Posted by Evolve on Apr 17, 2018 | In: General News
Cultist Simulator is an upcoming roguelike narrative card game about becoming a scholar of the unseen arts. Taking place in a 1920s-themed setting riddled with clandestine histories and unperceived deities, players must seek after unholy mysteries. Be it knowledge, power, revenge, or a plethora of intentions in between, seeking out what you desire the most and striving towards your goal will be your primary objective. The information that you stumble upon may transform you for good, and every choice you make not only advances the narrative but also shapes it. Crafting tools, summoning spirits, and exploring your dreams of rituals are only some of the vessels that can be explored. Surmounting as the herald of a new age will signify your success, so don't be afraid to indoctrinate innocents or stab some backs on your way to the top.
Created by Alexis Kennedy, who is the mastermind behind Sunless Sea and Fallen London, Cultist Simulator began development as a Kickstarter project. Currently, the game offers around 20 to 40 hours of gameplay, which includes all sorts of deviances. It is revealed early on that the tidbits of history known to the player surround a number of gods called the Hours. These gods consist of the Sun-in-Rags, the Red Grailer, the Mother of Ants, the Witch-and-Sister, and the Lionsmith. Kennedy hints that there may be more hidden in the world's warped antiquity, so be sure to take formal in-game information with a grain of salt. In the narrative, you'll often dream, and these dreams are the vessels that connect you to the servants of the Hours. While you are not human, humanistic appetites may overwhelm you in this realm, and various dream-induced settings will begin to engulf your senses. It is possible to stumble upon Mansus, which is the place where the gods reside, and the dead go to accompany them. Here, there is a possibility of joining the ranks of the Long, who are enigmatic immortals. Other deities remain, some who rank much higher, and their mysticism is all-encompassing within your dreams. Various members of the Hours contain sinister intentions, and others merely embody passions that are far too refined for human life. Regardless, all are immensely dangerous. The Door-in-the-Eye illuminates the direction of a journey but contains no compassion. The Sun-in-Rags aims to conclude all endings beautifully. The Red Grail seeks devouring, and to ultimately become devoured themselves. The Lionsmith constructs monsters, and has the capabilities to grow them stronger and stronger. Becoming involved in their schemes can paint your demise or enlightenment, depending on how well you fair among them.
Inspired by the Lovecraftian Cthulhu Mythos, Cultist Simulator imitates the feeling of perilous longing. The setting was built from the foundation featured in novels by Umberto Eco, Roger Zelazny, and Mary Renault. Those taken by Anglo-Saxon poetry like The Dream of the Rood and The Wanderer may feel right at home in this world. Kennedy promises that there will be less cannibalism in this story than is usually presented in his projects, but maintains that the flinging of your sanity will still contain the power to destroy an entire world, if that's more your kind of thing.
It's possible to playtest a prototype of the gameplay now though, at this point, it's quite an early proof of concept. Players craft a digital card game in which you begin by choosing an action, like Dream or Explore, and follow it up with an object. When actions and objects are combined, new secrets are unraveled, and resources begin to build up. Players will begin with very little, including your Passion, Funds, Reason, and a mysterious package given by a benefactor. After some trial and error, you'll learn to combine your resources to unlock bits of story and grow your powers. Crafting souls and recruiting believers that may be promoted to disciples are all stepping-stones in what composes your journey to penetrating the realm of the Hours. Winning a place in their service would be of great honor, and your quest to unlocking that possibility must be treaded with diligence and prosperity. Cultist Simulator is set to release on PC for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux May 31. Make sure to keep an eye out on Steam, Humble Store, GOG, and itch.io for when it drops.