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  • Writer's pictureNoah Yard

Consider me Converted to the "Cult of the Lamb".

A lot of similarities are thrown around when describing new games. All roguelikes are like Hades, all farming sims are Stardew Valley, and all simulation games, or games with cute animals are exactly like Animal Crossing. Not often are these comparisons even true.

But when I tell you my new favourite game, Cult of the Lamb, created by developer ‘Massive Monster’, is a perfect marriage of all those games I’m not joking. Throw in the dark, twisted visuals and demonic themes combined with cutesy graphics and this amalgam of ideas creates something truly special. I really believe that Cult of the Lamb is Game of the Year Material.

All Hail the Lamb.

The game follows the story of a little lamb, who is about to be sacrificed by the evil bishops of an old religion before you are saved by an ancient, imprisoned benefactor called “The One Who Waits”, the only trade-off is you must start a cult in his name and agree to free him from the chains held by the evil bishops.

That’s a heavy order, and so the game goes, you must amass a large group of followers, all adorable little animals you save from monsters. They will worship you, listen to your sermons, and help you perform tremendous horrors in your chapel, like a ritualistic sacrifice.

I would say that the farming and life sim aspect of Cult of the Lamb is most similar to Stardew Valley. You are given a large plot of land, you have to forage for wood and stone, sow the land and grow crops, and build structures that only enhance life in the cult. You don’t sell anything however, everything collected and grown goes directly back into the cult. In order to succeed you need to keep your adorable followers happy. To do this you balance their hunger, hygiene, and belief in you as a leader. If one of these things slips then you are in danger of losing them, as their dissent and call you a false profit!

In this case, there’s only a few options. Let them spread their lies throughout the cult, imprison them and “re-educate them in the virtues of the lamb, or sacrifice them!

While this insane life sim, filled with body pits and outhouses, is a whole lot of twisted fun it’s only half of the game.

To really progress through the story, you have to journey into the lands of the old faith. This is exactly like venturing into the underworld in Hades. You the lamb must venture into forests and ancient caves to fight bad guys. The bishops of the old faith will send hoards of nasty enemies. You fight these guys with weapons and curses/spells. The difficulty of these encounters is, really, not very high. I play on the “normal” setting, which is the setting developers recommend, but it still felt very easy blitzing my way through the first bishops world and chopping him to bits. The game isn’t very hard, but the difficulty does rise the further you progress through the story. These ‘crusades’ through the forest help you gather more to bring back to your flock.

The two halves of the game, the crusading adventure, and the calm but creepy world sim melt together so seamlessly, wrapped up in a Hello Kitty meets Satan Worship package. It’s unique, charming, disturbing, and adorable. It allows you to be creative within your cult in funny, edgy ways.

It is worth noting that, since launch, the game has developed certain bugs on every platform that is now on. Certain glitches, crashes and softblocks are stopping people from continuing the game. I first encountered these problems on the Nintendo Switch, where the game would not let me go on crusades in the world. I tried this on four different save slots, each coming up the same. But the game was so intriguing to me, and I’d been waiting for it so long that I decided to also download it on my Xbox. So far, I have yet to come up against any issues.

Whether you want to risk it on any system now or wait until the team at Massive Monster fixes these problems, please, please get your hands on Cult of the Lamb. It’s creative, creepy and loads of fun.

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