Cult of The Lamb appeared to have an odd mix of roguelike gameplay while also being a management sim. At first glance, I figured Cult of The Lamb’s roguelike elements would overshadow the management sim. Thankfully though, the cult management sim aspect of the game is much more fleshed out than I initially thought. The two elements work wonderfully together to create an addicting and enjoyable experience. This Cult of The Lamb review will go over why anyone interested in the title shouldn’t hesitate on picking it up.
Story – Spread The Word
Cult of The Lamb has players take control of a Lamb who was saved by a deity locked in chains. In exchange for this second chance at life, the player has to destroy the other false prophets while raising a new cult in honor of the deity who saved them. Generally, apart from some lines of dialogue from deities players encounter, this is the extent of the story. To complete this mission, the player must head out into the world and fight various bosses. While doing so, players can come across followers who they can recruit into their cult. The more followers that are in the cult, the further players can explore, and the faster they can open up new opportunities to expand. It’s a relatively straightforward premise but one that is executed well because of how quick of a pace Cult of The Lamb has.
Gameplay – Raise Your Flock
With a second chance at life, the player has to raise a cult and destroy the false prophets. These two elements work hand and hand with each other. Players will primarily be able to find new cult members in the randomly-generated regions. Here, the Lamb will receive a random weapon and random ability. Then, they’ll progress through different stages until ultimately reaching a boss at the end. Throughout the region, resources such as wood, gold, food, and so forth can be found. Players take this back to their cult where they can build new buildings or cook food. Buildings can raise faith and food can stop followers from getting too hungry and potentially dying.
Although the regions are randomly generated, the roguelike aspect isn’t the most engaging element of the game. It’s not bad, but it’s a bit vanilla. Players are able to roll and slash or use an ability. The mechanics themselves are relatively simple, but it’s the regions themselves that are the most uninspired. Apart from different enemies, the general structure of each region is the same. Room sizes and layouts aren’t much different from other areas. Weapons and abilities are different each time a player enters, but even that gets repetitive quickly. There are other elements in the region that make each experience a bit diverse such as the use of Tarot Cards and other encounters.
Tarot Cards give players a random buff such as an extra life or the ability to deal more damage. There are also encounters in the regions which introduce players to new places they can explore. Such a place is a fishing location where players can catch and purchase fish to feed their cult.
The simplicity of the roguelike elements doesn’t feel that bad due to the cult management sim. Players will often switch between the two so gameplay never feels stale. New followers will appear at the cult’s ground. It’s not an incredibly huge area of land but players can edit the campground. New paths, furniture, and buildings will be made available to the player over time. The larger the cult following, the quicker upgrades are made available. Players can assign followers to work by either mining, chopping trees, praying, and much more. Followers can pray at altars and deposit divine inspiration. After a certain amount, players have the option to purchase an upgrade that will further expand the cult. Buildings that players purchase the ability to make can then be made with materials gathered from other work activities. Everything plays into one another.
Cult of The Lamb goes beyond just working and upgrading a cult though. Followers are different from one another. They each have attributes that can affect the way they level up or behave. For example, a follower might have a skeptic trait so each time a player recruits a new follower, the skeptic’s faith goes down. If a follower’s faith gets too low, they can dissent. This essentially means that they’ll refuse to work and instead spend their time going against the cult. This adds the risk of other followers dissenting as well. Players don’t just manage the cult through buildings and attracting followers. They have to individually manage the followers too. This also includes eating and sleeping. Making sure they have enough of both is important and sometimes difficult to do.
Cult of The Lamb offers many different ways of dealing with problems that can arise. Apart from keeping the follower’s faith high through daily sermons, there are rituals that can be performed. Such a ritual is sacrificing a follower. Players will gain divine inspiration from this while also potentially getting rid of a dissenter. This is also effective on elders who are bound to die regardless. Other rituals can prevent followers from starving for three days giving players time to come up with more food.
There really is a ton that players can do to help cultivate their flock. And thankfully, Cult of The Lamb moves at a brisk pace. I never felt as though I was waiting around for something to happen because there was always something I could do. There was always something I could build, crops I could attend to, or resources to gather. The only downfall of this is when things felt too overwhelming. This could be due to my management skills of course, but there were times when I never really felt as though I could even spend time customizing the cult. I didn’t play around too much with paths or decorations for example.
Audio And Graphics – Deceivingly Adorable
Cult of The Lamb has a 2.5d aesthetic that gives the illusion of a cartoon pop-up book. It’s a charming yet ironic choice given the title’s deceptively adult themes. Most of the time, players are killing hordes of enemies or performing rituals while having blood spew from their eyes. Then they’ll roam the cult grounds and interact with cute followers who will sometimes dance while talking in their make-believe language.
The music in Cult of The Lamb starts as deceivingly cute and innocent and then changes depending on what is going on. While roaming the cult grounds, upbeat music plays that easily makes you forget what type of dark game this is. Then, when entering a region to recruit followers or destroy fake prophets, the music changes. It becomes mysterious and sinister. It works quite well because the music never feels like it strays too far away. It’s quite funny though after returning to the cult grounds and listening to that upbeat music as though you didn’t just slaughter hordes of enemies.
Does this Cult of The Lamb review interest you more in the game? Have you already played it? What do you think? Let us know in the comments!