When I first learned of this game (Cult of the Lamb) from TikTok, I knew this game was going to be perfect for me. It’s slightly morbid/dark yet incredibly adorable. You play as a lamb that has been saved by a god, but in exchange, you must build a cult and defeat several Bishops who originally tried to kill you. In order to defeat these Bishops, you have to level up your cult by maintaining their faith, hunger, and health in order to gain their devotion that can be used to purchase stronger weapons and spells.
Who are the Bishops?
There are a total of five Bishops, one of whom is the god that saved you from death. These Bishops are the ruling oligarchs of the Old Faith. Each has its own crown that gives them powers over creatures, and they target non-believers such as your lamb.
- Bishop Leshy: Ruler of the Darkwood
- Bishop Heket: Overseer of Anura
- Bishop Kallamar: Lord of the Anchored Deep
- Bishop Shamura: Master of the Silk Cradle
- The One Who Waits: Trapped by the Bishops of the Old Faith, previously named Narinder
With the exception of Leshy, each Bishop represents one of the horsemen of the Apocalypse. This is reflected in their levels as they will inflect their trait against your cult: famine (followers will be made hungry), pestilence (followers will become sick), War (followers will attack you), and Death (demands sacrifice of your followers and you).
When you travel to each of the areas, you are presented with a random weapon and spell to use for your crusade. If you have the ‘Fleece of Fate’ equipped then you’ll get four random cards that affect your strength, abilities, or rewards as you go through the various rooms. If you don’t have this fleece equipped then you’ll find cards as you traverse the rooms. Sometimes you will only find a few and other times you’ll find more that is given by the ‘Fleece of Fate’. Depending on your playing style, you might get a weapon or spell that doesn’t match, so it can make getting through the current crusade difficult. I found the hammer was my least favorite weapon as it was too slow, especially against some of the bosses or enemies.
On your crusade, you have to explore and defeat rooms of enemies in order to find the exit that will take you further in the level. Depending on which of the four main locations you go to (Darkwood, Anura, Anchored Deep, or Silk Cradle), you will have a different number of branching paths. There are anywhere from three to five areas to go to during a given crusade, though after defeating a Bishop you can go further. Note: followers of your cult will grow hungry and may lose faith over time as time is moving forward. On these branching paths, you can gain resources (food, lumber, stone, etc.), shop, gain followers, or fight. You cannot backtrack on a given path you go somewhere else. You must continue forward, so pick your path wisely based on what you currently need. Some fight rooms also have special characteristics like lose a heart to get a card, food instead of gold, etc.
At the end of the path, each of the four Bishops (not including The One Who Waits) will have three mini-bosses leading up to the final boss (the Bishop) of the location. Once you defeat the Bishop, you can defeat them again or face off against a Witness. Also, the locations become harder to beat.
Using Your Cult
As mentioned, as you gain followers and take care of them, you will be rewarded with devotion that can be used to purchase upgrades. There’s a totem in the center of your cult that can be used to gain various buildings. Some of these are for taking care of those followers: beds, farms, medical stations, outhouses, etc. While others are for gathering resources: lumber, stone, and refined resources. You also can build a demon summoning pit that can turn your followers into demons that come with you on crusades. These can be extremely helpful against some of the enemies and bosses.
Another thing you get from the devotion of your followers is commandment stone fragments that can be turned into doctrines, which grant either a new ritual or trait for your followers. One of my personal favorites is to make them believe elders should be killed, then either sacrifice, ascend, or force them to fight to the death. It’s hilarious and prevents the bodies from piling up around your base.
As their faith in you increases, you can gain stronger weapons and spells to be used in battle. Once you have purchased all the upgrades, you get gold instead of faith or devotion.
I seriously loved playing this game by Massive Monster (published by Devolver Digital). I managed to finish playing my first save in 15 hours, which was a combination of medium and hard mode. That’s another thing I forgot to mention. There are four game modes: easy, medium, hard, and extra hard. And you can switch between the modes at any time.
If you also happen to be streaming it on Twitch, your followers can join your cult through raffles, contribute to your totem, and vote to help or hinder your gameplay. My chat loved to hinder me on crusades by throwing a bunch of bombs at me. Though sometimes those were extremely helpful as they destroyed the enemies in the rooms.
Considering, that I played this twice and found enjoyment both times in playing it, I would highly recommend this game. There were, however, many times the game glitched out requiring that you save, exit then re-enter the game in order to move forward.
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