For my first critical play, I played Among Us, created by Innersloth, on iOS (iPad Air). Among Us is a unilateral competition game with 4-15 players. The premise of the game is that there are crew members, whose objectives are to complete their tasks, and an imposter, whose objective is to sabotage/kill the crew while remaining undiscovered. The imposter also has resources that the crew does not have, such as the ability to move through vents or turn off the lights. Because Among Us contains killing and lying about killing, I think that the target audience should be teenagers+. I don’t think most parents would want their young children playing this game. I also think that the target audience includes anyone who enjoys sleuthing or manipulation games.
In terms of procedures and rules, there is only one round each game, but the round can be interrupted when a body is discovered or by emergency meetings that anyone, crew members or imposter, can call. The emergency meetings consist of deliberation over chat as to who everyone thinks the imposter is and then voting. Whoever receives the most votes is out, and the game will reveal whether or not that person was the imposter. Each round ends with either the imposter winning by being one of the last two players left or the crew winning by voting the imposter out.
The overall structure is similar to other deception games, such as Werewolf. There is one player that is trying to remain undiscovered and not voted out while trying to kill off players. However, Among Us is different because it gives everyone tasks to complete and completion of these tasks influence people’s decisions. After playing Among Us a few times, I learned that while the imposter does not complete tasks, it is advantageous to pretend to complete tasks to avoid suspicion. Also, while the imposter has special actions, they must be careful to not be seen while using them (example: going through vents or killing players). I think that Among Us is a better, more involved version of Werewolf because people’s actions influence everyone’s decision. I do think that Among Us was very fun because the crew’s tasks as well as the imposter’s resources were distracting and made finding the imposter more difficult.
One “epic fail” was that I called an emergency meeting at the beginning of the game because I thought the button was a task for me to complete. Each meeting lasts a few minutes if not everybody votes, and not everybody voted that round. Not enough had happened in the game to deduce who the imposter was, so I called a pointless meeting and wasted everyone’s time.
If I could change something to improve Among Us, I would like to add audio to the emergency meetings. I think that it can be difficult to communicate over chat, and it’s easier to tell if someone is lying if you can hear their voice.