11 years later, Binding of Isaac dev says his cat-breeding party-based RPG is the "most exciting game" he's ever developed

Mewgenics runs with cats
(Image credit: Edmund McMillan, Tyler Glaiel)

One of the devs behind cult classic The Binding of Isaac has revealed that his favorite project to-date is still the cat breeding and fighting game that he came up with more than a decade ago.

The idea for Mewgenics was born 11 years ago, and developer Edmund McMillen has believed in it ever since. "I loved the world,"  McMillen says, sitting down with co-developer Tyler Glaiel to play an early build of the cutesy monochrome game with Edge Magazine issue 380. "I loved the game, I loved the sense of humour, and I loved that kind of legacy-based idea of permanence, and bloodline, and family, and flaw." 

Following a lack of enthusiasm from his then-team, McMillen scrapped Mewgenics before joining forces with Glaiel to resurrect it more recently – and now you can wishlist the game on Steam (opens in new tab).

McMillen describes it as a "Pokémon-style turn-based fighting game. You'd breed your cats, they'd have different abilities, and then you'd fight them against a slew of other cats, Pokémon style." So, basically, it sounds like Cult of the Lamb except with cats instead of grovelling cultists. 

But unlike some of the best cat games, Mewgenics isn't just about creating and playing as a cute cat. It's not a straightforward fighting game either, though; McMillen believes it's the individual stories that emerge during a run that makes it  "the most exciting game" he's ever developed.

When you bring your kitty crew out to fight other felines, anything can happen. This is because "each of them will develop a personality as they go," McMillen says. "I've had it happen many times – the cat that I hate, the cat that I think is a total piece of garbage, ends up being the hero of the day."

Of course, the opposite can always be the case, and you might lose one of your fighting favorites to the ravages of distemper. Still, now that McMillen has found a solid co-developer, we hope to try our hand at this "turn based Final Fantasy Tactics-style game" when it's slated to launch in 2024.

If agonising failure is all you're looking for in a game, why not play some of the best roguelikes while you wait? 

Jasmine Gould-Wilson
Staff Writer, GamesRadar+

Jasmine is a staff writer at GamesRadar+. Raised in Hong Kong and having graduated with an English Literature degree from Queen Mary, University of London in 2017, her passion for entertainment writing has taken her from reviewing underground concerts to blogging about the intersection between horror movies and browser games. Having made the career jump from TV broadcast operations to video games journalism during the pandemic, she cut her teeth as a freelance writer for global publications TheGamer and TechRadar Gaming before accepting a full-time role at GamesRadar+. Whether Jasmine is researching the latest in gaming litigation for a news piece, writing how-to guides for The Sims 4, or extolling the necessity of a Resident Evil: CODE Veronica remake, you'll probably find her listening to metalcore at the same time.