First Critical Play

Game: Among Us


Platforms: iOS, Android, Steam, Nintendo, Xbox, PlayStation, Windows

The target age for Among Us seems to be middle school to adults, with the game designed to act as a party game for people who are likely not together (but not necessarily), with the possibility to play among friends.

We played the game among 4 people, but the game is suited for 4 players up to ~12. The game is a digitized and moded version of the game Mafia. People play as many crewmembers and a few (or one) imposter who play in similar looking characters – the imposter’s objective is to kill all the crewmembers, while the crewmembers complete tasks. Crewmembers can call meetings to try to figure out the imposter. There are a few maps, which vary in size and are scattered with tasks and secret passages (vents).

Among Us is different from games like Werewolf or Mafia because it allows people to play in the magic circle of a virtual world vs physically playing. This (although not a problem for me) would often make it difficult to communicate due to online restrictions. However, it felt a lot more real. Having a digital interface to play through was much more immersing than verbal gameplay.

Like other similar games, there seemed to be a sweet spot of 6-8 characters, with 4 feeling like too few players. I’ve played the game before while a couple of people I played with had not, so it took a while to get acquainted with the map and rules. It also immersed us better in the game because it gave environment with visual dimensions.

If I were to change the game to make it better, there were many settings which are good for advanced players but made it confusing for beginner players. Also, the tasks felt rather purposeless, and more like an impetus to make players move around.

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