Critical Play notes

Critical Play

  • Name of game, creator, platform

Among Us, Inner Sloth, iOS (also available on Android, PC, MacOS, Xbox, Playstation, Switch)


  • Target audience (as best you can discover from research or the games messaging)

Almost everyone! The intersection of people who like video games and board games, but has strong potential to draw from both sides of the aisle (e.g. a board game person’s first video game).


  • Notable elements of the game: how many players? What actions can players take? How do rounds work? Do they do anything interesting with player relationships/objectives/resources? (refer to Formal Elements for this!)

Players: 4-15

Conflict: PvP multilateral

Actions: two stages per turn, rotating in ABAB pattern. A: normal players try to complete tasks (minigames) that eventually lead them to victory; imposters pretend to do the same while assassinating normal players. B: discussion and vote for entire crew to vote people off the ship

Interesting ideas:

  • Simultaneous play
    • During both stages, all players have something to do, there is no waiting like in many board games
  • Weak player elimination
    • While keeping the player elimination aspect, the players are still in the game and actively helping the team win by finishing their tasks
  • Custom settings
    • Just like how people can mod mafia/werewolf on the fly, Among us allows for a wide variety of play options (task animations, identify reveal, etc.)


  • Compare the game you chose to other games in its genre. What differentiates it from the other games? Is it better/worse? How so?

Follows in a long line of social manipulation games, including mafia, werewolf, secret hitler, etc. Main differentiators:

  • Online/digital format
  • More elements during ‘night’ phase
    • Minigames, sabotage
  • More information can be derived
    • When, where, who discovered, etc.
  • More ‘outplay’ potential for imposters
    • Multiple kills, kills in obscure locations, kill timing, etc.


  • Was the game fun? Why or why not?

Very fun! It felt like a more involved and modern version of mafia, bringing it into today’s busy age without sacrificing any of the elements that made ‘mafia’ a great game to begin with.


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

Success: bringing in skill as an imposter, not just social manipulation, in timing kills and getting them in the right place/time

Fail: not very beginner friendly, a lot of rules (and unspoken rules) to be learned, can be hard to play at the start


  • Thingsyou would change to make the game better

At the moment I can’t think of much. It felt like an incredibly well-tuned game that was based on a concept that has withstood the test of time.

About the author

Leave a Reply

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