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📧 sklurb (at) gmail (dot) com
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44 Hours played
TL;DR: ◥▶◀◤
Saturated with intrigue, Cultist Simulator is an innovative & unique singleplayer roguelike card game w/ a steep learning curve. Highly replayable due to branching events, experimentation, & RNG. Non-existent tutorial, but community is helpful. Week 1 buy grants all future DLC for free, for life

* Starter's guide & helpful links follow review.

Content quality is a value at full price.
☐ Positive experience, but wait to buy when it's on sale.
☐ Negative experience. Wait for improvements before buying.
☐ Very negative experience. Save your money.

What I like about Cultist Simulator:
+ Active pause.
+ Achievements.
+ 1920's setting.
+ Legacy system.
+ Alluring premise.
+ Very well-written.
+ High replayability.
+ Apocalyptic humor.
+ Fast forward option.
+ Simple & effective art.
+ Mouse zoom for tiny text.
+ 20-40 hours of gameplay.
+ Eye-pleasing color palette.
+ Very helpful & friendly community.
+ Music invokes a feeling of mystique.
+ Plays smoothly. No bugs that I ran into.
+ Study lore & discover forbidden secrets.
+ Hints when clicking on icons & empty slots.
+ Authorities can be alerted to your "activities."

~/= Waiting for a critical card to turn up can be like waiting for the stars to align, but that's the nature of the game: to play the hand that you've been given wisely.
~/= Static screen hints default size is too small. Go to Settings & switch to 100%+

Room for improvements:
- No tutorial.
- Some grindiness.
- Late game can be convoluted.
- Timers try my patience times. :P
- Add mouseover tooltips for Legacy selection cards.
- Automatically PAUSE gameplay upon returning to game.
- There are times that no matter how well you play, the RNG will just totally screw you.

Other thoughts:
Cultist Simulator is not a quick, pick-up-and-play card game, but it sure is devilishly entertaining once it clicks. Be prepared to devote some time to learning, mainly because it is so different from other card games. Part of the challenge getting started is wrapping your head around all the combinations of how the cards interact with one another. It can be daunting at first, but once you've dedicated some time to it & have a bit of a handle on what you're doing, it's smooth(er) sailing.



(Follow along while playing & using active pause)

Cultist Simulator starts you off with a single Work Verb. This is a square-shaped icon on the game board which you will click on to reveal its empty card slots. Clicking on an empty slot will reveal what types of cards you can place there. You will see a description on the tooltip, with some Aspect icons at the base of it. Clicking on those icons will give you a description of the type of Aspect that can fill that card slot. In this case, your starting card, Menial Employment, fulfills the requirement as an "Aspect: Job" & may be dragged over & added to the empty slot. This enables you to begin work as a miserable hospital porter.

  • Side note: Clicking & beginning to drag a card will highlight the Verbs in purple that the card can be used with.

To begin your job, now that you have added the Menial Employment card to the Work Verb, click START, & the Work Verb timer will begin. Once the timer has elapsed, open the Work Verb, & you will see 2 new cards: Funds & Health. Collect them all, & they will now appear down on the game board area. You will notice a new Dream Verb has appeared on the game board with its own timer. Once the initial Dream Verb timer elapses, you will see that another new Verb has appeared: Time Passes. Without adding any cards to the Dream Verb, let the Time Passes Verb timer run down to initiate the next Verb: A Bequest Arrives.

  • For the purposes of getting started, I'm leaving the Dream Verb (& Contentment card) be, but it's helpful in discovering lore & recovering from negative statuses. Dreaming can also eventually cause you to go insane.

  • The mini magnet icon on a Verb means that it will automatically grab a card (like how the Time Passes Verb will grab the Funds card each cycle of its timer for example, whether you add Funds manually or not).

The Bequest Verb delivers news that the old man you dreamt of at the hospital named you in his will. Allow the new Bequest Verb's counter to run down to award you with 8 new Funds cards plus 3 others. Collect them, & at this point, you will also see on the game board, a Bequest card, a Reason card, & a Passion card. Pause the timers while you consider your next actions, because the Time Passes Verb has just grabbed one of your Funds cards (due to its magnet icon). This is your recurring expenses upkeep (every 1 minute on the Time Passes Verb timer). Keeping yourself stacked with Funds cards is important, as running out of them will eventually affect your hunger & ultimately your Health, setting you up to lose the game. Negative effects like hunger, ailments, & injury cost Funds cards to remove. The late game will also introduce additional money sinks.

  • Be careful how you use your Health card(s) as they are critical to keeping yourself away from a losing scenario. In the early game, they can be added to the Work Verb with a chance to be turned into an Injury Card (use Funds to fix).

The Bequest Verb has now changed into the Study Verb despite having the same light bulb icon. You also now have a Bequest card that you will add to the Study Verb. Notice that while having the Study Verb open with the new Bequest card slotted in it, that it opens a new "Approach" card slot. Make a decision to add either your Reason or Passion card into this slot & click START. Remember, you can click on empty slots & tooltip icons for additional hints & descriptions.

Now that your Study Verb has been slotted with the Bequest card & either the Reason or Passion card, it's time to unpause the game. Allow the Study Verb timer to run down to receive additional text cards that you can add to the Study Verb when you wish. Most likely the Time Passes Verb timer also ran down by this point & grabbed another Funds card from your stash. Pause the game while you consider your next moves.

  • One of the best ways to keep money flowing is by climbing the corporate ladder of Glover & Glover. You can open this opportunity up by adding the Reason Card to the Work Verb. Be wary, your boss will be a hardass & demand a perfectionistic work ethic...

You should now have a basic understanding of how the game flows & can begin to experiment with how using different cards & combinations on various Verbs branches out the story & gameplay. As storylines unfold, your play area will fill up with cards & Verbs that will allow you to do a great many things like founding a cult, sending disciples out on missions, summoning "things," etc. 😈

Helpful Links for Getting Started:
Community Discord:
Beginner's Guide - by Tssha
Reference Guide (w/ spoilers!) - by Escapade84


* For my 11k character review & guide version, CLICK HERE.[] (Steam limit is 8k)

I hope you found this helpful!

Favorite Guide
Created by - sklurb
68 ratings
Get an informed, basic understanding of how to get through the first few minutes & how the game flows, while generating some consistent income. Follow along while you play as a visual aid & use active pause.
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last played on Oct 22
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Steph S. Oct 9 @ 9:01am 
Chuckles Aug 5 @ 9:39pm 
You earned it!:senpai:
sklurb Aug 5 @ 9:26pm 

Thank you so much for that and for following our curator group! It's music to my ears! :gearthumbsup:
Chuckles Aug 5 @ 8:33pm 
What Ratbro said. Thank you for your Hellbound review. Following your curator group :steamhappy:
sklurb Aug 5 @ 5:51pm 

Thanks for taking the time to stop by to send me a positive boost! Very much appreciated! :staymetal:
The Baked Potato Aug 5 @ 5:47pm 
I tried to award your review on Hellbound, but I just want to say, your reviews are a work of beatiful poetry.:winter2019cooldog: