When the lamb's attempted sacrifice is foiled by a chained deity known as The One Who Waits, said lamb is gifted a second chance at life with the sole purpose of gathering a cult following. Cult of the Lamb is a combination of an action roguelite and a village simulation. Keep your followers happy and healthy whilst you attempt to delve deeper into the game's four dungeons ruled respectively by four rival cult leaders.
Where Cult of the Lamb shines is its ability to perfectly balance its gameplay loop considering its sharp constrast in genres. An action roguelite can get tiring if its non-stop combat, so being able to relax with some calming village management goes a long way in keeping the player engaged. In addition to this, both genres support each other; by performing sermins in the village temple, you'll be able to upgrade your combat abilities and the more love your followers have for you, the more points you. The village management doesn't feel like an afterthought, which was a concern for many going into it.
The cuddly teddy bear-like character designs is a major juxtapositions betweem the themes of the game, and yet the cult theme never truly transcends to anything too serious. There's always a little bit of tongue-in-cheek in Cult of the Lamb but to Massive Monster's strengths, they've managed to create a game that is unique thanks to that contrast.
And this leads into my final good point. Many games come and go, especially in the indie scene, but very few are memorable beyond the occassional position on random top indie lists. Cult of the Lamb, despite some of its shortcomings (more on that in a sec), is a game that breaks through the noise to become something that not just indie game fans, but video game fans in general, will come to remember for years to come.
- Gripping gameplay loop
- Unique theme-to-aesthetic juxtapositions
While the consistent loop of combat and village management is a clever mash of genres, neither is executed with much deviation from the basics. The combat is simple and rudimentary, but compitent for what it's worth. While this is in the bad section, it's only a minor negative as the game delivers on what it promises. It's just that if you're hoping for some innovation, you won't find it here aside from the mismatch of the genres.
While technical hiccups can be updated and patched in the future, the state to which Cult of the Lamb launched on Switch certainly lacks polish. With later levels having more and more enemies, the frame rate dips to what we be somewhere below 15 frames per second, leaving your lamb defenseless. In addition, the game occassionaly either froze or the lamb would get stuck, making it impossible to continue.
- Rudimentary combat and village management
- Lacking final polish
Final Score: 8/10
There were some moments where I considered giving Cult of the Lamb a perfect 10 and then at other times, a 6. Its satisfying gameplay loop as you juggle frenetic roguelite combat and therepeutic village simulation works splendidly, especially when it's wrapped up in a cult-themed bow with cute teddy-bear-like characters. And yet, it missing that extra coat of polishing paint disallows it from reaching that upper-eschelon of roguelite greats. And yet, above all, Cult of the Lamb is one thing: memorable.
Thank you for checking out our Cult of the Lamb Switch review, thank you to Devolver Digital (via Powerup PR) for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: