How Well Could You Run a Cult?
Test your cult-operation skills in this new indie roguelike
Released on 11 August, 2022, Cult of the Lamb gives ultimate power to the last lamb on their journey of discovery, vengeance, and cleanliness.
I’ll admit, I almost passed by this game when I first heard of it, thinking it was another religious horror indie game. It was not until some of my favorite Twitch streamers were playing it did I get the desire to start my own cute and deadly animal cult. Very quickly was I consumed into the whimsical art, swift combat, and city (cult) building that the game offered.
A Cult of the Lamb Review
Time for the actual review of the game. I have always been happy whenever playing a game published by Devolver Digital, though this was the first game I have played that was developed by Massive Monster. If you want a quick summary and my final score, scroll on to the bottom for a tl;dr, otherwise, stick on by while I cover some of the various aspects of the game!
City-building and resource management
While you start off by yourself, a one-person cult is not much a cult, is it? Very early on you get introduced to your first followers, as well as the area where you can build up your cult.
The plot of land you can utilize is pretty vast, and is structured on a rotated grid layout. Overall, it is pretty straightforward and enjoyable, with my biggest complaint being that it was sometimes a minor pain to get items to fit just where you wanted.
Managing your different resources becomes more streamlined as you progress, and the interface is very informative in displaying what your cult desires. That is right, you don’t have to manually clean up after your woodland followers forever, there is salvation!
One resource that felt relatively out of place, however, was fishing. Towards the beginning of the story you unlock the skill. Sadly, there is only one place where you can utilize it, even though there are a few differently themed realms.
Like many other games, there is a minigame involved in catching the fish which many relate to Stardew Valley’s fishing. There are many types of fish, including rarer ones needed for quests and better food. Thankfully there is a ritual you can use to boost your odds at the harder to find ones!
Combat and crusades
Roguelike games are probably one of my favorite categories, which made me very excited for this game! The game sports a variety of weapons and curses (similar to spells). Some felt great to use, like the sword, dagger, and ichor spells. Others, like the hammer, felt a bit too clunky for the pace of the game.
In addition to those, there are unique modifiers you can get during each run in the form of Tarot cards! These provide a range of benefits; some more straightforward like more health, others a bit more unique like rolling deals damage! Thankfully, there was not a moment where I felt a Tarot card was a make it or break it situation.
The maps that the crusades take place on are randomly generated across two parts. The main part of the crusade is made of branching paths between different stops/levels, eventually leading to the boss. Each level varies based on the type of location, some are combat maps, others random events, or even sometimes a nice merchant where you may be able to buy your newest followers freedom, if you so desire.
The combat maps are room based in a traditional grid format. Generally one linear path between the rooms leading from start to finish, with the occasional branches. This game is not shy from having nothing special on the side paths, so I have not felt the need to continue exploring everywhere before moving on!
The monsters are unique, enjoyable, and kinda creepy! Ranging from followers of the other main baddies, to spiders that act like they are on too much pre-workout. While the game does have various difficulties, the enemies are generally pretty generous with displaying when and where they are going to attack. Bosses, on the other hand, can sometimes be a bit more chaotic!
Endgame content and overall rating
Sadly, this is the current major weakness for the game. The developers have stated that they are working on more endgame content, which I am looking forward to! In the meantime, most people may be completely satisfied after a single completion.
tl;dr The game is a solid 7.5/10 with a lot of potential to become even more amazing with some updates. The cult management is entertaining, the combat is enjoyable and not overly complex, but there is not a lot to the end game currently.
I know game reviews have not been super common, but I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it (and playing the game)!