A title like Cult of the Lamb can easily live or die on the aesthetic that it puts front and center. So, making sure to nail both the initial appearance and the smaller artistic details are a must for ensuring that the game is able to stand out among the Indie market. Fortunately, developer Massive Monster has not only managed to get Cult of the Lamb’s aesthetic just right, but also the gameplay doesn’t suffer for that success either.
The unique combination of Roguelite dungeon crawling and Town-Building Simulator blend together much more satisfyingly than the concept might initially appear. However, for all of Massive Monster’s successes, there are still a few points where Cult of the Lamb stumbles, even if it rarely fails to impress.
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Pulling from many of the games that have come before it, Cult of the Lamb’s gameplay loop sends players into procedurally generated dungeons where no two runs are going to be exactly the same. This is divided into two types of traversal, the individual dungeon maps reminiscent of the Zelda style of moving from static room to static room, along with the larger path leading from map to map. It’s a layered traversal system that allows players to fight as much or little as they want, and pick up materials to take back to their town.
More important than the level design, however, is the combat, which will likely be the focus of most players when Cult of the Lamb launches. Mixing and matching different melee weapons and magical curses leads to each run adopting a new playstyle every time the player jumps into one of the four main dungeons. The combat is fluid, and the rhythm of each weapon manages to keep the overall gameplay consistent, even when the attacks and combos are completely different. That’s without even mentioning the dodge mechanic, which is incredibly satisfying if a little imbalanced in the player’s favor. Of…