Critical Play – Among Us

Having already played every game on this list, I left my fate up to chance and ended up with a classic: Among Us, by InnerSloth (I play on PC because I’m a pro gamer). In this game, violent jelly beans run around various futuristic settings trying to survive and thrive, all while avoiding the knife of 1-3 nefarious comrades. The game features tens of minigames – “Tasks” in game – that give you a reason to explore the map and, sometimes, isolate yourself from the other trustworthy crewmembers. This is what adds the tension and an extra win condition for the crewmates, as they can win either by deducing the identity of the impostors or by completing every task as a team. The game is played in rounds where each round goes until a body is reported, an emergency meeting is called (often only possible once per player per game), or the game ends, either by the impostors killing enough crewmates, the crewmates finishing their tasks, or (in public lobbies especially) the last impostor disconnecting from the game.

What makes Among Us stand out from many other games of its genre is its impersonability. While I often find games like Mafia, Werewolf and Avalon getting heated, with some people feeling personally attacked or singled out after successive slanders and/or executions, it’s hard to feel that way in Among Us. While it’s not an uncommon occurrence for impostors to target a single player in the first round multiple games in a row for the meme, it often dies off rapidly and everyone is just as likely to get a chance wielding the axe. Additionally, the lack of direct face-to-face interaction also provides an extra barrier to protect against personal attacks.

Among Us kill animation, handdrawn
An Artist’s rendition of a kill animation from Among Us

This game seems suitable for just about anyone of any age, though to mix up my gameplay experience I forged into the unknown with just one trusty friend to play in public lobbies. There we were exposed to unfiltered chat messages from our contemporaries on the internet. This was by far the highlight of the game, leading to lasting relationships forged with community members such as Kiwily, Moon, and Ur Mom. Relying on open comms of course led to an extra skill check, since the winner of most debates was determined almost exclusively by word output per voting period.

Of course the most epic successes of this journey were the friends we made along the way, but other notable successes include me noticing a vent opening in another room only for the impostor to jump from there to my room and promptly end my life, as well as me spotting a shapeshifter changing skins through a wall and trying to discreetly follow them, only for them to notice and promptly end my life. Throughout my time in the public lobbies, I was impostor only once (with an AFK partner) and died in the first round of the game 6 times out of the ~15 games.

The biggest change I would make to Among Us comes in the form of variety. This was my first time revisiting the game in a long while (the addition of new roles, beans, and dedicated accounts were all new to me) and it felt great and refreshing with the new content. I feel like the greatest thing the developers could do for the game would be to continue listening to community feedback and adding new content and maps to keep things interesting, as well as some possible alternative gamemodes like Hide’n’Seek.

Was the game fun? Absolutely. Was it helped by the fact that I had a good friend on discord, sharing my pain and laughing at the text chat with me? Absolutely.

8.5/10: has a little something for everyone, and would become a meme in a public lobby again.

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.