Talk about a pact with the devil. It’s the start of Worship of the Lamb, Massive Monster’s roguelike darling with a dark side. You are prematurely sacrificed in the name of a cult’s selfish desires to wipe out your kind. Tears stream down your face as you helplessly accept your fate, and the ax pierces your neck.
Just before the end of your life, you receive a deal that you literally can’t refuse. Will you perish or wear the red crown of the Waiting One? This so-called “sacrificial lamb” goes rogue after accepting the power of this banished god.
Once they put on the red crown, the lamb mercilessly slaughters their pursuers and escapes. With the help of Ratau, a guide who was once a “vessel of choice”, they build a base in a safe and lush domain. The Lamb must cultivate a following and eventually release the Waiting One, who is presently being held back by the four “gods”. In the process, the lamb slaughters the unbelievers and asserts its dominion as the ultimate cult.
Worship of the Lamb implements random dungeons and cult management for its main gameplay loop. Dungeon diving means advancing the story, eliminating rival cult leaders, and finding new followers. It’s a roguelike, so there are literally surprises at every turn. You might find an unwanted miniboss, a bonus, a merchant willing to gift your cult a fortune, and who knows what. Luckily, at least in the demo, these aren’t vast dungeon floors. You only need to survive in a few rooms at a time, which means you won’t have to wait too long to return to your cult.
It is not enough to be strong. You must also be a benevolent leader. Followers gather resources, build houses, and perform household chores to enrich the life of your sect. However, subscribers can become bitter if you don’t keep them happy, fed, and safe. The city building part – strange as it may seem – is similar to Fire Emblem: Fates checkpoints, where the player should check with his soldiers and see if he can get bonuses from meals, work with supports, etc. In this case, Worship of the Lamb encourages you to feed followers, assign them tasks, and give them sermons.
How is? Well, it definitely gives off Binding of Isaac vibes, given the grotesque monsters, cursed backstory, and cartoonish graphics. However, it is not as complex an experience as underworldwhich consists of creating a full set of combos to kill enemies. Worship of the Lamb incorporates a weapon and an ability, which are mapped to two buttons. Other upgrades only appear later. For example, you can sacrifice followers to become more powerful, although this limits your clan’s growth.
Its animal characters, lush landscapes, and city building also look a lot like Animal Crossing: New Horizons. You can chop wood, mine rocks, pick berries, and build your city (cough, cult, cough) as you please. It may not have as many customization options as Animal Crossing pixel art, building ramps and bridges, and foraging options, but the bulk of the cleaning and building is there.
Short, Worship of the Lamb is an adorable yet disturbing roguelike city-building game that had me hooked with its premise in just 20 minutes. Its distinct visuals and gory premise complement the game in a way that makes it more than just a roguelike hybrid. A definite recommendation to anyone who loves roguelikes or games with cute cartoon graphics. I don’t even mind that it’s full of blood, guts and sacrifice – it’s worth it.
Worship of the Lamb Set to launch in 2022 on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch. You can now list it on Steam.