Critical Play — Among Us

Name: Among Us

Designer: Marcus Bromander

Platform: IOS, Android and PC

Target Audience: The target audience could be anywhere from Children to adults. I probably wouldn’t play this game with anyone over 30 years old. I feel like the digital component of the game requires some basic knowledge of video game mechanics, something my parents evidently lack. Even children who have played a lot of video games with their ipads would more easily pick up on the game dynamics and strategy better than older individuals. Also the design choices in the characters and setting seem to appeal to a younger audience, but isn’t too playful where it may seem too childish for younger adults.  

Notable elements of the game + Compare the Game to Others: 

I think we played on a map with a maximum of 8 players, but it’s possible for the game to involve up to 16 players. The amount of players depends on the game map. This game is essentially a digitally modified version of Mafia or Werewolf. The digital translation of these games allow players to complete more intricate and fun tasks while also providing information and opportunities for strategic decisions during a round. Once a round ended i.e. when a dead body was reported or an emergency meeting was called the complexities of each round allowed for better discussion and strategizing when compared with Werewolf or Mafia. There were more resources for players to gather information such as looking at the security cameras. At the same time, players had more resources sabotaging the non-imposters. 

Was the game fun? Why or why not? 

Overall, the game was fun. I played this game with my track teammates and my coach which was exciting because of the social aspect among us. In between rounds we would discuss who we thought was the imposter. The social dynamics of the team added to the drama of finding out the imposter since we could use the trust of previously defined relationships outside of the game. However, my group of players had differing levels of gaming experience. Some were very confident in the mechanics of the game, while others had trouble catching on to the game mechanics. On the whole, as we played more games the non-gamers eventually got the hang of the game mechanics which made playing much more fun and smooth. Unfortunately, we only played 3 games so the smoothness and understanding of game mechanics only took into effect on the last iteration. 


Moments of particular success or epic fails (in your opinion)


One moment of failure in our game was when a very experienced player who played imposter called the sabotage button on non-experienced non-imposters. This was problematic because if the non-experienced players didn’t complete a task within 30 seconds the imposter would automatically win. Since the non-imposters were inexperienced they didn’t know that the task had to be completed. This halted our really fun game and the imposters one because others had not been aware of these rules. 


Things you would change to make the game better 

I think adding tips for new players when they spawn into a game would be helpful. If the player is new and gets the role of an imposter, there could be a one time tip that details what a vent can do, or how to call sabotage events. Similarly, if a new player is in the role of a non-imposter a helpful message could appear when sabotages are created instead of the somewhat hidden yellow arrows.  

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