The system is breaking down, people. When you hear about really nifty games, you’re supposed to tell me. Shout at me on Twitter, send up a smoke signal, or something. Don’t put me in a situation where I don’t know a unique game like The Tomorrow Children exists until I see it at an event!
Unless, perhaps you don’t know about it either? It’s a plausible scenario, as Q-Games and Japan Studio’s PS4 game hasn’t gotten a lot of widespread attention. I mean, aside from its Gamescom 2014 announcement, it’s been shadowy and mysterious.
I was drawn into the game by its unique look. All of the characters are clones of humans. The real humans are gone. They’re sealed away, sleeping in matryoshka dolls, and it’s up to these puppet clones to work together to recover them and restore towns. The figures are haunting ones, eerie dolls that mechanically roam about towns.
Given their goal of restoring humanity and mechanical nature, it’s a perfect fit for the use of Czech imagery and Communist propaganda. Characters are urged to work for the good of their specific town, traveling to islands to mine resources. It’s dangerous work, as venturing into darkness can cause the unknown to attack. Lights are needed, and working together is advised for the greater good. Indeed, community was even stressed in this early, alpha build on display at PSX. I constantly saw other The Tomorrow Children players, but only when they were also performing actions. Otherwise, they were invisible. If I did see one, though, I could contribute to the work, adding to my own prowess as well as gaining resources for the greater good.
Not that there were any humans to save in this demo. It was too early for that. Or any opportunity to really start upgrading the specific town I had spawned in and “joined.” Instead, I found myself first diving into work breaking down a monster that had attacked the this town earlier.
Yes, there are monster attacks. Judging by the remains I saw, they’re huge beasts. When one comes, the clones can build towers to defend the area and defeat it. The defeated creature becomes a shell of its former self, which can be mined. It’s an intriguing system.
The Tomorrow Children triggered my imagination. There were a few classes available in the demo, like civilian and miner, but the only changes so early on were the ability to get a few extra stat points here and there. Some tools were available to make mining easier. Still, I have a feeling there’s potential here. Especially since players will be able to work together to make their town a home. Though, if someone wants, I did learn it will be possible to migrate to other towns either for business, pleasure, or to find a new permanent residence.
I suppose the best thing to say is that I’m hopeful. The Tomorrow Children seems like a game that is taking inspiration from a title like Minecraft, rather than flat out copying it like many other clones we’ve seen appear. The notion of working with a community to recover and rebuild towns, surrounded by such unique trappings, makes me want to investigate more and see what the future of this dystopian game could look like.