There are many game genres that have been storming in the gaming community, one of them is simulators. Cultist Simulator, however, is a unique one among them. Recently, Weather Factory studio has released a localization of the game on the mobile platform. Exactly to the game’s title, the game simulates the act of establishing and managing a cult.

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The goal of Cultist Simulator may sound a bit absurd to some, however, if you are a gamer who enjoys exploration more than hand-holding, mechanics that match the game’s theme, and a storyline that can be changed based on your decisions throughout the game, then Cultists Simulator might be just the game for you. The game was written by Alexis Kennedy so you can expect a great storyline. Moreover, since the Cultist Simulator is a card game, it can fit your mobile device so much better than that of a PC screen.

However, getting through the mechanics and exploring the game will be challenging. For not spoiling the whole game for you players, I will just give you a glimpse of how the game works. Players will explore the in-game world and adjust their actions via placing cards on “verb” squares, which have varying number of places to put your card in. For example, putting an occupation into the square labeled “Work” will make your character works and earns money.

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While a player performs more actions, more “verb” squares will appear which results in the expansion of effects and options into the gameplay. So, unlike any other card game that usually places its cards in a deck, the cards in Cultist Simulator are placed onto the table in front of the player. The game operates in real time, and each action usually takes place a few seconds after one another. However, the game can be paused if it becomes too much to handle. The fun part is the unpredictability: your action can lead to anything, whether a good or a bad result, and it makes you want to play to the end. The game can have multiple endings which offer players various reruns.

As mentioned above the mechanics of adding an action card into a verb square is quite easy and simple to quickly grasp, however, the hard part of the game is predicting what will happen next when you take a specific course of action. For instance, some of the verb squares will automatically take cards into themselves without the players interacting with it. Moreover, there is a huge number of card types ranging from ambitions, dreams, books, paths, sensations, tools and so on, each of them has a unique interaction and it can be quite unexpected. The interaction of each card is explained by tapping into a card or an empty space on the table in order to see the result from choosing to use the card.

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The explanation from the card can be vague and the game may not suit those who do not appreciate complexity in both mechanics and storylines. Those who do, however, will see that their time and efforts is well-rewarded. The lack of hand-holding elements fit the storyline and theme as well.

While the lack of hand-holding can make you feel confused, the game’s visual and interface are attractive and clear. Cultist Simulator’s art style takes us back somewhere in the 20th century which fits the game’s narrative. The countdown timer is also a nice touch, the timer captures your attention which makes it easy to monitor all the actions that are taking place on the table. In general, the game is stunning on and an iPhone or an iPad, and the interaction of dragging the card on the touchscreen feels amazing. Nevertheless, while zooming into the table to monitor your actions, you might miss some “verb” squares that may pop up somewhere outside your zoomed view. There has not been any notification for such events, which may cost you some crucial information.

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Also, players must prepare their mindset to die several times time because they might not realize the timer around that one square that is counting down to your defeat in that round. The only notification you get is the red tint square which is pulsating as the number decreases. This aspect of the game also fits into the game’s theme, since players are fighting for their sanity while they are digging into the in-game mysteries.

If you are interested in this fascinating world and want to explore them yourself without any guidance except the information that what each card do and some minor manual that helps you understand how to play the game, Cultist Simulator is a great choice. The game also rewards the players with some dark storyline and some mixes of clever mechanics. Cultist Simulator is a one of a kind game, which is currently available on App Store. Prepare yourself for the most challenging and entertaining time of your life playing the game.