The Arena – Obludia vs. The Binding of Isaac
Follow Obludia
Genre: Action, indie
Developer: FobTi Interactive
Publisher: FobTi Interactive
The Binding of Isaac
Genre: Action, indie, adventure, RPG
Developer: Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl
Publisher: Edmund McMillen

The Arena – Obludia vs. The Binding of Isaac

User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Obludia, a top-down arena action game that is inspired by classics such as Robotron and Smash-TV, shows a strong resemblance to The Binding of Isaac that was released in 2011.Today we take a look at how similar FobTi Interactive latest’s game Obludia truly is to the well-loved and appraised top-down action adventure game The Binding of Isaac.



Story-wise, both games are completely different from each other. There is no real storyline in Obludia. You are just a Demon Hunter, trying to survive the incoming hordes of various types of enemies ranging from killer penguins to enraged devils to wizards and bosses. What happened before is unknown unlike the story in The Binding of Isaac.

Life was good for Isaac, he had plenty of toys to busy himself with while his mother watched various sitcoms on TV. Until his mother started hearing the voice of God, demanding her to prove her loyalty by scarifying her only son. Before she could carry out her plan to slaughter Isaac, he escaped into the basement. Little did he know that he will be facing his biggest fears, deranged enemies and even lost brothers and sisters in the dungeons of this dark basement.

Graphic and level design

A claim made by many is that the visuals of Obludia are too similar to those of The Binding of Isaac. While I can agree to a certain point, I cannot help but think that there are many games that share a visually striking resemblance to each other nowadays. Agreed, the cartoonish artistic style can be found in both games but Obludia has a more detailed cartoon-style with fine lines while The Binding of Isaac has a more rough cartoon-style to it. However, when we take a closer look at the graphics in the level design, we can see similarities but also huge differences.

Both games are top-down arena action games, there is no doubt about that fact but the dungeons in The Binding of Isaac are randomized. Obludia does not have that random generated dungeon system. In fact, in Obludia you will be able to memorize each room in the dungeon and their enemies. You will enter a different room each time you’ve completed the previous one but not by using doorways as these are used to spawn the various monsters. This is how linear and repetitive the level design is in Obludia. Obviously this is not the case in The Binding of Isaac.


The player’s interface, while also quite similar are far more detailed and advanced in Obludia. Again, this is mostly due to the fact that The Binding of Isaac has a rough design to it. The interface menu is simple and straight forward with the use of only text in Obludia. In The Binding of Isaac, this is certainly not the case. Here the interface menu is cleverly designed as it is scribbled on a piece of paper. This design re-occurs in the game when Isaac dies as he has written down how he died. A notable difference.


If you don’t know either of the games, here’s a quick overview of the gameplay in general. In The Binding of Isaac you fall into the basement and you can move to other rooms in the dungeon through the doorways. Some rooms will have few to no enemies but will carry several useful items – while some rooms are packed with various enemies which you will need to kill by shooting your own tears at the start. Later on, you can pick up items that will make Isaac stronger. Every level has a boss which you will need to kill if you want to move on to the next level of the dungeon. Dying will prevent you from going any further and you will have to start from the very beginning.

The gameplay in Obludia is similar to that of The Binding of Isaac as you will be spawning inside a room of the dungeon and have to kill the enemies spawning from the doorways – this can be many kinds of enemies. Every three levels, you will automatically be spawned inside of the store, where you can buy upgrades, spells and ammo for your character. As there are five worlds in Obludia, you will be facing a boss at the end of every world. Just as in The Binding of Isaac, death is permanent and you will need to restart from the first level.


Let’s dig a little deeper in the gameplay and the gameplay mechanics to see if there are any significant differences. A clear difference is the difficulty of both games. While both games require you to start from the beginning upon dying, you are most likely to die in The Binding of Isaac. Neither of the game have a steep learning curve to them but The Binding of Isaac is simply harder to complete. Mostly this is due to the fact that Obludia has a secret room in the first level, where you can gather a plethora of coins – so many in fact, that you can buy your dog and a few other helpful items the first time you visit the store. Another reason for that is because the enemies in Obludia are far more predictable than those in The Binding of Isaac. Furthermore, in Obludia you can shoot in every direction with your weapon of choice while The Binding of Isaac only allows you to shoot left, right, up and down.

In The Binding of Isaac, there are over a hundred unique items that can give Isaac powers but it can also visually change him. There are far less items in Obludia and none of them have the ability to visually change your character – except for the weapon you are holding. Additionally, there are only five bosses in Obludia. A low number compared to the twenty and more bosses you can encounter in The Binding of Isaac. The amount of content, combined with the difficulty and randomized dungeons makes sure that The Binding of Isaac has a great replayability – something Obludia does not have unless you decide to complete the game in local co-op with various friends. To top it off with a cherry, The Binding of Isaac comes with multiple endings.



A game developer once told me that you cannot design a game without being inspired by other similar games and this truly shows in this comparison. Obludia clearly shows that the basic concept of the game is similar to The Binding of Isaac, as it is to many other games, however I do not feel like it is an exact clone of Edmund McMillen’s game. When comparing the value of both games, I feel that Obludia should be lowered in price while The Binding of Isaac should go up slightly. The Binding of Isaac clearly has far more content and replayability than Obludia.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
The Arena - Obludia vs. The Binding of Isaac, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.