With at times over an hour wait and generally quick to run out of tickets to give people, PS4-exclusive The Tomorrow Children was one of the most attractive games at Sony’s TGS booth. I played it and, right after, talked to creator Dylan Cuthbert, who also happens to be the founder of studio Q-Games and creator of the Pixel Junk series.
Gameplay is all-online in The Tomorrow Children, but asynchronous and cooperative. Players hop in with the ultimate goal of building and maintaining towns, defending them from monsters and making them generally more glorious. Over time, according to the dev, they’ll start to notice something awry and begin to find out more about the labor-focused society (an obvious reference to the early Soviet Union).
Comparisons will be made to Sim City, Minecraft, and a few different MMOs, but I don’t quite find such genre clumpings to tell the whole story with The Tomorrow Children. Even though it’s online and multiplayer the nature of it is fairly relaxed, allowing players to go at their own pace. Want to collect resources for your town? You can. Want to fight off monsters? Do that instead. Just wondering around looking at the unique aesthetics? That’s fine too, and it’s one of the things that the developer likes most about the game.
He said as much to me in an anecdote about playing shooters with friends online. If you’re not good right away, you’re on the chopping block for your team. If you do certain things differently, people will impatiently push you to go at their pace instead of your own.
Furthermore, The Tomorrow Children isn’t simply about just one of those aspects from which it draws comparisons. It has those are part of a larger whole, but none are the point, individually.