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Cult of the Lamb Preview: An inviting roguelike hybrid with immense appeal

Cult of the Lamb is an upcoming hybrid of roguelike action and Animal Crossing vibes. We got the chance to test it out, and can now confirm that it’s got all the makings of a cult hit.

Cult of the Lamb is causing a bit of a stir in the indie video games space, and after playing through a solid gameplay preview we can see why. Developed by the small team at Massive Monster, a promising studio based in Melbourne, it’s got personality and charm in droves.

Focusing on the plight of a cute lamb that finds themselves being offered up for sacrifice, only to then be resurrected by an ancient (and seemingly monstrous) god, the game wastes no time getting started. Within a matter of minutes Cult of the Lamb shows its true colours, in terms of gameplay and identity, and from there on I was hooked.

Starting the Cult of the Lamb

After your resurrection, you are tasked with starting a cult and usurping the gods that were responsible for your sacrifice. Initially this involves collecting resources, recruiting followers and building a town. Essentially, this is Animal Crossing with a dark secret at its heart; because as the cult leader your intentions are far from benevolent.

So begins a unique fairy-tale adventure that will see you increase your power and status, through any means necessary. This can include building new structures for worship, providing shelter for your followers, preaching sermons, and even dealing with dissenters (our innocents) with ritual sacrifice.

cult of the lamb farming
Image: Cult of the Lamb / Massive Monster

A time for adventure

Cult of the Lamb isn’t just a casual village simulator though – besides farming and building there is a lot to do. As mentioned before, you have made a deal with a devil, and must now enter into battle with opposing deities.

In the context of gameplay, this means you’ll venture into dungeons to fight monsters, collect artefacts and supplies, find new followers and eventually slay bosses. The obvious comparison here is with roguelike games such as Hades and The Binding of Isaac.

Combat in Cult of the Lamb is fast, frenetic and, above all else, fun. You receive a main weapon and spell each time you start a new run, which are randomly selected from your ever growing arsenal. From here you pick a path and continue forwards, meeting new characters and receiving buffs along the way. Honestly, it’s very similar to Hades, so if you liked that game this will be right up your alley.

Unique and challenging boss encounters

It appears there are at least 4 main bosses in Cult of the Lamb. Each boss has its own associated area which, if you continue successfully completing dungeons, will result in a final showdown.

The Cult of the Lamb gameplay preview I had access to contained the Darkwood area, which is the domain of Leshy. I had a lot of fun making my way through this area, and the boss fight at the end, while not overly challenging, was well worth the journey.

leshy boss fight
Image: Cult of the Lamb / Massive Monster

Final thoughts on Cult of the Lamb 

Cult of the Lamb won me over with its charming art style, addictive gameplay loop and intriguing narrative premise. I can’t wait to dive into the full version of the game on release to see if my initial feelings are on the money. Because at this point, Cult of the Lamb has all the makings of a cult hit.

cult of the lamb sacrifice
Image: Cult of the Lamb / Massive Monster

Cult of the Lamb comes to PS4, PS5, Xbox one, Xbox Series X/S, PC and Nintendo Switch on August 11, 2022.