Cult of the Lamb

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Cult of the Lamb
Developer(s)Massive Monster
Publisher(s)Devolver Digital
  • Jay Armstrong
  • James Pearmain
  • Julian Wilton
  • Jay Armstrong
  • Harrison Gibbins
  • William Mesilane
  • Julian Wilton
  • Paul Kopetko
  • Matthew Roland
  • Julian Wilton
  • James Pearmain
  • Jonathan Swanson
  • Carles Dalmau
  • Reid Armansin
  • Daniel Sun
  • JoJo Zhou
  • Jay Armstrong
Composer(s)River Boy (Narayana Johnson)[1]
Release11 August 2022
Genre(s)Roguelite, construction and management simulation

Cult of the Lamb is a roguelite video game developed by indie developer Massive Monster and published by Devolver Digital. The game was released on 11 August 2022 for macOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. The game follows a lamb who is saved from death by a god-like stranger named "The One Who Waits", and must repay their debt by creating a loyal following in its name.

Cult of the Lamb received generally positive reviews from critics upon release, with praise directed towards its gameplay and replay value. It received three nominations at the 19th British Academy Games Awards, including Best Game.


Cult of the Lamb is centered around a lamb who is tasked with forming a cult to appease the deity, The One Who Waits, who saved the player character's life. The player must launch roguelite-style crusades and venture out into the game's four regions to defeat enemies, called "heretics," and grow their following.[3][4] The world, which is randomly generated and contains roguelite elements, contains resources to gather, perks and weapons to collect, enemies in the form of rival cultists and non-believers to fight, and other animals to rescue; these animals can be indoctrinated into the player's cult. They have appearances that can be changed and both positive and negative traits, which can affect how they act in the cult or how they react to the player's actions regarding the cult.[5]

The player can manage their followers in their team's village. Followers can be assigned tasks at the base such as gathering resources, building structures, worshipping, sending them to assist the player in battle, or sacrificing them, which can affect the player's abilities and the team itself.[5] The player must ensure their followers' needs are met by performing sermons and rituals to reinforce their faith, cooking food for them to survive, providing them with shelter, and ensuring the village is clean and sanitary.[6] Otherwise, the followers can turn against the player, spread dissent, and eventually leave the cult with other followers; to prevent this, the player can provide for them, give them gifts, reeducate them, or detain them in a pillory until they stop dissenting.[7][8]

Twitch integration[edit]

The game has Twitch integration via the "Companion of the Lamb" Twitch extension.[9] Viewers can customize their follower by entering via a "Follower Raffle", which (when chosen at random) will have their username displayed above their character at all times.[9] Other features include the "Twitch Totem Bar" which lets viewers contribute channel points, resulting in a random reward for the player, and a "Help or Hinder" event where they can vote to either help or hinder the player's progress.[9]


In a land of false prophets, The Lamb, supposedly the last of their kind, is brought before The Four Bishops of the Old Faith, and is sacrificed before them. Upon dying, The Lamb is brought before "The One Who Waits", a strange deity who is imprisoned in chains. The One Who Waits tasks The Lamb with starting a cult in its name, gives The Lamb a demonic crown, then resurrects it.[10]

Assisted by Ratau, The Lamb's precursor, The Lamb settles at the ruins of a temple and establishes a cult on behalf of The One Who Waits, in order to defeat the four other Bishops – Leshy, Heket, Kallamar, and Shamura – and free it. After settling down into their cult, The Lamb adventures off on crusades, defeating each of the Four Bishops while simultaneously expanding the cult with followers, increasing its influence and The Lamb's powers. With the death of each Bishop, one of the four chains holding The One Who Waits breaks, ultimately freeing the deity. While crusading, the Four Bishops and The One Who Waits speak to The Lamb in different encounters.

As The Lamb progressively gets closer to their ultimate goal, The One Who Waits informs The Lamb that the Four Bishops had betrayed and imprisoned him, and that he intends to ultimately rule the cult and the world while remaking them in his image. During The Lamb's crusade against Shamura, Shamura reveals the identity of The One Who Waits: "Narinder". Shamura informs The Lamb that Narinder was the Fifth Bishop of the Old Faith, and their brother and equal, having ruled over the realm of Death. Shamura laments to The Lamb, confessing that millennia before, Narinder had grown ambitious and was discontent with his role as a Bishop. Shamura, blinded by their love for Narinder, had tried to help him by teaching him ideas of change, although Shamura's teachings were "most unnatural" for Narinder, as Shamura stated. Ultimately, Narinder betrayed the Bishops, which forced Shamura and the others to imprison him. Before the final battle, Shamura warns The Lamb that Narinder will come for them when all of the Bishops are dead.

After Shamura is defeated, The One Who Waits instructs The Lamb to visit him in his realm to return the demonic crown and to be sacrificed in his name. With the help of their followers, The Lamb opens the final gateway and goes before The One Who Waits. The Lamb is instructed to kneel and be sacrificed in front of their followers, so that The One Who Waits can retake his crown and obtain his place as god of the world. The player is given the option to sacrifice themselves to fulfill the prophecy or reject doing so. If the player accepts, The One Who Waits is freed, and subsequently tortures The Lamb before killing it, ending the game.

If the player refuses, a final battle ensues between The Lamb and The One Who Waits's followers, Baal and Aym. Once the followers are defeated, The One Who Waits attempts to kill The Lamb himself. After the first defeat, The One Who Waits taunts The Lamb and transforms while pulling The Lamb into a hellscape, attempting to kill them in front of their followers a second time. If The Lamb defeats The One Who Waits again, it is stripped of its powers and transforms into a follower-like creature named Narinder. Narinder admits defeat and begrudges The Lamb, and the player is given the option to spare Narinder or murder him. If the player chooses to kill Narinder, Narinder claims that The Lamb is no different than he was before he is subsequently killed. If the player chooses to spare Narinder, Narinder can be indoctrinated into the cult as an immortal follower, and insults The Lamb for being weak. Either option results in The Lamb's followers being rescued and The Lamb returning to their cult, and the game ends.

In the post-game, the Lamb encounters an entity that calls itself the Merchant of Eternity and the Meter of Gods. The entity asks to face the bosses again and release the Bishops into the afterlife to indoctrinate them. He asks for items called God Tears. To each freed Bishop he reveals to the Lamb the past of the gods. After resurrecting them all he gives a statue or follower to the Lamb.


Cult of the Lamb is developed by Massive Monster, an Australian independent game development studio that has created The Adventure Pals,[11] Never Give Up, and Unicycle Giraffe. Because of the cute art style used in these games, there had been a perception that the studio was catering to children, and opted to go in a different direction for their next game, looking towards themes of horror and the occult. With the idea that they wanted to make a roguelite dungeon crawler along with base building, they settled on the theme of a cult as the central premise to the game.[12]

Additional funding for development was provided through VicScreen's Victorian Production Fund.[13] Cult of the Lamb was announced at Gamescom in August 2021 and was released on 11 August 2022.[14][15]

The first post-release limited event, Blood Moon Festival, lasted from 24 October to 10 November 2022.[16]

Two waves of free major post-release content updates to the game are planned.[17] The first wave, titled Relics of the Old Faith, was released on 24 April 2023 and added a post-game storyline with a crusade campaign, a photo-mode, and additions and enhancements to the game's combat and cult management mechanics.[18] The second Sins of the Flesh, was released on January 16, 2024 and added a sin mechanic, more doctrines, a new blunderbuss weapon, more cosmetics, and a breeding system.[19][20]

In August 2023, the game made a crossover with Klei Entertainment's Don't Starve Together.[21]

On March 12, 2024, a graphic novel adaptation of the game entitled The First Verse was launched on Kickstarter, written by Alex Paknadel and Troy Little, published Oni Press. The crowdfunding target was reached in six minutes.[22]


Critical response[edit]

Cult of the Lamb received "generally favourable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[24][25][23][26] GameSpot praised the combat, calling it "fast-paced, fluid and fun" while also being surprised by the amount of customization and player-choice which in turns makes the game "very replayable".[31] Nintendo Life liked the variety present in the dungeon crawling, writing, "New layouts and equipment loadouts keep every run unique, while its intense and chaotic battles demand your full attention".[33] Destructoid felt the game tutorialized its mechanics properly, "Again, for all of the elements that come into play, Cult of the Lamb presents everything in a digestible way".[27] PC Gamer compared the game to the Animal Crossing series, saying it's like "if Tom Nook craved power instead of money", and enjoyed the ways in which the player could manage their cult, writing that it could be complicated, "but it never threatens to be overwhelming".[34] IGN praised the way it balanced macabre themes with "cutesy cartoon vibes".[32]

While enjoying the premise, Game Informer criticized how difficult it was to find time to customize the cult, "with so many cosmetic items thrown into the formula, I was disappointed by how rarely I was afforded the time to focus on them".[29] The Washington Post disliked the combat, feeling that it often devolved into a jumbled mess, "the game's 2.5D perspective would make it difficult to gauge where you are even if you weren't constantly sliding all over the battlefield".[11] Polygon liked the characters that the player could find in dungeons, saying that they were "genuinely interesting, with their backstories mostly obfuscated and enhanced by their charming picture book-esque designs".[10] Eurogamer praised the art style of the game, noting that it looked like "the best New Yorker cartoon".[6]


Cult of the Lamb sold one million units within its first week of release.[40]


Date Award Category Result Ref.
5 October 2022 Australian Game Developer Awards Game of the Year Won [41]
Excellence in Music Won
Excellent in Art Won
Excellence in Gameplay Won
22 November 2022 Golden Joystick Awards Best Visual Design Nominated [42][43]
Best Indie Game Won
8 December 2022 The Game Awards Best Independent Game Nominated [44]
17 January 2023 New York Game Awards Big Apple Award for Best Game of the Year Nominated [45]
30 March 2023 British Academy Games Awards Best Game Nominated [46]
Game Design Nominated
Original Property Nominated
24 April 2023 Gayming Awards Game of the Year Award Won [47]
Gayming Magazine Readers’ Award Nominated
19 October 2023 World Soundtrack Awards WSA Game Music Award Won [48]


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