Book Of Hours: narrative crafting RPG set in the 1930s

Not EA, from what I can tell :)

My biggest issue with Cultist Simulator was not so much the trial and error approach (which I think follow-up BoH also employs), but for a game with so many moving parts, there was no way to track your discoveries in-game. You had to rely on either a good memory or your own written notes.

I’m too old for the former, and too lazy for the latter.

Does anyone know if they added a mechanism that keeps track of all the card combinations in-game?

BOOK OF HOURS is an elegant, melancholy, combat-free crafting RPG set in an occult library, from the creator of Fallen London , Sunless Sea and the double BAFTA-nominated Cultist Simulator.

From a two-person development team, no less. Sounds intriguing.

But wait, it has cards? I stay away from card games.

The actual mechanic is very different. It’s difficult to describe, so you may want to take a look at footage of CS play to get the idea.

If it’s anything like cultist Simulator, the cards are abstract representation of… well, everything: character, resources, objects, locations, events, etc.
So imagine instead having a character sprite representing a character, you have a character card representing a character.

But seriously, what a year. It isn’t only full of AAA games, it’s also full of smaller games I would like to try: Book of Hours, En Garde!, Cantata, Amnesia the Bunker, The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood, etc.

One of the issues I have with games like this is that it feels like you only figure out what to do by trying every combination of items, and going with the ones that the game allows. Like in those old adventure games where you’d combine the rope with the candle, with the tape, with the crowbar, etc, until you ran out of combos. This may be unfair though, as I’m not super familiar with the game.

I did run across a playthrough of the game. I did peek at it but haven’t watched much.

I actually completed a run of Cultist Simulator but…it took longer than I expected. I was stuck at one of the doors in the Mansus for a while, but I got to a point where I could basically tread water forever. If a detective got on my trail I just summoned one of those maid-in-the-mirror devourers to take them out before they could ever complete their investigation. Ironically I think I was also a cop. My board had cards fucking everywhere though. Organization was half the battle.

There’s actually a new game+ mode but I didn’t really play much of it.

Reminder that Alexis Kennedy - the lead designer and owner of the tiny company making the game - has been credibly accused by multiple people in the games industry of sexual harassment. You may do with that information as you will, but it shouldn’t go unmentioned.

Which is a shame because Fallen London is a really cool universe (albeit capably carried on in his absence, if not even better since he left) and Cultist Simulator was also really neat. :/

I tried Cultist Simulator like … three times and always got disoriented. I don’t know if that’s a me thing, but at some point I couldn’t really find new combinations or move really forward or any progress was just detrimental slow that I’ve repeatedly dropped it.

Cool game concept, tho.

I definitely had a love/hate relationship with Cultist Simulator. Evocative moods and intrigue trapped in a frustrating and tedious package. I see a bunch of similar cards-in-slots with timers in Book of Hours screenshots, so I’ll pass on it for now.

Yep, it would have hugely benefited from being self-documenting. I hope Book has addressed this.

Me too. It’s just so absurdly long and stuffed with repetitious filler unless you know exactly what you’re doing. These mods are great: Ouroboros automates the basic job loops, and Khronos has speed controls and a handy skip-to-event button.

The buggy UI updates did finally get fixed this year, so I gave it another spin with these mods that help auto-organize stuff: Shelves, More Shelves, and Smart Lore Shelf.

I’m curious, did they ever back port the touch controls from the mobile versions to the PC? Or really, related, does BOH have touch controls on PC? I bought CS at launch for my Surface, and while it ran well enough, the lack of proper touch controls made it bad to play. They implemented them properly for mobile, and I really got into it on my android tablet. I’d be curios to pick the new one up on Steam, but not without that. Anyone know?

A review

The “Fascinating… And Frustrating” title made me laugh because well, that could be applied too to Cultist Simulator.

That does look really cool, but I also have a bit of an aversion to card games. Probably check it out down the road on sale at least.

I thought Cultist Simulator was pretty clever in how it used the cards. Card Survival is somewhat similar. I like developers using these mechanics in interesting and novel ways.

Cultist Simulator cards are really just the same system as their original game Fallen London… in where you had thingies (token? cards? I don’t know if they are called explicitly cards). In that game, everything like a normal object, or a feeling, or an ambition, or a companion or a temporal social status or reputation, or the status of the current quest was the same kind of item/card you could accrue in your inventory. Which sometimes was so confusing.

I’m impressed that you guys were able to finish the game. I did two or three dives into it for many hours each and felt like I hit a wall and just didn’t discover an important card combo that I needed to progress.

Artist Life Simulator also took the CS system and did something different with it. Without the evocative setting and writing, I’m not sure it quite justifies itself, but if you’re jonesing for another card-driven system to unravel you might like it:

Since this has been brought up a couple times now, I’ll just say that this was discussed a few years ago when it was current. I think I side with whomever inactive_user was Kennedy seems like kind of a sleaze, who slept with/dated folks that worked under him, and was a bad romantic partner to (one? more?) of them. Which isn’t great. Past that, I’m not sure of much. Did this rise to the level of “he should never have a job again”? I don’t think so, but everyone has a different red line on this sort of thing. Also, his current company is literally just him and his current partner (wife?), so there’s no real danger of that anymore, heh.

Well, Kennedy’s response was basically “every allegation is a lie and if they’re not lies it was consensual and the woman is acting crazy” – that’s only a good answer if you want to ensure that people keep bringing this stuff up.