It is a really great time right now to be a fan of video games about… joining cults!? The chance to portray a disciple of a malevolent god was already bestowed unto horror fans earlier this year with the release of Kitfox Games’ The Shrouded Isle. Now there’s a new opportunity to live the experience of being a hunted member of a depraved sect with Alexis Kennedy’s Cultist Simulator.
The Shrouded Isle gave its players the challenge of needing to relentlessly offer human sacrifices to a bloodthirsty god while trying not to make their relatives too upset about it in the process. Now, following a successful Kickstarter, the upcoming Cultist Simulator will let its players explore a twisted 1920’s world, hunt and be hunted by investigators, develop dark cravings and hungers, and ultimately transcend reality in the service of entities with imaginative names such as The Door In The Eye, Mother Of Ants, and the Lionsmith.
Kennedy is a name that should be familiar to horror game fans. He’s the mastermind behind the whimsically dark Fallen London which has remained steadily popular since its release in 2009. Cultist Simulator looks like it will maintain the colorful-yet-creepy art style that is Kennedy’s hallmark, along with a narrative which, like that of Fallen London, is both phantasmagorical and nightmarish at the same time.
What might really make Cultist Simulator stand out, however, is that according to Kennedy it downplays the influence of H.P. Lovecraft: everyone’s favorite author when it comes to fictional, evil cults. According to the Kickstarter page, Cultist Simulator will instead draw its influence from sources as diverse as Welsh legend, ancient Anglo-Saxon poetry, and contemporary authors such as Roger Zelazny, Umberto Eco, and Mary Renault.
Kennedy anticipates a Q2 2018 release of the full game, with updates and ordering information found at his website. But secret cults are nothing if not enticing, and wouldn’t be what they are without tantalizing promises of things to come. In other words, if you’re on the fence about Cultist Simulator, a playable alpha build of the game is already available.