As hundreds of thousands of people around the globe face desperate situations, fleeing war zones and oppressive social systems to seek asylum, the death tolls rise and the news headlines paint a grim picture.

For those who wish to help, but do not know where to begin, there is a way - a controversial new smartphone game that tasks players with saving refugees from a sinking ship, Help the Boat People.

According to the IOM, in 2016 so far, 211,916 people have arrived in Europe, with 2,443 dead or missing in Mediterranean sea. The UN refugee agency reports there are over 50 million refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide - the largest number since the Second World War.

Help the Boat People, developed by Melbourne social entrepreneur group Nictionary Games, is aimed at generating awareness and also raising much needed revenue to support the refugees of the world who are desperately seeking asylum.

Proceeds from the sale of the Help the Boat People game, available on iPhone & Android devices, will be donated to help asylum resources globally. For iOS it costs US$1.99, £1.49, AU$2.99 and for Android it's US$2, £1.80, AU$2.50.

Nick Humphreys, Co-Founder of Nictionary Games, said: "We have no official charity partner, but we wish to help a specific charity in each country that the donations come from; one that helps people specifically, like the Refugee Council UK.

"We operate as a not-for profit, so any money that stays with Nictionary goes into making the next charitable game. 50% of all money made from Help the Boat People goes towards a charity supporting the cause and the other 50% goes into the next charitable game."

"The aim is to save the boat people before they drown (or as the game describes it, before they go "missing") and place them into the safety of a processing portal on a Navy Ship. The game is controversial, but that's the idea behind it.

"There are more than 50 million refugees worldwide, and this number rises considerably each year. Our team has the fortune of being born and raised in Australia, but we wanted to do something to help those who don't have the same opportunities as us.

"While Help the Boat People is a fun game, it depicts a very real situation. We created the game to open a new donation channel to users and to get people thinking and talking about refugees and asylum seekers."

Nictionary is currently developing a game to support Paralympians as well as games to teach sexual health and highlight the plight of endangered animals. Each game will raise much needed money for these important global issues.