stub Children Of The Sun Review (PC) - Is It Worth Buying?
Connect with us


Children Of The Sun Review (PC)

Avatar photo



Girl in Children of the Sun review

Precision and aim are ideally the building blocks of any tactical shooter. Compared to other shooter video games, the time-to-kill (TTK) is often shorter. This means that landing shots accurately and quickly is essential for survival. But what do you do when you only get one bullet to take down your targets? You have to make it count. 

Children of the Sun is the latest offering from René Rother, a Berlin-based developer and publisher at Devolver Digital. The game doesn't try to reinvent the shooter formula. However, it adds an exciting twist. See, most shooters give you the task of taking down adversaries. But that's not the only challenge. Besides the complex shooting conditions and reload times, you also get an ammunition count. Basically, limited ammo is for hordes of enemies. So, you better make those headshots count. 

In Children of the Sun, the game expects you to eliminate all enemies on one level with a single bullet. Yes, you read that right. There are no reload times or double shots. However, you get to chart your bullet's course. It's an exciting technique that I couldn't wait to lay my hands on. And after a few hours of gameplay, I can certainly say it's a fine blend of tactical shooter and puzzle gameplay. You won't be going all commando like in Far Cry or ARMA. But a vengeful heart and a bit of wit will get you there. Without spilling any more beans, let's dive right into our Children of the Sun review.

What about Jim Jones?

Knocking a door in darkness

Children of the Sun tackles a controversial subject relating to a cult that is built on atrocities. The flock, ideally the cult members, blindly follow their leader. But one girl, ‘The Girl’, seems to have had enough.

You play a nameless protagonist known as The Girl. The game's cutscenes give an idea of how the infamous ‘Children of the Sin' cult came into existence. For the Girl, the unfortunate and intentional demise of her father, who was part of the cult, further pulls her family apart. She blames the cult for all that is happening and takes matters into her own hands. Ideally, this fuels her vengeful heart, and she won't stop at anything until she eliminates every member of the cult, including the group leader. Using her father's sniper rifle, she scouts every cult settlement. 

As you progress on your killing spree, flashbacks, in the form of cut scenes, reveal more about the cult. You quickly find yourself resonating with The Girl's rage. I wanted to unleash a bullet barrage and down them all at certain points. But that's when it hit me: I have only one bullet.

Multiple Heads, One Bullet

Head shot

Given the game's objective, you'd think this would be a sniper-centered game where the shooter only uses a scope for precision. Well, that's part of the idea, but The Girl is not just any kind of sniper. She possesses psychic abilities that activate after a bullet hits a cultist's cranium. She can slow down time to a crawl and redirect the bullet's course. This way, you can clear out a bunch of devout acolytes with a single shot. 

The cult devotees have vulnerable spots you can target for a clean shot. Just look out for the glowing parts of their bodies. Nailing this shot lets you re-aim a bullet, changing its trajectory. Moreover, the controls are simple enough to appeal to any gamer. You should ideally control the character's actions using the right and left buttons.

Holding down the right mouse button allows you to change the bullet's trajectory in slow motion. This can be a bit challenging initially, considering everything is slowing down. But after a few tries, you do get the hang of it. The right mouse button lets you speed up the bullet.

Taking out the first enemy is a piece of cake. However, gunning down the final cultist on that level will call for a number of tries. Before you fire a shot, the members appear calm, going about their day as usual. But the first blood splatter sends them into a frenzy. Those who were out of sight, probably hiding or praying to their Leader, had a momentary loss of faith and became helter-skelters. This is where you must piece together the jigsaw puzzle pieces with a single bullet. Time's languid dance gives you an advantage. Your first shot will ideally move in a straight line, so it's the next shot you need to ponder over.

The Girl With The Dragon Heart

Girl cleaning hersniper gun

While you may view having one bullet as a challenge, the game gives you plenty of advantages to leverage. For instance, firing at a bird gives you a better view of the target area. Basically, a bird's-eye view lets you make a full sweep of the settlement and map out the bullet's path. Also, firing at the vehicle fuel caps ignites an explosion that takes out a significant proportion. The game does little to hold your hand. It essentially encourages retries and rewards you for them.

As you tear through the levels, the enemies become more challenging. You'll come across armored cultists who demand a bit more bullet power, which is achieved by supersonic speed. Holding down the trigger button builds the bullet's velocity, which swiftly pierces the cultist's defense. Besides armored fellas, you get your psychic cultists, who can ward off a bullet, and your joyriding cultists, who can't seem to sit still.

Besides the enemies, the game's environment also progressively makes things more challenging. On some levels, the cult members are teeming with activity. Some could be moving in and out of spaces, while a burning fire makes it difficult to target other members. The game does test your patience, drawing a thin line between joy and frustration. 

Completing a level gives you a feeling of instant gratification. But word of advice: since the game has no limit to the retries, start by scouting where all the cultists are. Then, find the best way to smoke them out. Shooting the fuel caps or birds gives you a head start. Something I would have certainly appreciated is the game providing more environmental aid. For instance, shooting a tight rope holding a wrecking ball tree that takes out members on its path with every swing. 

The Good

Aerial sniper head shot by Girl

Children of the Sun offers a short yet immersive gaming experience, with its campaign mode spanning approximately four to six hours. Despite its brevity, the game delivers a gritty and profoundly satisfying adventure that will leave a lasting impression on players. Its replayability factor is a boon for puzzle enthusiasts. The game's replayability lets you experiment with different approaches to improve their performance and achieve better ratings. 

Moreover, the game strikes a perfect balance between shooter and puzzle gameplay, with neither aspect overwhelming the other. Instead, they complement each other seamlessly, enhancing the overall experience. The blood splatter and cracking skulls are what you'd call a “checkmate” in a chess game.

Accompanying the haunting visuals is an ambient soundtrack that effectively enhances the game's atmosphere, immersing players in a world plagued by the atrocities committed by the cultists. The game world's architecture communicates a sense of decay and filth, further reinforcing the grim setting.

Furthermore, the levels are thoughtfully paced, increasing complexity as players progress. Each level seemingly prepares you for the next, ensuring a smooth, engaging gameplay experience. Plus, the leaderboard gives the game an arcade feel, ideally challenging players to hit the higher scores. So if you love chasing the top positions, Children of the Sun has multiple routes to get you there.

The Bad

Detectives Investigating a multiple murder

In the grand scheme of things, Children of the Sun makes the error of showing the entire cartridge. However, this is an odd oversight, especially in the shooter genre, and I speak for the majority of seasoned gamers. 

Beyond this, the game does not offer much incentive for replayability unless you are playing a competitive game. The best it does is show you your ranking on a leaderboard. Maybe the high replayability would make sense if the game included better skins as a reward or other ways of upgrading abilities.

Moreover, the narrative is minimalistic and doesn't provide enough depth into the protagonist's engagement. However, its simple outlook manages to keep things rolling.


Two guys standing near a parked car

Children of the Sun delivers an unconventional sniping experience that's consistently exhilarating and deeply satisfying. Despite its graphic scenes of bloodshed and violence, it transcends traditional shooter tropes, presenting itself as a delightfully dark puzzle game.

Its presentation shows the sheer determination to develop a masterpiece in the indie space. The Girl's extraordinary ability to fire a single bullet and manipulate its trajectory to take down multiple targets adds a refreshing layer of uniqueness to the gameplay. This innovative mechanic facilitates the creation of complex puzzles and grants you the freedom to explore and devise your own strategies. Moreover, the game’s distinctive art style will have you hooked from the get-go.

Children Of The Sun Review (PC)

Short, Sweet and Bloody Good 

Children of the Sun is the ideal game for those who prioritize enjoyment over length. Whether you prefer solo puzzle-solving or competitive leaderboard challenges, this game ensures fulfillment. The game combines elements from diverse genres, shining light on the bold leap of faith its developers took. 

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.