Honey, I Joined a Cult – Preview
Follow Genre: Management, Strategy, Simulation
Developer: Sole Survivor Games
Publisher: Team 17
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Honey, I Joined a Cult – Preview

Good: Great humor, Proper managing gameplay and unlockables
Bad: Lacks goals
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

It seems that weird simulator games are rising left and right over the years. Previously we looked at Prison Architect back in 2013, but also at spiritual successors with different gameplay elements, such as The Escapists and The Survivalists. While Team17 is the biggest publisher for these types of games right now, other publishers started producing these types of games with similar mechanics, such as Academia: School SimulatorIt seems like a successful formula though, as Team17 is adding another similar game to their list. This time we’re taken back to the ‘crazy’ ’70s.

Honey, I Joined a Cult starts the game with a short introduction. We see how the main character has a good-running cult already, but it got very infamous. Because of all the bad things that happened there, the cult gets shut down and everybody gets arrested during a police raid. The only person who gets to walk away is of course the leader. Nobody can prove he did anything, so he simply moves to a different site to start it all over again from scratch. This is where your creativity comes in, as you can decide what divine being your future followers will believe in, what outfits they will wear, and what their designated follower name will be. In our case, we named all followers “Wizards”, our self-absorbed leader “Master Doctor Professor Professor”, and our divine being “Gandalf”. Followers would get a wizard’s hat of course.

The introductory scene is the only cutscene we found in the game so far. However, the entire tutorial is accompanied by stellar humor where it’s made clear how much of a dick your leader character really is. As the game is still in Early Access, it might be very well possible that there are multiple scenes added later on, as you can also work towards multiple themes for your cult (and possibly endings). Right now the game only has one theme and no real end goal though.

Looking at the graphics, we’d say the game is close to being finished. Aside from perhaps a bit wonky-looking items such as head bandages not fitting hairstyles in case of a follower injury, everything seems to be polished enough to call it a finished product already. While for some the cartoon-like style might look a bit simple, this is also one of the reasons why the game communicates what’s going on quite well. There’s a lot of information available in Honey, I Joined a Cult, including complete moods, work schedules per hour for followers, and other statistics. All this information is neatly tucked away in foldable pop-up menus, which are mostly explained during the tutorial. In that perspective, while the graphics aren’t something amazing, the game succeeds in delivering heaps of information in a way that gives you a great overview. The only thing we really miss so far is perhaps (an option to see) room names hovering above them.

While so far the game is alright, the sound is still a bit lacking. We found there were barely any fun sound effects to be found anywhere, and the music sounds a bit cheap despite fitting a ’70s cultist theme. The NPCs running around your compound are barely making any sound and also don’t say anything that’s dubbed, but it’s normal that these types of things get added later in the process.

The game is simple yet complicated enough to keep you invested, which is key for a good management game. Basically, you set up a compound with different rooms that have different functions. One room might be the bedroom, another might be the cafeteria, maintenance, and so on. Once you got a basic compound running, you will attract curious people who might be interested in joining your cult. They go through the reception, follow i.e. some meditation courses, and once they are familiar enough, you can recruit them as one of your followers. Followers are basically employees who work for you for practically free.

While followers can work for you, they don’t provide you with income as only those interested before they become a follower do. The resources you have are money (gained by regular folk “donating” during cult sessions), influence (also gained by those folk), faith (practically only gained once a day as you hold a sermon with your followers), and PR. Money is used to build new chambers and the stuff that those chambers require to function, influence is used to research new rooms, items, and more. Faith is used to sustain your cult, and PR is used to get higher-quality followers. As your PR rises, so does your heat. Heat is the final “resource” that you want to try and keep low, to avoid being shut down by the police.

The gameplay is decent, though it lacks goals to strive towards, be it during the game itself or towards the end. While unlocking new stuff is kind of fun, while managing your cult the best you can, if you are low in any resources, you are just kind of waiting until you get more. This is why managing your resources until you get a good income is one of the most important aspects of the game, because else it slows down the fun you can have.

Conclusion

So far, Honey, I Joined a Cult seems to be a solid game. The humor, clear communication, and the gameplay all seem to be in order. What really will define how the game ends up is the endgame content. The Early Access version so far is more of a resource-dependant sandbox than anything else, which is lacking something to work towards aside from a tree of unlockable stuff.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Honey, I Joined a Cult - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

1 Comment

  1. […] Honey, I Joined a Cult is now available in Early Access on Steam with a Christmas Update coming on the 15th of December. […]

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