The Binding of Isaac Afterbirth+ has a truly old school instruction booklet
Do you remember game manuals? When you popped open your brand new game and out plopped a tiny novel worth of descriptions, lore, pictures, instructions and a bevvy of other little tidbits that help you with your shiny new game? If you’re a particularly late millennial, this would sound completely alien. I don’t know if publishers decided that they wanted to save the trees or something, but when you buy a non-limited edition game these days, all you get is the case, a CD (if you’re lucky) and maybe a tiny slip of paper that gives you the controls or the dang usage agreement.
In the old days, our game cases were packed with stuff. I remember getting Elder Scrolls Oblivion and reading the over 40 page manual on the toilet as I took breaks playing the game for 300 hours. It’s a lost art and one that makes a lot of retro fans sad because those were the golden age of nice tat that came with your games.
Thankfully some developers are among those sad fans such as Nicalis, the developer of The Binding of Isaac. With Afterbirth+ releasing on the Switch in phyical form, they decided to make the packaging special. They included a manual that is an obvious ode to The Legend of Zelda that is full of useful information and lovely illustrations. Check it out:
You can find more higher resolution pictures on IGN.
Quite the cute nod to both retro games and a lost art. It’s a shame that a nice game manual is newsworthy now becuase of how rare something like this is these days.