You don’t have to be a parent to know how stressful kids can be. Think of the Children takes a lighthearted look at all the shenanigans kids get into. At the grocery store? They might run around and try to drink bleach and play with the raw chicken. At the beach? They’ll try to swim and have fun, but might get eaten by sharks! Well, perhaps these perils are only in this game, but it could happen!

Save the Kids!

At PAX West this year, I had the chance to sit down with Adric Polkinghorne, Producer of Think of the Children. He and the Jammed Up Studios folks from Austrailia have created this “Cooperative Parenting Simulator,” because the story can be played alone or with a friend. Basically, as the parent, you need to stop them from running into traffic, getting burned on the grill, or other danger parents need to deal with.

While keeping the children safe, the player has to get tasks done. These include anything from putting hot dogs on the grill, putting sunscreen on Grandpa’s back at the beach, and setting the picnic table for a family meal at the park. The Jammed Up Studios team is from Australia, so things like snakes, jelly fish, and sharks are common enemies of children. “At least, you know, after you lose a few kids it gets easier,” Adric joked. As of now, players will always be taking the role of the parents and will have the option to shout to bring the children back to you. However, if a kid is far away and getting into trouble, the player can sprint to it, and grab the child and throw it to safety.

To make matters more stressful for the player, each level is a bit of a ‘court battle’ that you, as the parent, have to fight through. Child Protective Services has been called on you for being a bad parent, and each level you have to prove your innocence. The final build has 12 different levels, each more complex and difficult than the later in the game. Adric teased a later level where you are “free falling out of airplanes and putting parachutes on the kids.” He stated their inspiration for levels were just situations that would be “funny or challenging.”

Just the Deets

Both parents and children can be customized when it comes to the name and the look of the characters. Many aspects can be changed, such as the Hat, Hair, Shirts, Pants, Voice, and Skin, each of these characteristics are also gender-neutral. One benefit of the game is that once a child dies in the individual level, it isn’t gone forever. There is an undisclosed reason why the kids don’t actually die, but Adric stated that “it would make sense.”

Get your Grubby Paws on it

There will be no leaderboard yet, but it was indicated that they might add the content after release if it’s something people want. Creating the leaderboard is only one part that may get added, as Adric stated they may create additional extra levels and game modes. If things really go well, they might look into playing as the children.

In terms of Multiplayer, online gameplay will be an option to play with friends. Depending on how much you want to seek out a top score, Think of the Children could take anywhere from a few hours to even 20 if you really want a good score. Don’t worry about killing too many kids though, at PAX West in only an hour and a half into the show, there were 358 deaths. Adric wasn’t surprised, as he indicated “90-second rounds, six children, you can hit 358 accidents pretty quick.”

Think of the Children will be released just before the end of October on Steam/PC first, then porting the game to consoles at a $9.99 price point.

About The Author

Bobby C
Director, Editorial/Reviews

Bobby C is a veteran FPS and adventure gamer, starting with the NES and Super Mario Bros. The game that really started his love for the FPS Genre was Goldeneye for the N64. Since then, the love grew. From casual, to semi-pro COD with Modern Warfare 2 and 3, and back to casual, it’s a bad week when there isn’t at least 15 hours of games played.