A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players are encouraged to choose from several possible routes of nation-building, whether that be expansionism, research, building monuments, or trade. Each strategy is equally as likely to lead a player to success, and it's up to the player as to how they want to find a balance between all of their options. This openness challenges players to look at problems they've never had to solve before in real life and develop strategies for growing their society.
Positive Role Models
Players can choose to communicate with other leaders either peacefully or with hostility. In addition, other leaders will approach you either way as well.
Though Humankind teaches about many different cultures of the past, it takes small parts from each of them and lets the player choose which they want to use in their nation. So, representations of these cultures are present, but not very concrete.
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Ease of Play
If you've never played a strategy sim before, this may be a bit overwhelming at first. Thankfully, there are clearly outlined instructions during optional in-game tutorials, and many different difficulty levels for players to choose from.
Violence & Scariness
Armies will fight each other in combat, and weapons can be seen if the player zooms far enough into their view of the gameboard. But there's no blood or gore, and there's an option to avoid combat altogether should the player want to do that.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Humankind is a downloadable strategic nation-building game available for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Google Stadia. The basic structure of Humankind is similar to other strategy simulation games, asking players to use a certain number of movement points to travel across a game board with hexagonal tiles. Players can then choose where to develop their first city and begin collecting money, growing population, and researching technologies. The goal is to gain the most “Fame” points throughout the course of the game, and these can be gained through any type of cultural innovation, whether that be scientific, political, economic, or militaristic. Though there's combat in the game in the form of top-down views of armies battling each other, there's no blood or gore. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content.
Is It Any Good?
This fantastic strategy game builds on classic titles and creates unique experiences that fans will love to explore. Obvious comparisons are being made between Humankind and Sid Meier's Civilization VI. Both are played on a hexagonal game board, asking players to expand their nation over time, as well as communicate effectively with surrounding leaders and enemies. While there are rather minor differences between combat and map structure between the two, the biggest difference is the opportunity to build a culture piece by piece -- which is only possible in Humankind. The civic system is totally unique in this case, and it completely changes the gameplay. Instead of creating a strategy and sticking with it throughout the ages, Humankind gives players the opportunity to switch their strategy from era to era. For instance, a society may start out as a more militaristic one when their view of the map only contains one hostile neighbor, but it may become more concerned with naval trade when territory on an ocean is claimed in a later era and discovery of friendly allies across the sea is made.
This freedom to constantly make changes is very exciting, and it forces players to be more open to all of their options for growth over time, as their focus could change at any moment. Still, it's tough to judge whether this key feature is enough to encourage hardcore fans of the Civilization series that this title is a must-play. Though it's exciting for your culture to change over time, it can get overwhelming if too many other players (whether real-life friends or computer AI) are switching their strategies every era as well. As far as the Stadia exclusive features, State Share is very cool -- it lets people take a screenshot or video clip of their game, and anyone can instantly click on that asset and launch into that created world. It's a cool concept that's a whole new twist on save games, and it works incredibly well. Direct touch, on the other hand, is an interesting idea for Android phones, especially if you happen to be on the go and away from a computer without a controller, although it does take some getting used to when it comes to using multiple fingers to cancle actions or access menus. The biggest issue, though, is that you'll ruin your eyes trying to read through all of the text on your phones screen while you're tapping away to direct your civilization. But in the end, the concern about being overwhelmed by choices and options comes down to personal preference, and outside of comparisons to other games, Humankind is a fantastic experience on its own.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.