Critical Play 1 – Among Us

I played Among Us with friends last night. It was a super interesting experience so I want to share with people about the amazing game!

Basic info

It is a social game developed by InnerSloth and it can be played on almost any platform. We played its app on our phones. The target audience seems to be anyone with a device. Because the game can be played online or locally, the user doesn’t have to have access to the internet to play it (local wifi will be needed though.) I didn’t notice any age restriction either so I suppose it is open to all age groups.

Notable elements of the game

The game is for 4-15 players. The players are divided into crewmates and imposter(s). There is at least one imposter and the players can decide the number of imposters before the game starts based on the total number of players. The background setting of the game is that all players are in a spaceship. There are tasks in the spaceship to be finished so that the ship can function properly. The crewmates’ job is to complete all the tasks. However, imposters don’t want the ship to function. They can sabotage parts of the ship or kill crewmates to stop them from completing the tasks. If all the tasks get done, the crewmates win. However, before the tasks get done, if the imposter(s) killed most of the crewmates and there are the same number of imposter and crewmates, the imposter wins. The crewmates can also win if they found out and ejected the imposter to space, and the imposter can also win if they sabotage the ship and the crewmates didn’t get to fix that in time.

So, the imposters have the following actions: sabotage (the ship), kill (a crewmate), and sneak through vents (to avoid being caught by crewmates). Meanwhile, the crewmates can fix the ship, report a seen dead body, and call emergency meetings to vote out imposters. A round of the game is marked by an emergency meeting, either triggered by a dead body report or called by a crewmate. For each emergency meeting, either someone gets voted out or no one gets voted out (tie). If the imposter got voted out, the game ends. If no one got voted out or a crewmate got voted out, and there were more crewmates than imposters, the game continues.

This game is a classic unilateral competition, where the minority with more power (Imposter) fights against the majority with less power (Crewmates). The objectives of this game include outwit, race, and chase. The players need to plan to win the games. The imposter needs to win before the crewmates finish all tasks. The imposter needs to chase a crewmate to kill them sometimes. The resources of this game include lives, time, and units (tasks). With these elements, the players have a lot of flexibility in how they play the game.

Comparison with other social games

This game is somewhat similar to Werewolf, which is another unilateral competition game. What makes Among Us more interesting than Werewolf (in my opinion) are the mission that the players need to finish, multiple actions the players can make, and a landscape to play on. So the players not only play with other players but also play with the actions and the landscape. There was much more flexibility.

Was the game fun?

Absolutely! I played with five friends and only two of them had played the game before. It is a bit difficult to pick up in the first few rounds since most of us haven’t played before and didn’t understand the rules (rules are a bit intense in the first place with the different actions and different parts of the ship.) However, we picked it up quite quickly after playing a few times and started to understand how to win. This game was still funny when we didn’t know much about the rules. For example, the imposter may kill someone in front of other crewmates and expose themselves immediately. These mistakes also make the game fun to be part of.

Epic fail

There was a time when the game just started, and we all went to the admin room. Then the imposter sabotaged something so everyone went out to fix that. Coincidentally, I had a task that was assigned in the admin room. I was thinking, “Everyone is going to fix that so there will be enough people to have it fixed. I can just stay here and finish that task. That would be more efficient!” So I didn’t go with everyone else and stayed in the admin room. However, I forgot a very important thing, which was that my staying there alone provided a great chance for the imposter to kill me. So I got killed, at the beginning of the game. What a pity!

Things I would change to make the game better

For me, the most interesting part of the game was chatting with my friends in the game. No matter whether it was during the emergency meetings or when a game was finished. Just talking about the game and laughing with friends really made my day. However, Among Us doesn’t have a built-in audio chat tool and we had to call each other in a group chat. I believe that fellowship would be an important fun of Among Us and audio chatting really facilities that compared to texting-only. Therefore, I would make a built-in audio chat in the app so the players don’t need to use another platform to speak.


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