Various nonhuman primate species have been tested with prosocial games (i.e. derivates from dictator games) in order to better understand the evolutionary origin of proactive prosociality in humans. Results of these efforts are mixed, and it is difficult to disentangle true species differences from methodological artifacts. We tested 2- to 5-year-old children with a costly and a cost-free version of a prosocial game that differ with regard to the payoff distribution and are widely used with nonhuman primates. Simultaneously, we assessed the subjects' level of Theory of Mind understanding. Prosocial behavior was demonstrated with the prosocial game, and did not increase with more advanced Theory of Mind understanding. However, prosocial behavior could only be detected with the costly version of the game, whereas the children failed the cost-free version that is most commonly used with nonhuman primates. A detailed comparison of the children's behavior in the two versions of the game indicates that the failure was due to higher attentional demands of the cost-free version, rather than to a lack of prosociality per se. Our results thus show (i) that subtle differences in prosociality tasks can substantially bias the outcome and thus prevent meaningful species comparisons, and (ii) that like in nonhuman primates, prosocial behavior in human children does not require advanced Theory of Mind understanding in the present context. However, both developmental and comparative psychology accumulate increasing evidence for the multidimensionality of prosocial behaviors, suggesting that different forms of prosociality are also regulated differentially. For future efforts to understand the evolutionary origin of prosociality it is thus crucial to take this heterogeneity into account.