I’ve had the pleasure of trying out Q Game’s The Tomorrow Children last week during their Closed Beta. It was a bizarre experience overall, and I had only a few hours to spend with this post-apocalyptic multiplayer sandbox game. Not to mention I had to be awake at 3 in the morning as it was the only time the servers were open
Then again, perhaps it was best I woke up at an ungodly hour. How else was my brain supposed to process the weird and wonderful world of The Tomorrow Children?
Below are excerpts of my game review, written for Rappler:
The Tomorrow Children is a PlayStation 4 game that carries a very Red mix of Minecraft gameplay, Pixar-like animation, and heavy Soviet Russian themes. Perhaps I’m weirded out because its political theme is something I’m not quite used to. But then again, the game’s imagery and mechanics are completely different from many of the popular games we play today.
While it already looks strange, it is the blatant application of communist themes to its mechanics that separates The Tomorrow Children from many other sandbox games.
Usually, the player works to create a thriving life for his own sake, but in The Tomorrow Children, the player works with others to build a thriving community. There is no significant way to show that you are have a better life than your comrades except for upgraded tools and vehicles. There are no individual rewards that would benefit just yourself.
This unique concept of incorporating communism in the gameplay may feel limited at first but it opens up the player to a different kind of experience. The game wants you to focus on productivity, teamwork, and coordination. In the game, players will be working with other players to improve their own towns. You can either work with what’s already assigned to you, or leave to find another town via a subway system.
The town has its own point system, and building/crafting tree. Certain structures can only be unlocked if you build other structures that contribute points to a corresponding category. So if you’re looking to build a weapons shop, you’re going to have to build the right structures first.
It’s easy if you’re doing this on an individual scale. However, since everything in the town is shared, including resources, your weapons shop could be heavily delayed if the others have a different idea of how to expand the town. There has to be some level of understanding among the entire town’s population in order for it to run like a well-oiled machine.
The closed beta version of The Tomorrow Children gave me quite an interesting experience. It’s a game that looks like it’s for kids but warrants the attention of older gamers. It will certainly generate conversations on politics, and will make you ask a couple of questions.
It was disappointing that my time with The Tomorrow Children was limited, but it has left me wanting more. There is still much to be discovered once this is released, and I encourage everyone to give this indie title a chance.
The game’s approach to apply communism in every aspect of the game amazed and scared me. It was all about communism and it practically reeked of it. If I was still in college, I’d probably dash to my professor with this game and hear his opinion on this.
And while I’m all for democracy, I had to appreciate the progress that came out of working with players I hardly knew and communicated with. Most of the rewards from the game were ultimately for the benefit of the town I was laboring for, and I was okay with that as well.
If video games were more appreciated at schools, this would make excellent learning material for kids if only to show them what are the pros and cons of having a political system similar to Soviet Russia.
Here’s a gallery of screenshots from the PS4 game.
Honestly, I would’ve described this game as “cute communism” but then, I don’t think there’s anything cute about communism… or any political system for that matter. You can read the full article here: The Tomorrow Children preview: The red Minecraft