Review: Cult of the Lamb


Posted on August 10, 2022 by Michael Merchant

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  • 10/10
    Total Score - 10/10
10/10

Summary

It’s official, I am the newest member of the Cult of the Lamb!

Developer Massive Monster

Publisher Devolver Digital

Platforms – Switch, Xbox Series 1/S/X, PlayStation 4/5, PC, SteamDeck (Reviewed)

Review copy given by publisher

It’s official; I am the newest Cult of the Lamb member! There is just so much to love about it, and I am so excited to be able to tell you about how great it would be if you joined our cult too. I know everything you have heard about cults is terrible, but hear me out, the Cult of the Lamb is excellent!

Let me begin by telling you our history. A long time ago, our founder, the Lamb, was captured by four evil Gods that sacrificed him in a ritual to keep our true God enchained forever. However, being the merciful God, he saved the Lamb and allowed him to spread his good word to all of us! He spent the next several months preparing our camp.

He cooked us delicious meals made from the finest of fish, vegetables, the occasional meat of our brethren, and (very, very rarely) poop. He taught us the doctrines of our God and heard our cries and prayers. He made all of our lives better and can make your life better too! If you decide to join us, your duties will be simple. Worship our fearless leader so he may one day defeat the four Gods and free our God from his imprisonment.

Cult of the Lamb is honestly a fantastic game! If you enjoyed games like The Binding of Isaac and Harvest Moon and wished they had a cult, this would be it. At the game’s core, you build up your following and gather resources to make yourself more robust to defeat the four evil deities that have done you wrong.

The game starts very simple and easy to manage. You have a small group of followers that can gather resources and build basic structures like your temple or sleeping bags. Still, as you progress, you gain access to farms, resource refineries, and missionary buildings. With these more significant projects comes more responsibilities. You will require more followers, which in turn requires more food, and more sleeping arrangements will need to be made. You must balance your populace’s hunger, faith, and sanitation to gain power.

Between these tasks, you will also go on adventures into different lands that are the homes of the four Gods you must destroy to break the chains that bind your God. These lands are randomly generated maps, like the Binding of Isaac, and they hold enemies to defeat and treasures to collect. As you complete each set of rooms, you can choose your path to reach the end of the level. These paths can contain weapons, spells, healing items, building resources, and captured followers you must rescue to strengthen your flock.

The followers that you can recruit to the cult can be customized to look like different creatures such as elephants, dogs, and spiders, to name a few. They have randomized traits that can make it easier or harder for you to cultivate them into the perfect follower. They can fall ill more quickly, but on the other hand, they can worship you better or spread lies about you to the other followers.

As time progresses, they also grow older and can die, but their duty isn’t over even then. You can gain access to rituals that can resurrect them to serve you again, or you can decide to cut them up and use their meat to feed everyone. It is really up to you! Each day, as your cult worships you, you can use their prayers to increase your abilities, unlock rituals, create doctrines of your faith, and learn how to build new structures. 

The doctrines are interesting as they can completely change the structure of your playthrough. Each time you unlock a rule of your cult, you have to choose one direction from two that will permanently lock you from being able to select the other. For instance, if you start to create doctrines about the afterlife, you have the choice of being able to have a ritual that allows a follower to be resurrected at the cost of materials and faith.

The other option is that they can’t be resurrected after they die, but your followers will gain more faith. Another example is that you can designate a follower to go around and collect taxes, or they can increase the follower’s faith levels instead. These rituals help you play the game how you want to play.

You can choose from several side quests and a few minigames such as fishing or a game of dice to pass some time. Often, a follower will ask you to do certain things for them, such as create a meal from poop, marry them, or even kill another follower for breaking the rules. You can choose to do these tasks or not at the cost of their faith or other resources. There is a perfect balancing act in maintaining your camp while also making progress in your journey to free your God.

I was hooked from start to finish during my 20-hour playthrough on the medium (recommended) difficulty. I had to learn how to let my followers sometimes die for the greater good of the cult. You also need to know when to retreat from a losing fight. Sometimes you don’t get the items you need to be successful in a battle against a boss, and instead of losing resources and your followers’ faith in you, retreat to fight another day.

You also need to make crucial decisions that will change how your cult will grow that you cannot go back on. I was so glad I chose the power to resurrect my followers, as some were so faithful that I couldn’t bear to see them die.

Cult of the Lamb is the best cult simulation game I have ever played. It has two very different aspects of gameplay that complement each other so well. You can spend hours just building and customizing your base, or you can go out and make progress in your adventure. It’s the perfect combination that will keep you engaged.

There is also a decent amount of replayability due to the randomized nature of the dungeons. I sincerely hope that you will decide to join us in the Cult of the Lamb!

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