YOU CAN’T WRITE about historical 4X games without mentioning Civilization, and yes, Humankind is, on the surface, a bit like Civilization. There’s a hex grid you can hide, you start in the stone age, and given half a chance, your neighbor will move its tanks into your capital even though you’ve been trading resources amicably for years.
One major difference, though, is that there’s only one way to win a game of Humankind. Another is that it’s a race. Humankind differs from Civilization in that you don’t play as the same culture all the way through (unless you want to), but pick and choose from available societies depending on what your aims are in the next era. So a good solid foundation in food and population growth in the Ancient era as the Harappans (who get food-growing bonuses) can see you pivot to industrial expansionism in the Classical era as you become the Maya.
That is if someone else hasn’t got there first. We said it was a race, and the first to win seven stars in the current era gets to leave it first and has first pick of the cultures available for the next one. No two cultures can be the same, so if you desperately want the Medieval Franks with their influence bonus (useful for founding new settlements) then you have to get there first, or it might not be available when you do.
This is hugely frustrating if you have a plan, but leads to some delicious U-turns and reallocations of resources when you have to settle for second best because the Hittites discovered more curiosities (interesting things scattered around the world to be discovered by mobile units in the early phase of the game) than you did.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Adobe Illustrator vs. Affinity Designer
Can the design newbie knock Adobe off its perch?
Human kind. Bear ferocious. Egyptian chariot terrifying.
Razer Raptor 27
Is Razer’s refreshed Raptor good enough to justify its painfully premium pricing?
Asus ROG GS-AX5400
Strix router is bettered by ProArt equivalent
AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT
Mainstream with a high-end price
LIFE IS JUST A STREAM
Learn the ins and outs of streaming with Sam Lewis
I'm getting Fiber!
All of the internet, all of the time
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
APUs make a more than welcome return
Corsair K55 RGB Pro XT
The best of the membrane?
SILENCE OF THE FANS
Fans are so last year, right?
OMA’s K3 direct-drive turntable and custom Schröder tonearm
THE BEST PREBUILT PCS WITH AMD'S RYZEN 5300G, 5600G, OR 5700G APUS
BEAT THE GRAPHICS CARD CRUNCH WITH ONE OF THESE PREBUILT PCS POWERED BY AMD’S 5000-SERIES APUS.
CURSE OF THE DEAD GODS is a sharp and atmospheric roguelike dungeon crawler.
Luminar AI photo editor
A great way for novices and experts to enhance images
Women who love thier Custom Motorcycles an interview with Frank Sanchez
The ultimate gift for you or your man
The making of the legend of Koenigsegg, Sweden’s record-breaking ‘‘megacar’’ marque
Revival Kitchen in a Queen Anne
With the look of a butler’s pantry full of built-ins, it’s family-friendly.
GARAGES worth a tour
Here’s a look at recent garages, inspired by period houses, which make the most of new space.
IS UPGRADING A LAPTOP'S SSD AND RAM WORTH IT? WE TRY IT IN THE DELL INSPIRON 15 7000
GETTING INSIDE IS URPRISINGLY EASY.
DESIGNING for outdoor spaces SITE PLANNING AND THE ARCHITECTURE
Site planning and a consistent architectural vision made sense of this unique double lot near the sea in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Architect Frank Shirley “integrated two properties and made this a special place to be,” the homeowner says. Outbuildings, two of them newly designed and built, are critical to the overall design, providing not only additional space but also protection from the street. New porches, formal elements of hardscape, and plantings tie it together.