REVIEW | Children of the Sun

REVIEW | Children of the Sun

The Venn diagram overlap between sniper and puzzle games |

You know the cool bit in sniper games where you pull off an amazing shot so the camera follows the bullet in flight to its target? This is that game. No, really, that’s all there is!

Alright, I’ll explain. In Children of the Sun you are presented with different stages, a certain amount of targets to eliminate, and one single bullet to do so. The trick is that, after hitting a target, you fire that same bullet again from that position. In the end, you trace a ricochet path from one target to another, to another, and you even get to see your path at the end of the level.

New abilities get added over time, some amount of control over the flight path, the ability to re-shoot mid-flight, the ability to speed up in flight; as well as some tricks like shooting non-essential targets to reposition, or explosives. With these tools at your disposal, you set out to ruin the cult who ruined your life, the Children of the Sun.

ℹ️ Reviewed on PC | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on X!

DeveloperRené Rother
PublisherDevolver Digital

I hope my childhood dogs weren’t sent to THIS farm…

Things I liked!

  • Creative and strong core gameplay | As explained above, the core gameplay loop of Children of the Sun involves examining the map, selecting your starting point, and firing a sniper round you exert some control over. Hit an enemy, then ricochet in any direction you want from there. As such, this is a puzzle game disguised in a sniper shell… round… you get it.
  • Distinct artstyle | We can all agree, and history has proven, that the pursuit of hyperrealistic graphics only amazes until the technology becomes old enough for the seams to show. On the other hand, unique aesthetics are memorable and evocative, they stick with the audience for much longer, and cut down significantly in production costs (usually.)
    Thus, it is a wise choice that Children of the Sun went for the latter, with the world having deliberately blocky or pixelated textures (think Valheim,) high contrast between the world and the enemies, which improves readability, and a myriad of visual effects that I could only describe as ‘LSD-like.’
  • Builds upon itself | The appeal and driving force behind this game is primarily mechanical. While there is a story connecting the threads, the complexity of the levels is arguably the main draw in a game like this. The pacing of the levels is quite well done, with the amount of targets and the paths leading to them presenting a steady difficulty curve that is paired nicely with new abilities you unlock as you go.
    With some of these new abilities come new challenges, however, such as enemies that can only be taken out in specific ways, or targets that force you to prioritise them and take them out in specific time windows. Furthermore, almost every level has a slightly cryptic challenge that you can complete for a Steam achievement, such as marking every enemy on the level or travelling a certain amount of metres (I don’t want to spoil some of the more unique ones.)

Look, ma! No hands! Or heads… Or lungs……

Neither good nor bad

  • Story | Children of the Sun has a story. It is simple enough and easy to understand enough to be told without words. All of it is ‘narrated’ through highly stylised images interspersed within the levels. While I have nothing against the story or these narrative devices, there are two levels that break the norm completely, where we get a glimpse into our protagonist’s psyche. I understand what they were going for, but I found them half baked. There isn’t enough emotional connection to, or emotional detachment from, our protagonist for these moments to hit with enough impact.
  • Make or break | The main gameplay loop will make or break the game for players. This is the type of game where 20 minutes are enough to know if you’ll be into it or not. So take this recommendation (spoiler) with a grain of salt, as there will be players who simply won’t understand the appeal at all.

These 5G towers are getting out of hand.

Things I disliked!

  • Underexplored mechanics | Children of the Sun introduces new mechanics and enemy types at a steady pace, but at no point did I feel truly stumped. A higher difficulty mode, a set of challenge maps, the game needs something that makes players truly squeeze every last drop of brain juice. All of the mechanics are there, it just requires some rearranging. Perhaps the option to create player maps?

How long did I play the review before publishing? 2 hours and some change.
How long to beat the story? 2-3 hours
How many Achievements did I earn before publishing? 8 / 21
How long to get all achievements | 4-5 hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Killer7? Sniping games and unique puzzle games (there’s really nothing quite alike.)


85/100 ⭐ | Children of the Sun is a fun game. Children of the Sun is also a niche game. If you fall within the Venn diagram overlap of Sniper games and Puzzle games, then you’ll eat this game up in an instant. If you don’t, I encourage you to give it a try and perhaps you like it! And I’ll cross my fingers that tools for map creation become available for the playerbase, as the skill ceiling here is absurdly high.