Cultist Simulator, from the mind behind Fallen London and Sunless Sea, is now on Kickstarter

by Franco Abrina | September 8, 2017 |

Minutes to Read: 2:00

It reached almost double its goal in less than a week!

Alexis Kennedy, co-founder of Failbetter Games (known for Fallen London and Sunless Sea) who has also worked on projects for BioWare, Telltales Games, and Paradox, unveiled a Kickstarter project for his new game last week. With a goal of £30,007 and 26 days to go as of writing this article, Cultist Simulator has gotten almost double of its pledge goal.

Cultist Simulator is a narrative card-based game with set in the 1920s where you play as “a seeker after unholy mysteries”. Expect lots of eldritch mystery and talks of old gods. “There’s some Cthulhu Mythos in here. But there’s less cosmic nihilism than Lovecraft, and more perilous longing,” Kennedy said.

As you build up your cult and communicate with the secret gods known as Hours through dreams, you’ll be dealing with pesky authorities, rival cultists, the dead, and even inhuman appetites that you may develop through commune with the Hours. The game will start you off with very little and whether or not you’ll end up leading an order full of loyal disciples is entirely up to the choices you make throughout your career.

The Kickstarter page describes several possible endings and a sort of legacy system that adds an extra twist to future playthroughs which lets you leave something behind for the next character you’ll play as. It may be as simple as a bequest or something as threatening as an enemy that your past self has faced.

With the game continuing to do well on Kickstarter, one has to wonder about stretch goals. On this topic, backers have stated that they backed the project to ensure the high quality of Cultist Simulator and not for the possibility of ambitious stretch goals that may “imperil the project”. Kennedy himself has stated that he isn’t a huge fan of stretch goals, but is open to the idea of creating physical tarot cards based on the game and another undisclosed goal that may need an “unrealistically high” number. As it stands, Kennedy would rather use the funds to further polish the game and push out extra bits of content, while also having a “cushion against risk”.

In the meantime, Kennedy has put out quite humorous “wholesome” stretch goals for Cultist Simulator which includes making a cup of tea for his girlfriend and purchasing a large (gummy) worm god for his daughter.

Stretch goal unlocked!

It’s worth noting that Alexis Kenendy is the only person working full-time on Cultist Simulator. While he has hired freelancers to help with the art, music, and a bit of UX/coding, the majority of the work falls on Kennedy himself. In the Kickstarter page, he has acknowledged that as the biggest risk of the project. Otherwise, he’s confident in his ability to deliver quality content especially with successful projects such as Sunless Sea under his belt.

The lowest pledge reward (£10) will net you a Perpetual Edition copy of the game which includes all future DLCs for free. There’s also a playable alpha available with mostly placeholder content.

Cultist Simulator is expected to arrive in May 2018.

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Franco Abrina

Franco is an avid gamer who's into all types of games. He's a sucker for open-world RPGs and pretty much any strategy game (XCOM, Starcraft, the works). Legends say he has tens of characters in a heavily modded copy of Skyrim where he can switch between characters in a single save, essentially making his own silly lore. Nerd.