Cult of the Lamb is a disturbingly charming roguelike game developed by Massive Monster. The game places you in the perspective of a recently resurrected lamb who makes their newly acquired second chance one driven by revenge. Enhance and develop your land of resources and recruit new followers for your promising juvenile cult.
As you focus on evolving your village and making your followers satisfied, you must also head through each of the four realms to fight what awaits inside. As you traverse through each location you salvage both materials that can be used back at your cult's sanctuary, and gifts to raise your likeness amongst your followers. Cult of the Lamb is idiosyncratic in most of its mechanics and design as it blends severely dark themes with an adorable art style. However, it isn't the only game to use concepts of villagers, fast-paced combat, and the maintenance of land.
A roguelike placed deep in the hell of Greek mythology, you play as Zagreus, the son of Hades as you attempt your run to escape the underworld you currently reside in. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. Hades is the hardest game on this list by an astronomical measure. It's shamefully unapologetic in its rules and grants no handouts to anyone bold enough to hit start on the game's home screen.
The combat of Hades feels reminiscent of Cult of the Lamb. The demons you fight and even the art design both make you feel as if you could take the lamb and Zagreus, place each in the opposite game, and the experience would remain similar. Slash your way through the surprisingly vibrant and pleasing levels of hell, but if you die, you must start back from the very beginning. This concept may sway you to close the game after a few attempts. However, if you continue to push through it, you are able to see the real progression in not only your own abilities but the skills of Zagreus as well.
4/5 Don't Starve
Don't Starve is a brutal and unforgiving top-down survival game. You play as Wilson who wakes up on a barren piece of land, and it is immediately up to you to find food and a light source before the sun descends on your first night. Craft tools, grow crops, and even defend yourself against the critters and beasts that roam the land.
Don't Starve is a game not for those who are looking for an easy time. If you die, you lose everything, truly indulging in the Roguelike genre with its cruel punishments for you not being good enough at the game. Nonetheless, the game does give you an option to hire pigs as your bodyguard, similar to Cult of the Lamb in the sense of luring animals to do your bidding.
3/5 Stardew Valley
The immensely successful Stardew Valley throws many elements at you. Farm, fish, fight enemies in caves, or even explore the nearby town. There are plenty of things to dive deep into in this game, so much so that it truly gives you the feeling that you are living in another world while playing. There are tasks to do such as tend to your farm or befriend people in the close by town. Stardew Valley mashes together a bevy of games and creates a superior experience.
Stardew Valley may look like a pleasant and quiet game above ground, but as you explore the caves within the game, you must defend yourself against aggressive monsters while mining for materials to bring back up with you. This adds a great deal of action to an otherwise slower game. Overall, Stardew Valley gives you anything you could want from a game within the genre, and with so much to do and explore, is a game with endless replayability.
2/5 Little Kings Story
Little King's Story is a criminally underrated game that was overlooked on the Wii. The story is emotional and unexpectedly effective, though at first glance, it looks like it would be a mediocre children's game - however, as you progress through the story, you will refuse to put the game down.
You play as a young ruler who rules the kingdom of Alpoko. Within this kingdom are citizens that worship you. These citizens will assist you in battle as you head outside the kingdom to take down nearby threats and increase the size of your land, while using your citizens for battle brings decisions. It is imperative that you assign each of your citizens to their correct abilities, as doing so allows each confrontation to go smoothly. As the fights go in your favor, you bring home goods that allow you to expand your kingdom further. Conquer all the lands, and you become the great ruler you were always set to become.
1/5 Animal Crossing: New Horizons
A much tamer game for sure, but Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the true next game to play after completing Cult of the Lamb. It is a similar game at its core, but with a far lighter tone and zero action or killing. There is no sacrificing your villagers for your own gain in Animal Crossing (thankfully) - it's a cheerful game filled with creativity. Animal Crossing is one of the most relaxing top-down games on the market, as you simply maintain your island. Your sole purpose is to develop your land and take in more islanders as you do so.
That being said, Animal Crossing is not a series to be downplayed nor overlooked. These games are some of the most addicting and immersive games you will find. As Cult of the Lamb masters its hack and slash combat and village progression concoction, Animal Crossing affixes to the land progression only and does it even better than most.
NEXT: Animal Crossing: Hidden Details Everyone Missed About The Island