Explore the Unexplored: Top 5 "Humanity" Alternative Games You Shouldn't Miss

Samanta Blumberg


Explore the Unexplored: Top 5 "Humanity" Alternative Games You Shouldn't Miss If you step beyond the mainstream gaming horizon, you'll easily discover a variety of unique experiences that are eagerly waiting to be explored. Many developers create "humanity"-themed games that span diverse genres, from narrative-driven to survival, even to visual novels. These games challenge players to think, feel, and experience human narratives in ways that traditional games often do not. In this piece, we will elucidate the top five "humanity" alternative games, diving deep into their gameplay, setting, and storyline. 1. Frostpunk Gameplay, Story, and Setting Frostpunk is a city-builder and survival game where players must mastermind the community’s survival in a post-apocalyptic world. Developed by 11 Bit Studios, it demands you to manage resources, make difficult moral choices, and keep your citizens motivated to survive each passing day. Combining the conventions of city-building and survival genres, Frostplex presents a challenge centered on resource management and critical decision-making while juggling hope and discontent among your people. You have the responsibility to pass laws that determine the structure of your society and the working conditions of your people. In the icy world of Frostpunk, Earth has been consumed by a new ice age. As the leader of possibly the last city on the planet, your job is to keep your citizens alive and hopeful, facing endless problems such as scarce resources, blizzards, and worker strikes. 2. Detention Gameplay, Story, and Setting Detention, developed by Red Candle Games, is a unique blend of horror and adventure, enveloped in an atmosphere dripping with tension and distress. The Taiwanese indie game illustrates human compassion and struggles against a historical backdrop. Its gameplay includes solving puzzles, avoiding horrifying ghosts, immersing in the haunting sounds, and diving into a chilling narrative. All these elements collaborate to keep players on their toes, always prepared for the unexpected. The story is set in a period of Taiwan's martial law known as the "White Terror". During this traumatic time, the protagonist has been trapped within their school, navigating through their fearful predicaments and unveiling hidden stories along the way. Detention provides a hard-hitting examination of the terrifying consequences when humanity is suppressed under the strain of oppressive political regimes. 3. This War of Mine Gameplay, Story, and Setting Another masterpiece by 11 Bit Studios, This War of Mine is a heartbreaking survival game that deals with the consequences of war experienced by ordinary people. The paradox of this game lies in its gameplay. Unlike traditional war games, you are not an elite soldier. Instead, you manage a group of survivors, struggling with a lack of food, medicine, and constant threat from hostile scavengers. Every decision can lead to dramatic consequences, giving players a profound sense of responsibility for the characters' wellbeing. The game takes place in an unnamed city besieged by war, communicating the despair, deprivation, and horror that civilians experience during times of conflict. This War of Mine is more of a human survival simulator that paints a painfully realistic picture of war. 4. Papers, Please Gameplay, Story, and Setting Papers, Please, a unique game developed by Lucas Pope, positions the player as an immigration officer who must control the flow of people entering the fictional dystopian state of Arstotzka. The primary gameplay revolves around checking people's documents, deciding who enters or is denied, or detained. With a limited salary and your family’s needs to take care of, this game transforms mundane paperwork into a tense exercise of moral distress. The story unfolds through the eyes of an immigration officer at a border checkpoint. Through the documents presented by immigrants and locals, players get a glimpse of the wider world, its political dynamics, and their impact on everyday lives, and the humanity that perseveres even in the face of oppressive regimes. 5. Disco Elysium Gameplay, Story, and Setting Developed by ZA/UM, Disco Elysium is a groundbreaking open-world role-playing game. It blends hard-boiled detective fiction with fantastic storytelling. Classic tabletop RPG-inspired gameplay invites players to slip into the role of a troubled detective, armed with a unique skill system that influences dialogues, interactions, and narrative progress. This makes it possible to approach situations in multiple ways, bringing a level of freedom rarely seen in a narrative game. Set in the rotting city of Revachol, Disco Elysium tells a story of redemption, self-discovery, and political tension. The protagonist wakes up with a severe hangover and no memory of his past, only to find himself embroiled in a murder investigation that evolves into something far greater as the story progresses. Aside from the main plot, the game also explores themes of humanity including poverty, politics, and existentialism on many of its branching paths. To conclude, these "humanity" alternative games offer a unique perspective and depth that differentiate them from conventional games. Whether you prefer deciphering mysteries or surviving in harsh conditions, stepping into someone's boots or managing a community, these games offer an immersive experience that will captivate you, making you ponder upon the human condition. Let the game begin!