Binding of Isaac Kickstarter Offers Edmund McMillen’s Bathwater

Binding of Isaac Kickstarter Offers Edmund McMillen’s Bathwater
Image: Edmund McMillen

The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls tabletop game is back on Kickstarter raising millions more dollars for a new expansion called Requiem. The latest crowdfunding campaign has become a metagame of its own, with social media stretch goals egging fans on to do Binding of Isaac stand up and even send pics of themselves in a bath in order to unlock new parts of the game.

The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls is a tabletop adaptation of Edmund McMillen’s cult-classic roguelike. It’s a four-player competitive card game based on the lore and mechanics of the original in which players race to collect souls from fallen bosses. Requiem is an expanded version of the game that adds 248 more cards, and it’s already on track to double the base game’s Kickstarter haul, raising over $US5.5 ($7) million with just over two days still to go.

Like other Kickstarter campaigns, Requiem has stretch goals and bonus rewards. $US35 ($45) will get you the card game itself, but for $US2,000 ($2,565) McMillen will throw in a bunch of other stuff including a bottle of his very own bathwater. That reward tier currently had three backers. Unlike other Kickstarter campaigns, however, Requiem also has an entire metagame that exists solely on social media based around Warp Zones.

Hitting these milestones unlocks cross-over cards ranging from an Enter the Gungeon-themed time-travelling gun to a “murder” card inspired by Among Us. But to do that players need to tweet all kinds of stuff at McMillen. With less than 72 hours to go in the campaign, they’re now racing to complete the meta game’s true ending and unlock the rest of the expansion’s potential cards “for real this time.”

Sure enough, Isaac fans have been pelting the creator with screenshots of their Steam playtime counters, Pokémon crossovers, and surprisingly amazing stand-up jokes. The fifth and final challenge requires a bit more legwork. Backers have to actually send McMillen bathing pics with the hashtag #buymybathwater (keeping things “PG,” of course). Only three hours since the challenge went live, dozens of people have already complied.

In case you missed it, gamer bathwater was a whole internet saga back in the distant summer of 2019. It started as a troll and quickly became a meme, and now it’s making its way into the Binding of Isaac extended universe, because why not. “I’m currently selling my bathwater on the Kickstarter and people have been joking about selling their bathwater as well so I put that in,” McMillen told Kotaku in an email.

Binding of Isaac fans are known for their devotion and willingness to engage in all kinds of weird shit, but it’s impressive to see it gamified in this way. $US5.5 ($7) million is a lot. By comparison, Psychonauts 2 raised $US3.3 ($4) million on the crowdfunding platform Fig back in 2016, while Wastelanders 3 raised $US2.75 ($4) million on the same platform that year. Even among tabletop crowdfunding campaigns, which broke records throughout 2020, The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls Requiem stands out. And of course the crowdfunding campaign isn’t over just yet. As with the game it’s based on, who knows what other weird surprises will still be lurking beyond its endgame.

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