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Game of the Week: In praise of restlessness


A queue of people snakes across a floating level in Humanity
Image credit: tha ltd./Enhance

This week's Game of the Week is Humanity, a puzzle game that has had me absolutely transfixed. It's sort of like Lemmings - you direct a bunch of helpless people through each level, getting them from the start to the exit. But it has these weird existential concerns and seems to be very open to interpretation.

All of this is very cool, but what I want to talk about today is something a bit more practical about Humanity. Humanity is one of those games with a very simple premise: start, exit, get everyone to safety. But then it throws in dozens of new ideas, whether that's new commands for your people or new types of terrain, or new basic rules for certain sections, stopping you from placing new commands once the game's in motion, for example, or swapping out a stream of humans for a few clusters that must be collected as you go.

What I'm getting at, is that Humanity is restless. And restlessness may actually be the game's defining feature. It has a killer premise, but it's never willing to just sit there and do what's expected of it for very long. It wants to flip things, jumble things, invert itself and reimagine itself.

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