Wouldn’t it be fun to run a cult in something completely different from Animal Crossing? Add some Binding of Isaac, a little Animal Crossing, some Twitch Integration if you like, and some rogue-like mechanics, and you’ve got the Cult of the Lamb. I have put quite a bit of time into Massive Monster’s newest release Cult of the Lamb, and have enjoyed my time. It’s even enjoyable when letting those in the cult die, due to mismanaging them and sacrificing them to help others.
A Story of a Lamb
In Cult of the Lamb, you’ll play as the lamb who was sacrificed for the greater good by The Old Faith. However, moments after your death an entity named the One Who Waits stops you from heading to the afterlife. The Old Faith are all about being dark, and countless sacrifices of unwilling animals, which you’ll see as you play. As you can guess, the main goal of the game itself is to manage your cult, bring up a following in the name of the One Who Waits. While doing all this, you’ll be tasked with taking down all who happen to push the religion of The Old Faith. Will you succeed or will you fail in bringing your cult to being the one needed to help the world?
Short & Sweet
Cult of the Lamb may take anywhere from 12 or more hours to complete. However, if you’re like me, it was enjoyable to take my time, work on my cult, bring in new followers and gain more and more abilities as I progressed. As for the game itself, I’ve found it entertaining. I kept diving into other areas and seeing if I could progress through one of the many dungeons, which are generated differently each time. This is also minding which boss I’m working on. After each run, you can discover some pretty sweet upgrades and perks. The next time you run the area after death, you may discover something new.
Manage Your Followers
While you’re off exploring to find upgrades, your cult members have needs to be taken care of. This includes the basics of food and sleep. You manage food and other necessities by assigning tasks, such as working the farm and gathering wood and other resources. You need them all to make your cult the most attractive among your friends who are playing the game. Cult members sleep during the nighttime phases of the game. In addition, you’ll also have to deal with your followers’ faith in you; if it gets too low, one or more of them will rebel against you and shout false truth to turn the others away. As you progress you’ll learn of ways to turn them back to your cult or even use them as an example to those who don’t follow. As the icing on the cake, you’ll also get to name your cult.
When you happen to be exploring the world itself, there is so much to find as you play, once you get through some areas during your missions, you’ll have the chance to make some choices. This could be a random encounter when you see a question mark, getting to stop a sacrifice and bring a new follower to even more fights and being able to gather a handful of a resource. At the end, you’ll battle a mini-boss of sorts, after doing so ends your run and you go back to taking care of your followers. You will also run into areas that unlock into a game-within-the-game. I don’t want to spoil too many details from the areas you’ll discover and unlock during the game.
Twitch Integration is an impressive feature in Cult of the Lamb that shouldn’t be overlooked. If streaming the game, your viewers can support or hinder you, or even provide channel points for your totem. It is possible for random events to occur while taking care of your cult. For example, allowing your Twitch viewers to vote on whether they want to help you or hinder you. There are many ways to help, such as healing all followers, giving more faith, reviving the dead, etc. It is possible to hinder your followers by making them unfaithful, making them ill, or causing problems while you are in a dungeon.
Through the Twitch Extension, you’ll get a random spin once a set number of viewers grant Channel Points. A new follower may be granted, resources may be granted or a random item may be granted. The inclusion of this in Cult of the Lamb makes it a very replayable game.
In terms of controls, Cult of the Lamb felt good using a controller instead of my keyboard, which most games tend to aim for. From the get-go, it feels like any other base game using a controller, In addition, if you’ve played other roguelikes or population control games, this will feel familiar. The game can still be played with a keyboard and mouse, but will cater more to gamers with controllers. If you’re playin on the console version, there won’t be any issues.
Dark & Cute
The art style in Cult of the Lamb is quite cute from start to finish! Even with the dark tone of the entire game being around starting a cult, gaining followers, and leading your way out to find more for the land and taking your enemies down. As you explore each zone of the game it changes depending on what the area is for. For example, battle areas look slightly different from the next room. Even when you beat an area, you’ll get the option to select the direction you want to go. You’ll only be provided a small hint at what may be in your path. You’ll never know how the looks of the area will change. As one who enjoys the time teams take to provide a spin on its art. Hopefully, Massive Monsters provides more content to Cult of the Lamb.
Multiple Playthroughs Encouraged
In addition to the Twitch features listed above, Cult of the Lamb has a very high replay value. This provides hours of enjoyment for those who enjoy working with their streaming community. The time it takes to beat the game can be quite consuming, considering the countless deaths of the lamb and your followers from time to time. Even the idea of not using these extra features doesn’t take away from the replay value, as you’ll be exploring and managing your flock in the same way. You’ll be spending hours planning and mapping out the land, building placement and what each follower happens to be doing.
Cult of the Lamb from Massive Monster did a great job with the concept of combining multiple genres of gaming into a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s not every day you get to play a game with the cuteness of Animal Crossing and the darkness of Binding of Isaac, mixed with a community management simulation. With randomly generated areas that change with every exploration and the Twitch Integration features, I can see myself spending many more hours playing Cult of the Lamb. Massive Monster has never made cult-building look so fun. I’ll be looking forward to future content coming to Cult of the Lamb. I’ll also be streaming the game to have my community add to the experience; whether through mayhem or assistance.
A review Code for Cult of the Lamb was provided by Devolver Digital.