Cultist Simulator

What a game!

Steam sent me a notice that this game on my Wishlist was on sale and it was a very good sale, too. $6. Bought it! Fifty-five hours later and I’m still calling it a practice game.

There is no tutorial and you’re advised repeatedly that learning as you go along is the point. After about 30 hours I decided to watch a few YouTube videos just to see what I might be missing. Learned nothing, really, because everyone ends up at different places since they’ve taken different paths.

Here’s what I have learned so far. Read everything. Open up the CS wiki page and look up everything. All those little icon tags on everything – learn what they are.

Never let an Affliction set in. You don’t want to be Decrepit. Keeping Vitality handy will make a difference. And always immediately attend to Dread cards, too. First thing I did was build up my Health / Passion / Reason stats.

After I died the first time I played as a Doctor next. It’s pretty cool that dying gives you new player start. I like Doc best tho because you get 2 Funds per pay and funds are very important. Later on when you can do commissions that’s the best way to make funds but before that it’s a real grind keeping enough money. If you run out of money you go hungry and die.

You die and you’re done. You can’t reload. You can’t save a game and load it to go back before a bad decision. You can’t have multiple saved games. It’s one game at a time. That’s kind of a bummer.

I read every book I found. I didn’t sell any of them. Well, I think I sold a Greek or Latin grammar book but this was after I already had the scholar card for both of those. So, yeah, like I wrote earlier – read everything.

And if the Detectives are out and about – lay low. Don’t let too much of anything build up and find out ways to get rid of cards like: Fascination and Notorious. Try to keep Contentment which can be hard because it doesn’t last long.

The amount of in-game exploration is huge. Combinations and experimentation can lead to some amazing finds and consequently even more exploration and discovery.

A big part of the game is managing the board. Moving things around. Sorting. Organizing. Starting and stopping timers. And space management can be a thing, too. More than a couple of times I discovered timers that’d spawned off the board and I hadn’t realized they were running. It’s both annoying and sort-of soothing.

After I finally realized I’d achieved a stable steady state of play, mainly that I wasn’t going to die easily anymore. It occurred to me that I didn’t really know what a “win” looked like. I searched. I found this: Endgame Conditions. Getting bored might be one, too. Can get too steady state and not have enough drama but seems like every time I’m almost to that point I learn something new and a sort-of new level of the game opens up to me.

The soundtrack is pleasant and diverse. I like it. I find myself wanting to listen to it even when I’m not playing. There is a segment of it which reminds me of the Sinking City soundtrack. In fact, there is something about the game that has a Cthulhu type vibe.

Wish I knew someone else playing it who could share their wisdom with me but discovering it has been entertaining and motivating. I’m amazed at how addictive it is. 55 hours and I’ve only scored 13 out of 83 accomplishments. I’m a very long way from done. Although, that said, I have an extremely low completion rate for games. I’m like a dog loving a bone until the squirrel runs by… or… oooooo something shiny. There are just so many games and so little time to play them all.

My setup