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Cultist Simulator: Initiate Edition

PLAYDIGIOUS, Weather Factory
Feb 2, 2021 - Nintendo Switch

OpenCritic Rating


Top Critic Average


Critics Recommend

7 / 10
7 / 10
7 / 10
4 / 10
Nintendo Blast
7 / 10
3 / 5
Hey Poor Player
3.5 / 5
Nintendo Times
6 / 10
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Cultist Simulator: Initiate Edition Trailers

Cultist Simulator - Launch Trailer - Nintendo Switch thumbnail

Cultist Simulator - Launch Trailer - Nintendo Switch

Cultist Simulator - Announcement Trailer thumbnail

Cultist Simulator - Announcement Trailer

Cultist Simulator: Initiate Edition Screenshots

Critic Reviews for Cultist Simulator: Initiate Edition

Cultist Simulator: Initiate Edition is by no means a terrible game. It's just one that lends itself to a lot of trial and error coupled with a lot of dying. It's a story-driven card game with a Lovecraftian backdrop that will please the occult/horror fiction fan, assuming you have the patience to preserve. In this day and age of instant gratification, the long wait to finally figure out how to succeed in this game might be too long for most.

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The new characters and mechanics of the DLCs are available upon starting the game. Overall, the game also runs like a dream. The kind of care to give Switch players an experience as good as other versions is really nice to see. I do have problems with the gameplay, like it being obtuse at first or the overall length of a run being way too long, but in the end, I enjoyed my time with Cultist Simulator.

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Small text aside, Cultist Simulator is a real merry-go-round of emotions, mixing horror, joy, repulsion and much more. It’ll take a couple of playthroughs for it to really get its tentacles into you, but when it does, you won’t want it to let to go.

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4 / 10

"Seize forbidden treasures. Summon alien gods. Feed on your disciples. Play as a seeker after unholy mysteries, in a '20s-themed setting, of hidden gods, and secret histories[i]," says [i]Cultist Simulator to potential buyers, but, like in every Lovecraftian tale, the actual truth will drive you mad. What's the truth here? Well, it's that this is basically a tedious, resource management game, where nothing is explained, which will leave a great number of players scratching their heads, even after spending a significant time with it.

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Cultist Simulator: Initiate Edition can be described as an exotic combination. The game mixes resource management, cards and narrative with obscure aspects, but the result is a title that stumbles on a vague and obtuse experience. Even so, it offers a very peculiar dark atmosphere, which can motivate players to plunge headlong into the gameplay based on trial and error.

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This isn’t to say that I don’t recommend Cultist Simulator. I find its depth and focus on exploration and letting players find their own way fascinating and the many stories contained within demanded my attention. I’m glad I finally had a chance to check it out in any form and if that sounds up your alley, there’s a game in here worthy of your time. I have a much harder time recommending that you play it on the Switch, though, and would only recommend checking out Switch version if you don’t have any other way to play it. You simply have to put up with far too much to get to all the good contained within.

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Do I like Cultist Simulator: Initiate Edition? Or do I like the idea of it? It’s hard to tell, but one thing’s for sure — I’m going to be playing this one for a very long time. The writing is superb, the atmosphere is spooky, and the gameplay is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Although I understand the design choice of making players learn competency through experimentation and that it was done well here, I cannot say it’s going to be fun for everyone. I’ve barely scratched the surface with Cultist Simulator: Initiate Edition and I’m certainly not very good at it, but I can’t stop thinking about it. Cultist Simulator: Initiate Edition beckons, and I feel compelled to continue.

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WORTH CONSIDERING - Cultist Simulator brings a card-based roguelike to the table, with a great thematic setting and deep lore. The core game mechanics are simple to interact with, however the game struggles deeply to gain traction because of an intentional design decision to avoid any tutorials or context to what’s happening on screen, leaving me mostly stabbing at the dark to play the game. Some will enjoy the variable experimentation, but not all will drink the Kool-Aid.

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