a map of the game world during play, with the landscape, points of interest and missions highlighted throughout the entire game. This enables the orientation of the player and the world, confirming a direction of movement and the location of destinations or points of exploration.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Navigation

If you want to play The Binding of Isaac, but it doesn't offer the Navigation accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Navigation accessibility:

ControlsControls

We've documented 8 accessibility features for Controls in The Binding of Isaac which deal with how you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Gamepad

Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.

Mouse And Keyboard

Keyboard Alone: Can play with just the keyboard.

Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.

Remap Controls

Can customise the controls for the game as follows:

Remap Buttons: Can re-map all buttons so that you can use alternatives that better suit your play.

Remap Sticks: Can remap the stick controls to controller buttons for easier access of direction controls.

Remap Mouse and Keyboard: Can remap mouse and keyboard key bindings, on systems that support these controls.

Remap One Action to Multiple Buttons: Can remap multiple buttons to perform the same action to reduce the need to memorise buttons and make the action easier to access.

Button Combinations

Specific button operation required to play

No Simultaneous Buttons: Only one button or key required at a time, in addition to direction stick(s).

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Controls

If you want to play The Binding of Isaac, but it doesn't offer the Controls accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Controls accessibility:

VisualVisual

We've documented 4 accessibility features for Visual in The Binding of Isaac which deal with how you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Interactive Elements

Large Game Elements: Game characters and other elements are large and distinguishable. Enemies and player characters are at least 1/6 of the height of the screen. Or there is a zoom feature to make them larger.

Visual Distractions

No Busy Backgrounds: No distracting backgrounds or you can make them static or blank. This includes the absence of other movement elements in the background that might distract or confuse the action.

Motion Sickness Friendly

Motion Sickness Friendly: Option to reduce motion sickness in 3D games. This includes the ability to disable motion blur, depth of field and field-of-vision effects. It also includes games that don't have these movement elements in the first place.

Colour Options

Colour blind friendly: Game doesn’t rely on colour or can switch to colour blind friendly mode.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Visual

If you want to play The Binding of Isaac, but it doesn't offer the Visual accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Visual accessibility:

AudioAudio

We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Audio in The Binding of Isaac which deals with how you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Adjustable Audio

Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately. This enables you to select your preference as well as ensure critical game sounds aren't obscured by other audio.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Audio

If you want to play The Binding of Isaac, but it doesn't offer the Audio accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Audio accessibility:

System Accessibility Settings

In addition to the accessibility features provided in the game, you can also use system-wide accessibility settings:

Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games.
 
Nintendo Wii U
The Wii U has some limited settings, such as disabling rumble and selecting mono audio.
 
PC
Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators.
 
PlayStation 4
PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping).
 
PlayStation 5
PlayStation 5 has a range of system-wide accessibility settings.
 
Xbox One
Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games.
 
Read more about system accessibility settings.

VSC LogoAccessibility Report supported by VSC Rating Board, PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors Ben Kendall



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The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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