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A New Cult Simulation Game

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Hey, I’ve been kind of a silent watcher of Ross Scott’s Game Dungeon’s videos for a few years now. Among my favorites was his review of the prototype game

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnkqdMS1LkE, which put some really serious thought into what is a relatively unexplored genre:


Now, if this was a full-fledged sim, I feel you should start off with a certain amount of money, or know a certain number of people, and work your way up to acquiring property like this [the barn]. The movies might make it look like all you need to start a cult is a bunch of hooded robs and a bonfire, but the reality is that it takes a lot of time, work, and money for a cult to be successful. And it can all go wrong at any stage. That’s why this is a perfect theme for a sim game.

Well, a British indie developer named Alexis Kennedy had much the same idea and he’s designed his own cult sim: Cultist Simulator: Behold Our End, a narrative crafting digital card game that's heavy on the resource management.




It’s currently being Kickstartered and there’s a playable alpha is available via the Weatherfactory website. Check it out, it's pretty interesting.

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Only 31 hours remaining before the Cultist Simulator Kickstarter ends.


If you're not usually a kickstarter person, but are pretty sure you'll buy the game, then you should totally contribute 10 pounds (approximately 13 dollars American) for the Believer package and its Perpetual Edition. You'll get all future Cultist Simulator DLC free forever, so it's a really good deal.


For anyone who likes to play games on their phone, there's a new resource management cult game that has just been released for Android at the Google app store: Underhand. It's free and all the reviews are positive.

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Cultist Simulator now has a Steam page. There will be a Beta for those who have backed or pre-ordered the game sometime in the next few weeks.


Has anybody tried it & is it worth spending time? I would love to hear some feedback!

I've played the free Alpha. It's pretty bare bones, only seven books, five types of lore, five cults, five endings, two rituals, two jobs, two locations, and lots of placeholder art, mechanics, and music, but I found it a lot of fun.


At it's heart it's a narrative-resource management card game. You start with some cards, you gain cards, you lose cards, you use cards, you are menaced by dangerous cards, you are protected by helpful cards, and you combine or sacrifice cards to try and win different or more powerful ones. There will be a lot of cards in the full game: 150 occult texts, +36 alien gods, a multitude of cult types, and numerous relics/locations/followers/NPCs. Your decisions concerning your cards determines the story. One small example, if you spend a lot of time studying occult books and writing research papers, your character will gain a reputation for being a "Scholar," whereas if you instead spend your time largely practicing rituals and magic your character will become known as a "Magus." All these cards are really well illustrated too, with wonderful icon designs by Catherine Unger and Clockwork Cuckoo.


If you're the sort of person who loves card games, you'll probably enjoy this game. If you absolutely hate card games, you probably won't enjoy it. If you could go either way on card games, but are definitely a fan of occult themed or Lovecraftian stories, I think there's a pretty good chance you will like Cultist Simulator.

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For those who hate card games or are just interested in a more classic cult management game, I recommend Kitfox Games' The Shrouded Isle. You're the high priest of an isolated island village dedicated to the worship of the great undersea god Chernobog, who it is prophesied will soon arise from the sea to save your community from suffering.


But as the blessed day approaches, more and more problems present themselves. There are sinners in your community and they need to be weeded out, lest they sap the village's ignorance, fervor, discipline, penitence, and obedience. Complicating your little witch hunt, the great families of the village expect constant favors and consultations in return for assisting your rule...favors like extra rations, convenient scriptural interpretations...oh, and not unjustly persecuting or killing their relatives! Endangering things further, contagious spiritual maladies, like mass hysteria or psychosis, are spreading throughout the village and their sufferers need to be isolated and "cured," lest things get out of hand. And on top of all of this, Lord Chernobog Himself is personally invading your dreams with deranged demands and He will not hesitate to strike you down should you fail Him.


All this makes for a complex balancing act as you minister to the people, hunt the sinners, play the great families off each other, and scramble to please your god.


Here's the original launch trailer:




And here's the trailer of the new free content expansion:




It's quite pretty and very satisfying to play. Praise Chernobog!

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