Parents' Guide to

Cultist Simulator: Initiate Edition

By Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Dark sim challenges player's morality and patience.

Game Nintendo Switch , Windows 2021
Cultist Simulator: Initiate Edition Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

A very difficult, but enjoyable game.

This game is very much a game that explores occult themes, but this isn't something that can influence children. This game requires you to manage funds and life, as well as an entire cult of your choosing, going on expeditions, and having your character read. It's very tough. I wouldn't recommend religious fanatics to play this game, but otherwise, give this a spin.

This title has:

Easy to play/use
1 person found this helpful.
age 18+

The game’s title says it all

Why would you want your child playing a game that simulates the occult? This came to my attention via the common sense media recommendation email. They recommended it for my 14 year old child. No thank you!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This challenging strategy game will test your attention to detail, but limited tutorials and overreliance on chance hamper play in each session. Unlike other roguelikes, Cultist Simulator: Initiate Edition doesn't rely on graphics, fast-paced action, or reflexes to keep players engaged in its macabre action. Instead, it relies on descriptive text and scenarios triggered by cards you play to shape your character's journey from regular citizen to subject of mysterious circumstances. Cleverly, the tension arises in making choices that you think may be best for your character, only to discover that the item you need is just out of reach or the pursuit of knowledge has harmed your health. Then you find yourself making more complex choices, such as how far you're willing to risk yourself, or people around you, to accomplish your goals, many of which have nefarious ends attached. As in other roguelike games, you'll frequently fail and have to start over, taking what you've learned to potentially do better in the next session.

Unfortunately, there's much more trial and error to figure out how to make progress here. Cultist Simulator gives basic info about how to play, but there's virtually no additional help presented, so you'll stumble your way into scenarios without fully understanding them. Even worse, you're not guaranteed to run into the same situations, even if you play the same kind of character, making it harder to figure out what to do. It's further complicated if you're playing on the Switch, which automatically includes content from three expansion packs, and features extremely small text, even when docked to a TV screen. The end result is that you'll have to dedicate a lot of attention to learning every scenario and have some good luck to be successful between each play session. Not everyone will have the patience or interest for this steep play curve, but those who do will enjoy a clever, dark, and unique strategy experience.

Game Details

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