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Indie dev Edmund McMillen reveals new game “The Binding of Isaac”

Indie dev Edmund McMillen reveals new game “The Binding of Isaac”  (photo)

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Chances are, you’re still trying to finish “Super Meat Boy,” the ultra-difficult, retro-inflected indie platformer that took the gaming world by storm last year. I named it as one of IFC’s Best Games of 2010 and it won similar accolades from tons of other critics and websites. Since the last update that lets “SMB” players create and share their own sadistic level designs with each other, things have been quiet from the game’s creators Tommy Refenes and Edmund McMillen, collectively known as Team Meat.

But, while the two are working another Team Meat game together, McMillen’s also been working on a side project called the Binding of Isaac. McMillen just announced that it’ll be available on Valve’s Steam download service in August for an as-yet-undetermined price. He’s been keeping mum about specifics but mentions that the game’s a shooter and a roguelike , the latter term referring to a subspecies of role-playing game where the level layout and other elements are randomized for a different experience each time. You also tend to have to start over at the beginning of a level when you die in roguelikes, something which harkens back to the difficulty of games of yore.

In a recent interview with IGN, McMillen talked about the influences that he’s hoping to surface into the game, namely the 1980s demonization around “Dungeons & Dragons,” video games and rock ‘n’ roll music.

“The game has minor biblical themes based around Abraham going to sacrifice his son to prove to God that he believed in him – which is dark in itself. So you’ve got this kid whose mum wants to kill him, and he escapes into the basement to get away from her and eventually – maybe – conquer her.”

“I got on this kick, and I was watching a bunch of crazy evangelical Christian scare films from the 80s – D&D sending kids to hell, that sort of thing – and there’s just some crazy videos out there of people swearing that they grew up in a satanic cult and their parents were trying to murder them and they sacrificed babies. I think that’s where it’s all coming from.”

McMillen grew up back when the culture war histrionics created rumors of devil worship and child endangerment around the staples of youth culture and is embedding those worst fears into “The Binding of Isaac.” It’ll be interesting to see just how dark McMillen goes with this game and if it’ll be just as mercilessly hard as “Super Meat Boy.”

Are you excited to travel in another one of McMillen’s creations? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.


Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…