Cultist Simulator

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Cultist Simulator

Postby Absentia » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:06 am

Has anyone else here tried Cultist Simulator on Steam? I'm trying to figure out if I'm crazy for liking it so much.

The short summary is that it's a mildly Rogue-lite, narrative-driven, Lovecraftian horror themed, puzzle/time management card game (I'm sure you're familiar with that genre) from the writer of Sunless Sea. Your goal is to start a cult and eventually become immortal by invoking eldritch powers. The hook is that the game only hints at what the steps are to achieving those goals, so it rather elegantly captures the feel of uncovering secrets and toying with dangerous powers you don't understand. In fact, I don't want to reveal much more than that and spoil it for anyone else.

The Steam reviews are split between adoration and outraged confusion that they would charge $20 for such a slow, grindy, clunky game. I can't really argue with the detractors, but I also can't stop playing. The writing and atmosphere are great, and I'm just as interested in finding the next bit of hidden lore as my character is. Am I the only one here who's been transfixed?
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Re: Cultist Simulator

Postby KleinerKiller » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:32 am

I had no idea this even existed, but a slow-paced, grindy, utterly obtuse game about uncovering Lovecraftian shit and gaining immortality sounds right up my alley. Hoping I get a good chunk of free time to play it some time soon.

Are there games with a similar gameplay style you could compare it to? I'm struggling to parse the "mildly Rogue-lite, [...] puzzle/time management card game" bit.
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Re: Cultist Simulator

Postby NathanLoiselle » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:51 am

You lost me at card game. But tell me how it goes!
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Re: Cultist Simulator

Postby JamishT » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:15 am

So this isn't a Sims-ish game where you try to make a successful cult? Well that's just disappointing!
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Re: Cultist Simulator

Postby Absentia » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:47 am

KleinerKiller wrote:Are there games with a similar gameplay style you could compare it to? I'm struggling to parse the "mildly Rogue-lite, [...] puzzle/time management card game" bit.


Umm...? Part of the appeal to me is that it's so weird. The core gameplay is that there are five "verbs": Work, Dream, Study, Talk, and Explore. You collect cards that represent everything from stats to skills to locations to people, and applying those cards together with a verb is how you take actions. But everything takes time and each verb can only handle one thing at once. For instance you can earn money by applying a card representing a job you have to the Work verb, but that means you can't Work on anything else for sixty seconds. The Rogue-lite element is that a lot of outcomes are randomized and there is permadeath.

NathanLoiselle wrote:You lost me at card game. But tell me how it goes!


It's not a traditional card game in the "shuffling and drawing" sense. The cards just represent the game objects.

JamishT wrote:So this isn't a Sims-ish game where you try to make a successful cult? Well that's just disappointing!


Actually, the fact that you have to devote an irritating amount of time to going to work and reading books instead of doing the stuff you actually want to do reminds me very much of The Sims. That's probably the only similarity, unless maybe you're one of those people who enjoys doing horrible things to their Sims. Then there are some other parallels.
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Re: Cultist Simulator

Postby JamishT » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:52 am

Absentia wrote:
JamishT wrote:So this isn't a Sims-ish game where you try to make a successful cult? Well that's just disappointing!


Actually, the fact that you have to devote an irritating amount of time to going to work and reading books instead of doing the stuff you actually want to do reminds me very much of The Sims. That's probably the only similarity, unless maybe you're one of those people who enjoys doing horrible things to their Sims. Then there are some other parallels.


I mean, my Sim has about a dozen gravestones in his yard from all the parties he's thrown. And a wife.

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Re: Cultist Simulator

Postby Absentia » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:47 am

Update: After putting in 40 hours over four days I beat the game, and also realized that I had all the pieces to win on another run I lost previously and failed to put them together. Whew. Now maybe I can go back to sleeping like a semi-normal person.
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Re: Cultist Simulator

Postby iMURDAu » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:28 pm

NathanLoiselle wrote:You lost me at card game. But tell me how it goes!


Amen brother. Worst. Cult pitch. Ever.
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