Critical Play – Among Us

  • Among Us was an online multiplayer social game that was launched in 2018 by Innersloth, and was launched on all major platforms such as Playstation, Ninteno switch, and eventually went viral on all the major mobile gaming platforms when many Twitch streamers and YouTubers started playing it during COVID
  • The target audience was aimed at young people friend groups who were discontent with their current life styles. The game can go anywhere from 4 to 10 players, using a multi-player co-op structure (Players) The 1-3 “imposters” with the objective to kill all the normal players, while the objectives of the normal players were to either vote out of all the “imposters”, or complete all the tasks on the spaceship before getting killed (Objectives). The imposters can kill the normal players or sabotage the tasks, and the normal players can complete their tasks, or vote on people that they believe are imposters, and is a zero-sum game where only one side can win (Outcomes & Procedures). The entire game is limited by the spaceship, of which all the tasks, killings, and voting take place(Bounaries)
  • I would argue that Among Us is a much better game than Mafia, which is the game that inspired Among Us, because the outcome of the game depends on more variable physical actions (players moving around in the game with a joystick) than Mafia (players sit in one place, and actions are simple decisions to “kill” or “vote”).
  • And the game was a lot of fun in the first 8-10 hours that I played it, because there were the most optimal strategies constantly evolved as all players become more experienced with the game mechanisms, and I felt like I was constantly learning new patterns from other players that i would need to apply in my next game. One of my favorite moments, was when there was only 1 imposter and 2 normal players left in the game, and then the imposter player convinced the other lore player to vote the other normal player out. It was exciting knowing the real identities of the people, then witnessing people adopt deceiving strategies against their friends in order to win. However, after 10 hours of planning, the learning curve dropped off and my friend group turned to more “real-life” activities to do.
  • I think one thing that I would do to this game is to add in a “social phase” that would enable this game to be viable between strangers as well. The current version is unplayable with strangers because you have no insight into the usual personalities of each other. Adding a 30 second introduction in the beginning of each player would give so much information flow to each player about the personality of the other players, and make the game into a much better social game.


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