Critical Play: Your first critical play! – Penny

Name of game, creator, platform:

  • Among Us is created by the game studio Innersloth, and is playable on iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. A virtual reality version, Among Us VR, was released in November 2022.

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

  • Primarily teenagers and young adults, as its intentionally garish and playful graphics could appeal to a younger audience. The social interactions of the game, requiring players to work together and communicate effectively, makes it popular among friends and online communities.

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!)

  1. Players: Among Us can be played with 4-10 players.
  2. Objectives: Elimination; Imposter(s) wants to kill all the crewmates, or crewmates want to complete all the tasks or eject the imposter; Whichever team does this first wins.
    Start of the game where player receives assignment of either Crewmate or Imposter
    Start of the game where player receives assignment of either Crewmate or Imposter
    A sample Crewmate's Task in Among Us - fixing electrical wirings
    A sample Crewmate’s Task in Among Us – fixing electrical wirings
  3. Outcomes: Zero-sum game; either one team wins or loses.
  4. Resources: Characters and tasks
  5. Procedures:
    • Players can move their characters around the game environment, complete tasks, and report or call meetings to discuss suspicious behavior or vote to eject players they suspect of being the impostor.
    • Impostor: At the start of each round, one or more players are randomly selected to be impostors, who must sabotage the other players’ efforts to complete tasks and try to kill them without being detected.
    • Round: Rounds in Among Us are typically timed, and players must complete all their tasks before the impostors kill enough players to win. If a player reports a dead body or calls a meeting, players can discuss and vote on who they believe is the impostor. If the majority vote agrees on a player, they are ejected from the game. If the crew members complete all their tasks or identify and eject all the impostors, they win.

      An imposter being ejected and floating through the sky
      An imposter being ejected
  6. Rules
    • Imposters need to avoid being seen killing crewmates and exhibiting imposter-only skills (eg. travelling through special vents)
    • If player is dead (killed by imposter, or ejected by voting), they lose the rights to speak and vote.
    • The user, a crewmate, is killed by another player, an imposter
      The user, a crewmate, is killed by another player, an imposter

      A dead green player body
      Dead body is reported by a player and an emergency meeting commences.
  7. Boundaries: The unique map provided in each game, and the finite time limit for completing tasks.

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

  • In the social deduction game genre, games are primarily played in-person, but Among Us stands out because it is perfectly able to be adapted to online play without players being in-person, and without losing any of the fun of the game. This is a game perfect for Covid times when in-person interactions are extremely hard and limited.
Social deduction going on through in-game chats
Social deduction going on through in-game chats
Voting for The Imposter
Voting commences for The Imposter to be ejected
  • It also stands out in terms of the beautiful graphics on the phone, and the high amount of customizability of the game (eg. adding new rules/characters, customizing maps and tasks, even walking speed of the characters).

    An in-game moment where various players are gathered around
    An in-game moment where various players are gathered around a location in the map.

Was the game fun? Why or why not?

  • It was really fun! I loved the interactions I was able to have with other players

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

  • I was the imposter in my very first time of playing the game, and asked out loud ‘What are ‘fake tasks’?’ and made everyone else aware that I am the imposter, as I wasn’t aware that fake tasks are only for imposters.

Things you would change to make the game better

  • I would add a tutorial section for first-time players to go through the rules with them. I was really lost as a first-time player and did not know what was going on at all until my friend explained the rules to me verbally.

About the author


Leave a Reply

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