Need to know
What is it? A game that puts the ‘cult’ into ‘cutlet’
Expect to pay $25/£19
Release date August 11, 2022
Developer Massive Monster
Publisher Devolver Digital
Reviewed on GeForce GTX 1650, AMD Ryzen 5 3550H, 8 GB RAM
Link Official site
At first, it looks like this is going to be a remarkably short game. Things start with you, as a cowering little lamb, being led to your death as a sacrifice. Within ten minutes however, you’ve already exacted violent revenge on your would-be murderers, and pledged your adorable allegiance to the mysterious being that returned you to the land of the living. You start a cult of your own; a cult where all the members are super-cute creatures.
This is Animal Crossing if Tom Nook craved power instead of money. It is, much like football, a game of two halves. The first half involves growing, caring for, and—of course—indoctrinating your cult. You’ll need to take care of the basics before getting too ambitious, though. Your adorable little cultists need food to eat, places to sleep, and somewhere to poop. Don’t give them that last one, and they’ll just do it wherever they feel like it in the field you’re developing. Well, they are animals, after all.
(Image credit: Devolver Digital)
There’s a gentle yet constant pressure to the game, in the form of the day/night cycle. Whether you’re at your settlement, in one of the other locations you slowly discover, or in the middle of an adventure in a dungeon, time is slowly passing. That means cultists are slowly getting hungry, pooping somewhere or other, and possibly becoming ill or even dying. That, in turn, means that your cult’s loyalty will begin to wane, which demands a lot of work to reverse if left unattended. It’s not difficult to avoid a situation where your cult turns against you and you suddenly struggle to harvest Devotion, but in order to keep on top of things, you need to keep a good balance between settlement upkeep and dungeon adventuring. Nothing wrong with that, but it would be nice to have the option of leaning more heavily into one side or the other if you felt like it.
Still, Cult of the Lamb is clever, it’s wonderfully designed, and the script is sharp and funny. The atmosphere is great, helped in no small part by art which immediately endears itself to you. Speaking of which, making all of your followers adorable wickle critters was a smart choice. Intentionally or otherwise, it makes the brainwashing and murky morals amusing rather than disturbing.
Occasionally, I found myself thinking ‘erm, this really is like a cult’, such as the time that the game gleefully informed me that I can marry as many of my followers as I want. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this game is anything but great, though. I adore it, and that is almost certainly my own opinion unaffected by nefarious influences.