Children of the Sun review

by on April 9, 2024
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Release Date

April 9, 2024


Before I played Children of the Sun I had no idea what kind of game it was. The title really tells you nothing, evoking thoughts of some side-scrolling indie title adventure game. It’s not that, though. Not at all. Although it is about as “Devolver Digital” as a game can get, which I’m here for, frankly. It’s also primarily developed by one person, René Rother, a Berlin-based developer with considerable talent.

Children of the Sun is, in fact, a sniping puzzle game that sees you hunting down members of the titular cult who murdered your nameless characters’ family. What makes it really stand out, though, is that you have a special ability to control the bullet mid-flight with your mind. So rather than snipe your targets one by one, you’ll instead find a vantage point, fire one shot, and use that one bullet to wipe out an entire group of cultists.

Children of the Sun

After each kill, you’ll be able to redirect your bullet to the next target, either killing cultists or blowing up vehicles by hitting the gas tank, etc. Sometimes they’ll be separated by walls or other obstacles, in which case you can call upon another power to control the bullet directly, altering its trajectory while in-motion. Later, you can take out specific points on enemies to build a meter that lets you completely alter the path of the bullet, taking it round sharp corners and between moving obstacles like, say, speeding trains.

Some levels are incredibly complex, but like in all good puzzle games there’s an instant restart if you screw up, so you can rely on attrition to get the job done if you must. It helps to mark targets first through your scope, though if you take out a previously unseen target it’ll mark them for the next attempt. After a while you’ll be dealing with armoured targets, cultists with riot shields, or nutters pulling doughnuts in cars.

Children of the Sun

Taking out targets in Children of the Sun can be incredibly satisfying, especially when you shoot one and by the time you move to the next they’re already sprinting away in slow motion, radiating panic. Sparsely animated comic panes fill in backstory between missions, throwing sharp light on just how horrific the cult and its leader are, and later showing their reactions to your bloody killing spree as they begin to hunt you down.

The muddy, distressed art style is unique and beautiful, making use of deep shadows, stark silhouettes, and shocks of glaring light to disorient you. There’s little music, and the sound design is similarly sparse, focused mainly on the whoosh of your bullet and the meaty, violent crack of each impact. Children of the Sun makes you feel like some vengeful god, raining hell and blood upon your victims, no longer the beasts who robbed you of your family, but animals to be hunted down and mercilessly slaughtered. It evokes the sense of bloody-minded vengeance incredibly well, and despite the subject matter you never feel guilty or conflicted over what you’re doing. Well, maybe a little – I mean, in most scenarios you’re crushing them like bugs.

Children of the Sun

If there’s a failing in Children of the Sun it’s that, although each mission ends with a score card and your place on a leaderboard, there’s no real incentive to replay anything. You can improve your speed and precision if you want to, and thus up your score, but there are no rewards for doing so. Perhaps cosmetic skins or trophies for your rifle would be a little too on-the-nose, but it would at least give you a reason to go back through completed missions.

This complaint aside, Children of the Sun is a thrilling puzzle game with a unique premise. It starts to run out of steam after a while, especially if played for long periods at a time, but it does a great job of keeping you engaged, and when you’re on a roll it’s a hard game to put down.


Satisfying sniping
Looks incredible
Brutal, minimalist storytelling


No real incentives to replay levels
Can run out of steam during long sessions

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Children of the Sun is a thrilling puzzle game that does a great job of keeping you engaged, and when you're on a roll it's hard to put down.