Cults management sims are wacky. Whether we’re sacrificing our followers to an Eldritch being from the great beyond or poisoning the punch for giggles, cult sims offer an excellent power trip for the morally ambiguous entrepreneur.
While most cult management sims have stuck to core elements of managing a secret society, like Cult of the Lamb’s stellar dark humor or Cultist Simulator’s eldritch narrative, few deliver a comprehensive experience touching on every facet of running a cult.
Welcome to our Honey I Joined a Cult review, a strictly management-based cult simulator that places us at the head of a burgeoning cult.
With a decidedly Rimworld style of control and hilariously unflinching take on cults, we have complete autonomy to turn our enclave into the saving force of humanity or its destruction. So try our “tasty punch” and get ready for a relaxing maggot bath; our adventure awaits!
Scamming, Brainwashing, and Sacrificing the Middle Class
Honey, I Joined a Cult’s gameplay is hilarious. While the challenge behind resource management and maintaining follower happiness is eerily similar to Rimworld, the sheer variety of moneymaking methods blew me away.
Sure we can command our followers to extort money from temple sermons and erotic yoga, but we can also put them in discombobulation machines, maggot pools, and seance centers.
Better yet, the late-game moneymaking rooms ramp up the extremity allowing us to sign away follower souls, convert them into robots, or outright sacrifice them for mountains of cash.
I thoroughly enjoyed employing these new morally bankrupt methods and was always delighted to add a despicable new room to my increasingly debaucherous compound.
Unfortunately, Honey, I Joined a Cult suffers from resource bottlenecks that derail our cult adventure. For example, we can skirt the heat stat that prompts oppressive protests and game-ending police raids by refusing rewarding missions and costly propaganda generation.
Likewise, high-quality followers demand more faith, potentially leading to mass cult revolts and follower departures if we overrecruit. Worst of all, by the game’s end, we’ll have to grind for hours to acquire enough money to purchase the game-ending artifacts.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the humor behind the Honey, I Joined a Cult’s gameplay. While the late-game grind and high mission difficulty brought my high-speed cult adventure to a grinding halt, the early mid-game was clever enough to warrant a solid recommendation for management sims and cultists fans.
Morally Deranged Minimalism
Like Rimworld’s style of rectangle bodies and circle hands, Honey, I Joined a Cult delivers enough visual acuity to get by. While I was never awestruck by the game’s visuals, the variety among the different objects, rooms, and followers brought enough distinction to turn my compound into a marvelously built, if morally bankrupt, utopia.
To its credit, some exploitation methods were a delight to watch, even if they seemed graphically unimpressive. Throwing my followers into bottomless pits, watching Eldritch horrors claim their souls, and spinning them with “discombobulation machines” was an utter delight.
Even knowing its limitations, the game takes special care to focus on its strengths with camera footage of follower deaths and detailed cutscenes following a victory or game-over scene.
Overall, while its visuals are rather minimalistic and subpar, the execution behind each animation was superb enough to make each day exciting. Though I can’t in good conscience consider the visuals lovely or extraordinary, the care put into communicating atrocities with cartoon setpieces was well done.
From Bathroom Buckets to Cosmic Doomsday
Progression in Honey, I Joined a Cult is a long, drawn-out process. While we’ll find ourselves eating from vending machines and defecating into buckets for the first two weeks, continued research grants improved living conditions and new ways to exploit our followers for cash.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching my cult evolve into an increasingly despicable compound with new methods of exploitation around the corner.
With expanding access to followers, rooms, and control, the early to mid-game introduces new gameplay elements at a suitable pace. I never felt overwhelmed by adding a new torture room and always appreciated the animations and dialogue surrounding our newly built maggot pool or “soul-strengthening” electrocution beds.
Better yet, players looking for a micro-management paradise can delight in altering followers’ traits, increasing their favorite torture room’s profitability, and infusing our cult with eldritch horrors. And yet, despite its vast early-midgame, Honey, I Joined a Cult’s pacing falls apart at the late game.
Building the objects needed to trigger the final requires staggering amounts of money that can take over an in-game month to produce. Our management sim very nearly turns into an idle game as propaganda nullifies the threat of protestor incursions and police raids, thereby removing any challenge to our cult’s existence.
All-in-all, while I loved the increasing depravity of the early to midgame, the late-game became a brutal grind with hours of tedious busywork and repetition. Players okay with forgoing achievements can have a better time pushing the money difficulty slider to its most optimal limit.
Born Again Hippie…or Robot
A second playthrough can offer a startlingly different experience for players unhappy with world peace. Rather than stick to a generic style of cult, Honey, I Joined a Cult provides three different ideologies for us to pick: eldritch horrors, 1960’s style counter-culture, and futuristic absurdity.
While most of these differences only become available about halfway through the game, they offer drastically different playstyles with different types of rooms, objects, and endgames.
For my part, I chose to end the world by throwing my gullible followers into pits and summoning Cthulu. Though finishing the endgame remains a grind, I appreciated the thought that went into tailoring these various experiences to give voice to every faucet of cult lore.
Overall, even if I didn’t enjoy the late-game money grind, the gameplay distinctions per faction made it worthwhile to replay the game at least three times. Still, I advise creating a save point before committing to an ideology; the early to midgame is nearly identical for each playthrough and doesn’t lend itself well to replayability.
A UI Possessed by the Devil
While I never ran into any game-breaking problems, Honey, I Joined a Cult suffers from a few bugs and design issues that plagued my playthrough. Assigning followers to their most optimal task required me to flip through menus and remember a character’s stats before picking their best placement.
While this was a relatively minor issue, other management sims, like Rimworld, removed this issue by condensing character info and job placement info into a single tab.
Likewise, though the game never crashed, one of my followers, unhappy with my cult and determined to leave, got stuck inside my lobby, where he remained for several weeks before leaving. Though issues like these and my cultists starving to death from a broken cantina table were relatively rare, they usually struck at the worst of times.
To its credit, the game’s UI is reasonably streamlined when prioritizing work, scheduling sleep, and character pathways. I also never had to worry about an unhappy follower burning down my compound or smashing an expensive object because they soiled themselves.
However, losing followers was a terrifyingly common situation that meant losing integral cultists I spent hours mission grinding for XP. Though I appreciated the penalty, I would’ve much preferred being able to imprison or bribe precious cultists set on leaving.
Overall, the UI issues plaguing Honey, I Joined a Cult could be easily fixed with a few design tweaks in the menu and character options. While several of these issues may remain for the release, I expect most of them to get patched out on the next update.
Audio: Spunky 80s with Horrific Screams
Despite its dark subject matter, Honey, I Joined a Cult offers a delightfully funky beat to encourage the cult’s world domination. While the soundtrack is limited to a single song on repeat, the stock sounds of followers sighing and soiling themselves added enough to sell me on the game’s world.
Plus, the sounds of followers screaming each time I threw one into a bottomless pit was a hilarious spectacle that never failed to elicit a chuckle.
Though you’ll never be captivated by the game’s audio, it appropriately communicates the humorous tone permeating every aspect of our cult adventure. While I eventually grew tired of the single song, it was entertaining enough to withstand it for 8 hours on repeat.
Alternative Cultastic Adventures
To be blunt, Honey, I Joined a Cult isn’t for everyone. The low-quality visuals, silly tone, and extensive micromanaging can frustrate players unfamiliar with management sims or looking for a more serious take on cults.
Instead, I advise checking out other games with more detailed visual design and engaging gameplay mechanics. While these games may lack eldritch horrors, they offer fantastic takes on cults and management sims. Here’s a few titles like Honey, I Joined a Cult’s listed below:
- Cult of the Lamb
- Cultist Simulator
- Prison Architect
- Settlement Survival
- Planet Zoo
- Oxygen Not Included
- Wacky Gameplay
- Hilarious Dialogue
- Diverse Playthroughs
- Rewarding Epilogue
- Low-Quality Visuals
- Late game grind
- Painful Resource Bottlenecks
- Identical Early Game
JT spent 18+ hours recruiting, building, and scamming his way to a highly successful cult. He sacrificed 40+ followers, turned his cultists into demons, and destroyed the world by summoning Cthulu.
He has also outfitted his settlement with prestigious furniture and artifacts, developed high-quality followers, and beat the game’s most challenging missions. He intends to replay twice more to bring about a hippie paradise and robot revolution.
Question: When Does Honey, I Joined a Cult Release?
Answer: Honey, I Joined a Cult officially releases on November 3rd, 2022. While its early access release came on September 4th, 2021, players looking to play the full version can look forward to the November release.
Question: How Long Does Honey, I Joined a Cult Take to Finish?
Answer: A full playthrough of Honey, I Joined a Cult can take about 13 hours. However, players looking to experience every ending will face eight more hours of content.
Question: How Do I Avoid Police Raids in Honey, I Joined a Cult?
Answer: Producing propaganda through the ministry of truth and completing heat reduction missions lowers the heat stat responsible for triggering game-ending police raids. As long as we keep the stat beneath 300, we should be clear, though we’ll still encounter protests at that stage.
Question: What’s the Goal of Honey, I Joined a Cult?
Answer: To build a cult that destroys the world, ushers forth the future, or achieves world peace. At the tech tree’s halfway point, we can pick one of the three goals culminating in a grand finale that triggers the ending.
Verdict/Score: 7 Good
All-in-all, Honey, I Joined a Cult offered an engaging management sim that steadily drew me in with its vast strategy elements and humorous theme.
Though I eventually tired of the grind and quickly grew bored of the late game, it offered a satisfying conclusion that made my several hours of immoral scamming and human sacrifice worth the trouble.
While the poor visuals and repetitive music grows irritating early on, the hilarious, morally bankrupt dialogue brings a quirky sense of charm to my gullible followers. Though I was sad to see my favorite followers perish in bringing about the end of the world, their giddy faces and naive demeanor assured me it was for the best.
Overall, I eagerly await starting a robot revolution in my next playthrough of Honey, I Joined a Cult. While I loathed the late-game cash grinding, the various rooms, and gameplay mechanics characteristic of each playthrough make future playthroughs enticing. The toasters will inherit the Earth so long as the Hippies don’t beat them to it!
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