The Legend of Bum-bo

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a game by Edmund McMillen
Platform: PC (2019)
Editor Rating: 7.5/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Puzzle Games, Best Indie Games, Download Strategy Games, Funny Games, Best Roguelike Games
The Legend of Bum-bo
The Legend of Bum-bo
The Legend of Bum-bo

From the twisted mind of Edmund McMillen comes The Legend of Bum-Bo, a puzzle game with roguelike elements and a unique art style. Featuring a myriad of powerups and nearly endless possibilities, This game offers players an extensive experience that’s filled with McMillen’s unique charm.

The deceptively cruel world of Bum-Bo is chock-full of dangers and difficulty spikes, turning this little game into a true challenge, even for the most skilled players. However, this difficulty doesn’t always seem fair, something that might be Bum-Bo’s biggest weakness.

The Horrid world of Bum-Bo

Even if you’re not familiar with his name, you’ve probably already played a game made by Edmund McMillen. His unique art style is present in each of his games, from Super Meat Boy to The Binding of Isaac. The Legend Of Bum-Bo actually works as a prequel of sorts to The Binding of Isaac, as both games are set in the same mesmerizingly twisted world.

Bum-Bo’s gameplay focuses on deceptively simple match four puzzles. However, the fun comes in the shape of the game’s many items to collect and combine. Much like The Binding of Isaac, players can find a variety of items to help them solve puzzles, many of them being oddities that could only be conjured up by someone like McMillen.

Deckbuilding plays an integral role in understanding how to play Bum-Bo. For many players, the complexity of the game might be somewhat unexpected, especially if they’re used to simpler roguelikes. The clunky interface can also be daunting for new players, and the most experienced ones as well.

Cardboard gore

Clunky gameplay aside, the art style of The Legend of Bum-Bo is undeniably charming (in its own way.) The dark atmosphere and characters are brought to life as if they were cardboard cutouts. This unique style lets the game distance itself from Isaac or Super Meat Boy, and really gives McMillen’s art some room to shine.

However, it’s worth noting that the style and themes of the game certainly might not appeal to everyone’s tastes. The game has tons of instances where crude humor and visuals are used, and some of the gorier characters can be downright disgusting to look at. All in all, it’s safe to say that Bum-Bo’s art style, much like Isaac’s, is an acquired taste.

Being part of the Isaac mythos, players can expect some nice lore and connections to the larger Isaac world. While certainly not as dense with content as Isaac was, Bum-Bo still manages to fit a nice amount of content to retain the player’s attention for a good 40 hours.

Punishing difficulty

Roguelikes are seldom intended to be easy games. That said, Bum-Bo’s case is somewhat special, as the difficulty comes in the way the game introduces some of its later enemies.

There’s no enemy encyclopedia of any kind to be found in the game, and every new enemy introduced becomes a frustrating exercise of trial and error. Most of the later enemies might surprise players with how strong their attacks are, making many of the late-game deaths feel like the game is cheating.


If you’re a fan of Edmund McMillen’s original style, then you’ll certainly find lots of things to like about The Legend of Bum-Bo. The unique visual style and entertaining gameplay will definitely keep players entertained, as long as they don’t give up due to the unfair difficulty spikes.


  • Interesting visuals and character designs
  • Tons of interesting back story
  • Creative puzzles


  • Lacks content
  • Unfair difficulty spikes
  • The art style and humor might not be to everyone’s liking

Download The Legend of Bum-bo


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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