Probably even more shocking than having a mobile game on the list, my #3 title is a game that you either love or hate, and in my case, I loved it.
Cultist Simulator is a hard game to describe, much less talk about why I enjoy playing it. One part rogue-like, one part tabletop game, and one part lovecraftian adventure; there is a lot that went into Cultist Simulator.
This is another example of a game whose design, theme, and aesthetics are all working in harmony. The tabletop lets your mind build the story around the situations and events that happen in the game. The easiest way I can describe the appeal of Cultist Simulator would be like playing a tabletop game combined with a rogue-like.
This isn’t a game about you leveling up or growing in skill, but figuring out what the rules are and then bending them to your will. The other aspect is heading towards one of the game’s many win conditions. Each condition requires different elements to come together and changes your plan. Perhaps the one area where the tabletop concept fits the most is how the different legacies radically change your options and starting strategies; akin to choosing an expansion to play for a tabletop game.
To me, the best part of Cultist Simulator is the beginning of the game. The beginning is where your legacy will affect the experience the most. With that said the middle and end points are where Cultist Simulator falls into the love it or hate it territory.
Too much of the middle is about you hoping for the right elements and resources to drop with not many ways of effecting things yourself. Once you hit the point of stabilizing, there really isn’t anything else that will stand in your way. Finishing the game is just pure RNG as to when the correct lore and items will show up to fulfill the win condition. There have been a few patches and updates to try and correct these points, but I don’t think the game is over this issue yet.
The middle is where the game could use a lot more in terms of variance in events and potential strategies to go through. At the moment of this post, there are still major elements that aren’t in Cultist Simulator – specifically, a profession to go with the upgraded logic card and uses of your headquarters. Promised DLC for the game is planned to shorten the amount of grinding and add in more content to do, but that is still not available at this time.
Even though it may not be for everyone, there really isn’t anything else like Cultist Simulator and why it earns the #3 spot.
We’re almost done with the list, and #2 is one of the best action rogue-likes I’ve played.