Honey, I joined a cult is a management simulation in the same vein as Prison architect, taking a refreshing, silly approach to establishing and maintaining your own, uh, alternative belief system. It’s now available in Early Access, allowing future cult leaders around the world to take advantage of the weak and the desperate!
My first impression is that this concept is still very rudimentary. There is currently only one theme available to build your cult – “Darkness” – and the user interface needs some serious tweaking. Players familiar with builders like this (Prison architect, Academia: School simulator) will instantly feel at home, however. Building and assigning rooms is as easy as clicking and dragging, although you can add your own personal touch with different types of doors, foundations, and decor elements.
The whole thing is imbued with a funky ’70s aesthetic, although this can the colors in the game sometimes look a bit like the wallpaper of your grandma’s house. Watching your base go from a few shacks full of poop buckets and dirty mattresses to a hive of activities is truly satisfying. You can sit back and watch all the different “therapy” and “relaxation” sessions unfold, gradually separating your subscribers from their money. You can send Followers out of your compound to complete missions to get rewards and research new tech – these are all standard stuff for the genre, but Honey, I joined a cult has a pretty entertaining theme to keep it fresh.
There are already several ways to customize your cult, but none of them really change as we’re still limited to just one central theme. I wanted to create a cult of money-hungry yoga enthusiasts determined to light up everyone’s wallets, but in reality they wouldn’t function any differently than the cult of standard boggy spooky space monsters. I really hope they diversify both cosmetic and operational styles of cults as development continues, because at the moment it feels a bit superficial.
While Honey, I joined a cult does a pretty superb job of implanting the genre with all the mechanics it needs to simulate running a cult, the visuals are just a little too basic. Nothing really has a finish – everything is mostly functional, of course, but by the minute it looks a bit rough, like a half-baked imitation of the Prison architect style. It’s a shame that Honey, I joined a cult don’t work harder to visually separate yourself from the obvious inspiration.
I don’t really want to sit in my high chair of criticism and criticize the artistic style of a game that I certainly couldn’t make myself – it’s a very small team of developers, and they do their best to make the game work and look functional at the same time. Honey, I joined a cult just looks a bit rough, to be completely honest. The UI is fuzzy and pixelated, which works a bit in combination with some of the early access delay to make menu navigation a chore. In fact, naming rooms and placing objects is pretty straightforward, but the menus look like piles of clipart.
If you’re completely new to the genre and just fancy a bit of the occasional worship, Honey, I joined a cult is quite welcoming. The tutorial is in-depth and takes you step-by-step through establishing your first cult without bombarding you with information. The writing leaves a bit to be desired – they clearly go for some wacky, quirky humor, but that doesn’t really come off that often.
Honey, I joined a Cult Early Access – is it worth it?
This is a difficult question, because there are already a lot of Honey, I joined a cult play, but not yet a multitude of different ways to do it. I don’t really think the game is showing its best side yet, and unless you are particularly desperate to play Prison architect if it was directed by Charles Manson, you will not have the best experience yet. I trust the developers Unique Survivor Games can turn that into a really decent base builder over time.
If you’re looking for your next gender fix, Honey, I joined a cult just might be – maybe not just this minute.
Honey I Joined A Cult is available now on Steam’s Early Access. Why not check out more of our game reviews and previews here?