Cult of the Lamb Review

Cult of the Lamb is a game I was iffy on for a long time and was happy to find the motivation to spend a week playing it to completion. It mixes city management alongside a roguelike top-down hack and slasher which is very appealing, but it only really offers great gameplay if you more or less want to run the same few dungeons (four in total) over and over again.

There’s a lot of games that evoke the same feelings in the same way Cult of the Lamb does, like Trigger Witch, where they have all the parts that make an amazing game but none of the substance or content to deliver. There are a few weapon types, a few spells you can use. The game’s pacing is predictable and every note you expect it to hit strikes.

I both love and don’t love Cult of the Lamb. We normally write reviews on games we love, so this is very apropos but I also just, I have a lot of commentary.

My main point is this: EVERYTHING IN THE GAME IS AMAZING except the dungeon runs after the 20th run. Outside of that, the game is just… amazing.

A Quick Word on Indie Resources

Going into this review, I will languish on the topic of the lack of variation of enemies. This will frequently be attributed to an indie studio, in this case Massive Monster, not having the resources of larger studios. This can often times be very true.

In Cult of the Lambs case, the studio was well funded and did create a large variation of enemies. It wasn’t a lack of ability to, but a design decision that many games make. For instance, BioShock Infinite has only 20 enemy types. Cult of the Lamb roughly has 17. This is done frequently for a major reason: familiarity makes the game more fun.

You’ll often see the same mix of the same enemies (often with palette swaps) on the basic principle that memorizing too many enemies attack patterns and having too many visual combinations can be confusing, difficult to balance and make the game harder.

I disagree and I’ll discuss why below.

Cult of the Lamb Suffers in Crusade Variety

One of the things about games like Trigger Witch is that they don’t have a lot of total content. There’s a handful of enemies, each with a unique gimmick. A handful of weapons and a handful of spells. In Cult of the Lamb there’s four dungeons, each dungeon has 3 bosses and a final boss. The bosses aren’t randomized, you can expect each boss on each run.

In each dungeon, there’s a set of enemies. There are 12 cultist enemies (either melee, ranged or large variants). Turret worms (two variants). Then Darkwood has five enemies, Anura has six, Anchordeep has 11 (tho many are variants) and finally Silk Cradle has seven enemies and then two egg sacs (small/large).

The 12 cultists come in 4 flavors and then you have turrets so that’s five total enemies that show up everywhere. The four dungeons have about 3 unique enemies each, that’s 12. You get a total of 17 enemies to deal with. Of those 17 enemies, there’s only four mechanics:

  • Melee
  • Ranged
  • “Jump”
  • “Silk Rope then Stuck”

There are a few things like the millipede that will run in a circle, but ultimately, you are dealing with the same AI across multiple variations of the same enemies. A few cultists come “shielded” requiring “hard attack” to break their shield. This is uncommon and easily dealt with.

This means that after Darkwood you’re pretty much have exposure to everything that can happen. Silk Cradle has spiders that have a different mechanic but that actually makes the game easier.

Not to mention there’s only a handful of set pieces, a few shops and a few unique events.


In Cult of the Lamb, once you finish the game then you’re tasked with… finishing it again. Doing some simple math, you have four dungeons, four runs each. That’s 16 total runs, plus the final boss for run one. Then run two you have 5 runs of each dungeon, making for 20 total runs. You get a quest after defeating the final boss of the dungeon to return and obtain an item.

In total, you have 37 dungeon runs to finish the game again a handful of enemies with only the unique bosses providing any kind of unique challenge. It’s nice in the sense that you know what you’re up against, but it feels also cheap?

Don’t get me wrong, the game has a myriad of secrets and quests and hidden lore bits that are just fantastic. Crusading is fun! It’s just, after the 300th room of cultists I wish these games would make more content in the form of enemies.

Especially if during the second run there was an entirely new set of enemies to learn and fight. Something to freshen up the crusade after crusade mechanic of the game.

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Crusades are Still Amazing

Don’t get me wrong, the Lamb is amazing to control and the weapons are fun and the challenge of the bosses is satisfying. However, I do get a lot of fatigue from the same set of enemies over and over again. The traps are all the same and on the next playthrough, the “tougher” versions just have more health.

I get that it would be more fatiguing to have to learn new enemy patterns all the time. The fact that you can pretty much muscle memory the rooms to a certain degree (based on your Tarot build) is really nice for moving through the game. I’d rather have less crusade runs and more depth and meaning to each one.

The random encounters are nice and there’s lots of breaks between fighting, each combat segment existing in a single room (i.e. save a follower) or 10~11 rooms, many optional and I’d say roughly half are bonus rooms to enhance your character. It’s not as if it forces you to crusade for too long, after all the followers are sooo cute. Speaking of…

Everything Else is Amazing

I want to be clear: the rest is amazing. The rituals, the city building, the quests, not the Fox but everything else. My highest-level follower was my spouse and I lost them in a way I couldn’t recover them: that was a lighthouse moment for me and the game and something that’ll make me remember it forever.

That doesn’t mean I’ll remember the combat. I can barely remember the bosses. That just wasn’t a highlight for me and in a game full of so much charm and so many fun mechanics, it’s just a bit off.

Cult of the Lamb is worth it, just for a 5 hour ride; you see most of what the game offers within a few hours and it’s all amazing, but I do hope developers push to add more content in their games, especially games in this “Zelda-esq” style. Give the game a try today, it’s worth it.

David Piner, an accomplished video game journalist since 2001, excels in developing comprehensive guides and engaging content to enrich the gaming experience. As the esteemed former Managing Editor at TTH (as David "Xerin" Piner) for over a decade, David established a strong reputation for his perceptive analysis, captivating content, and streamlined guides. Having led skilled teams of writers and editors, David has been instrumental in producing an extensive collection of articles, reviews, and guides tailored to both casual and hardcore gamers aiming to enhance their skills. Dedicated to player-centric content, David meticulously crafts guides and articles with the players' interests in mind. He is a proud member of OUT Georgia and fervently champions equity and equality across all spheres.