What is Cult of the Lamb's Day/Night Cycle, and What Does it Affect
Learn all about the day/night cycle here!
Cult of the Lamb
As a roguelike action title, you wouldn't expect Cult of the Lamb's day/night cycle to influence a whole lot. But what if I told you that it's actually a bit more critical to keep in mind than you might realise?
Starting with the basics, it's worth mentioning that each cycle in Cult of the Lamb lasts for a span of eight minutes — six minutes of daytime and two minutes of nighttime. Throughout the span of eight minutes, you will have to feed your cultists (they are incapable of feeding themselves, apparently) and squeeze in any of the other various activities you can (and oftentimes should) be doing with them. And although these eight minutes last a perfect amount of time whilst interacting with cult grounds — including preaching sermons, raising buildings for them to use, blessing your cultists, making a casual mid-day sacrifice, and more — they are surprisingly short when delving into crusades.
You see, each crusade can last anywhere between roughly 8–13 minutes (with my longest run thus far being at the tail end), and even longer for later levels and more careful players. And although it might seem like time stops while you're on a crusade, the day/night cycle continues as regularly scheduled. This means that whilst you're out slaughtering the non-believers and taking their bones to perform rituals for your cult, your cultists actively work, get hungry, and get sick in your absence. Usually, your cultists will survive an entire day without being monitored, so that shouldn't be too much of an issue, but this isn't the only gameplay aspect affected by the day/night cycle.
After reaching the Pilgrim's Passage area and unlocking the lighthouse, you'll be able to access a new vendor that sells cards; this vendor sells a particular card that offers a 20% damage boost in the daytime, and it is actually one of the most substantial damage buffs you can get — aside from the 30% damage boost at nighttime you can get from the vendor in the third unlockable area. Whenever you acquire this card in a crusade, it adds a new level of strategy, as you'll want to wait until you are at your strongest to face some of the beefier foes, but you'll also want to watch the clock and your cultists' loyalty.
Aside from what you can do according to the time of day, you'll also want to pay close attention to which daily routine you've done in each cycle. With the start of a brand-new morning comes more sacrifices to be made, more food to eat, and more sermons to preach; these are important to progression and are also time-gated behind the eight-hour day cycle.
Does this sound like a bit much? Yes, and it sometimes can be, too. But this micro-management system isn't nearly as arduous as I might make it sound; while your cultists might get angry in your absence, there's nothing that a ritualistic sacrifice to the tentacle god can't fix. In fact, the sense of urgency that the day/night cycle can create in the world often adds a pleasant and unique factor that is exclusive to Cult of the Lamb and one I'd not mind seeing other games incorporate.
All in all, the day/night cycle for Cult of the Lamb succeeds in adding more to the game than just a darker tint to the screen, and that's a welcome feature. Between rushing in crusades, strategically waiting for a specific time of day, and having a daily routine, the day/night cycle is a great feature that I think — surprisingly — moulds a lot of what Cult of the Lamb ultimately is.
Cult of the Lamb
You don't have to wait eight in-game minutes to play Cult of the Lamb, as the game is out now for everyone to enjoy! I sincerely recommend it.