Standing out amongst the various indie game demos featured during Steam Next Fest 2022 is a demo for Cult of the Lamb. Developed by Massive Monster and published by Devolver Digital, this upcoming action-roguelike dungeon crawler is as adorable as it is ominous.
In Cult of the Lamb, players take on the role of a lamb who is being sacrificed by worshippers of the Old Faith. Upon being sacrificed, you are greeted by a mysterious figure who offers you a second chance at life on the agreement that you will garner a cult following in their name, an offer that you really can’t refuse.
Your new life as a prophet of “The One Who Waits” begins straight away, as you instantly return from the afterlife possessed by a special hat granted by your savior. Your goal is to make your way through the forest in search of new recruits for your cult, all while slaying heretics and non-believers along the way. The best way to go about recruiting new cult members is by rescuing fellow woodland critters who are being sacrificed, as this opens them up for indoctrination into your cult.
When you aren’t shunning the non-believers, most of your time in Cult of the Lamb will be spent tending to your flock of followers. Once you’ve established a home base, you must provide food, shelter, and other resources in order for your worshippers to thrive. Maintaining the health and well-being of your cult members is an important aspect of managing your growing community. For example, failing to pick up excrement throughout your camp can cause your worshippers to fall sick and can negatively impact the compound as a whole.
Eventually, you will need to venture back out to indoctrinate new worshippers, gather resources, and defeat followers of the Old Faith. The levels in each run are randomly generated and take place in one of four regions. Worshippers at your compound can be assigned jobs such as gathering wood or stone to keep them occupied while you’re away. Resources collected during dungeon runs can be put toward building new structures at your camp and holding sermons and rituals that strengthen the faith of your cult members.
The fast-paced combat becomes even more action-packed as you discover new weapons and abilities during each run. The keyboard controls are fully customizable and there are several controller layouts to choose from as well. Although the PC version currently lacks mouse support, the developers have ensured that the feature will be available at launch. The demo itself has also been patched with various bug fixes within days of its release.
Cult of the Lamb’s Steam demo offers a mere taste of what this roguelike has in store. I found I couldn’t truly get a feel for the full gameplay loop given how short the demo is, especially if you die early in the run and have to start the demo over again. However, the brief time I spent with the demo has sparked my interest in this adorably sinister dungeon crawler. Cult of the Lamb launches for PC and consoles on August 11, 2022.