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The RPS Advent Calendar 2022, December 10th

Sheep in sheep's clothing

Religion is the opiate of the masses, I've heard tell. Some religions are more cute than others, though. At least, on the face of it they are. I was pretty on board at the start, but I'm not sure about the glowing eyes and sleeping in a tent and eating grass. Plus the leader keeps going into the forest and comes back covered in blood.

Destroy your enemies and run a cult colony with lots of food admin in Cult Of The Lamb!

Cult Of The Lamb is cute, but I wouldn't join it

Rachel: What has aptly been dubbed by many as ‘cursed Animal Crossing’, Cult Of The Lamb is a deliciously devious roguelike with an adorable cast of creature characters. I’m honestly not really one for roguelikes; it’s probably the constant loop of failing and starting from the beginning that I can’t deal with. Like, at all. I need progression, validation, and some general support from my games. I’m a needy gamer, okay?

But in Cult Of The Lamb, dying mid-run from a hooded cultist stabbing you in the gut, or a giant acid-spurting frog bishop melting your tiny body to the bone, doesn’t feel bad at all. Even after a dud of a run, you’ll always have your bigger project to return to - the enigmatic, but incredibly cute cult you started! Woo, let’s all cheer!

In Cult Of The Lamb you play as the titular lamb who, after being executed, has been brought back from the dead by a mysterious god-like being who wants the lamb to start a cult in their name. It's a cross between a dungeon roguelike and social sim, as you're tasked with taking down enemy cults who threaten your reign while also managing and recruiting critters for your own.

Two cultists fight to the death in ritual combat while surrounded by a circle of hooded cultists in Cult Of The Lamb.

Soon enough, I started developing a bit of an evil streak as my cult devotion grew. I would start sacrificing my old villagers when they were of no use to me, and put followers who spread falsehoods about my sermons in the stocks. And I don’t even feel that bad for doing it! Cult Of The Lamb is brimming with so much charisma and charm that you only need look deep into the adorable, round eyes of the lamb, and all your misdeeds will be forgiven.

A village surrounding a statue of a lamb with bleeding eyes in a Cult of the Lamb screenshot.
Critter Community
You'll need to make sure your loyal followers all have food and a place to rest. In return, they will give themselves completley to you and your cause. Bit bleak, really.

Dungeon runs are kept interesting through creepy eldritch beasties you need to face off against, together with a dice roll of weapon choices and ability buffs, but I spent most of my time back at the home base cultivating my… well, cult. Looking after my cute animal villagers was always a treat, even if that included performing demonic rituals and dark rites.

And if you’re more into the life-sim aspects of Cult Of The Lamb, there’s always the option to whack the difficulty down to easy and play that way. As I said before, I’m not hot on roguelikes, but even on normal mode I breezed through the first couple of bosses with no problem. Go on, listen to the little devil on your shoulder and give leading a cult of incredibly cute animals who bow to your every whim a try.

Ollie: From the moment James came to me and asked me to join in on a prank to get Rachel to eat some poop, I knew that naming my cultists in Cult Of The Lamb after my colleagues had been an excellent idea. Oh, the things that I did to all of you. To this day, you've no idea.

Hayden, I lost count of how many times I sacrificed you. The first couple of times it was because you were speaking ill of my cult, but after that it just became routine. Rebecca: take solace in the fact that your body kept the rest of the team fed for several days afterwards. Katharine: I apologise for that business in Anchordeep. It was for the good of CultPaperShotgun. And let's not forget about the infamous Battle Of The Alices, where I pitted Alice0 against Alice Bee for sport. Look, you were both old and useless by this point. I needed to thin out the herd somehow.

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The all-seeing eye of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, the voice of many-as-one.

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