Maybe it's the fact that I've just finished my umpteenth playthrough of Final Fantasy 7, but sometimes I get the feeling that one of us should summon Meteor and end all this nonsense once and for all. Climb the kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower, and all that. I know I'm not the only one who occasionally drifts into strange fantasies about the end of the world, though—a game that just came out on Steam not only lets you do exactly that, it turns those idle fantasies into a party.
Project Planet - Earth vs Humanity features one player as the planet. Like, the actual Earth—big role. This player (the good guy, obviously) is tasked with saving the place from destruction by reducing the human population to zero like a full-blown JRPG baddie. They do that by expending their force to inflict disasters and trigger crises that the other players have to deal with.
The remaining five players, any of which can be AI controlled, comprise facets of humanity that must deal with these crises and survive. World Leaders can use their resources to force people to take precautionary measures, the Media can spread helpful narratives, and so on.
If humanity does manage to survive, however, the winner is the player who has the most remaining power—making it a cooperative game with a competitive edge. Spend all your resources being helpful and you'll still lose, incentivizing players to sabotage one another in an attempt to win.
So the Media, World Leaders, and Industry are all undercutting one another trying to actually help as little as humanly possible without dooming everyone to oblivion? Yeah, that tracks.
Only one player has to actually buy the game and everyone else can plug in via a mobile device, making Project Planet a bit like Jackbox—except instead of trying to come up with the best punchline for the world's worst setup, you're trying to save (or destroy!) the planet. I took a quick spin through the demo, and it only took me about 30 minutes to kill off all eight billion or so humans with my virus.
I do have my doubts as to how hard my AI opponents were really trying to save them, though. Seems like a conflict of interest.