Among Us is social deduction game released in June 2018 for PC and mobile, developed by InnerSloth, which has recently taken a gigantic escalation in popularity since the beginning of September. It is a game about betrayal, lies, and deceit, as you and your friends try to find the impostor among us.
The game itself is pretty simple: a group of four to ten players work together to rat out the one-to-three alien impostors within their inner circle. The impostor/impostors must pretend to perform short, minigame-like tasks assigned to the crewmates whilst killing off each and every human crewmate, as well as triggering sabotages which can win the game for them. The crewmates, on the other hand, must complete tasks around the map while trying to find out who the impostors are and eject them, as well as stopping sabotages when they occur.
When a crewmate is killed, their body can be discovered by any other player, which will then allow players to discuss and vote on players to eject them. The impostors win by killing enough crewmates to the point where the number of impostors is equal or higher than the number of remaining crewmates. The crewmates win by either completing all of their assigned tasks or ejecting every impostor and fortunately for them, any crewmate that is killed or ejected can still perform tasks as a ghost, though they cannot speak during discussions or assist in stopping sabotages.
Impostors can perform sabotages including closing doors around the map, disabling the lights, causing a reactor meltdown, causing an oxygen leak, or shutting down communications. Important to note if the meltdown or leak sabotage is not stopped, the impostors will win regardless of how crewmates many are still alive. Only one type of sabotage can be active at a single time and any type of sabotage (except for doors) will prevent the emergency meeting button from being pressed which can turn the tide of the game for the impostors if one or more of them are about to be ejected by a crewmate heading towards the button.
With the core mechanics out of the way, it is time to mention the most important part of the game: discussions. A discussion can occur between players when either a crewmate’s body is reported or someone presses the emergency meeting button. In these discussions, players are given a predetermined amount of time to discuss who they think is the impostor and vote them off, or skip the vote if they don’t have enough evidence. These interactions mean life or death for both crewmates and impostors, since one wrong move in your speech about what you were doing prior to the discussion can lead to you being accused and doubtlessly ejected.
The game is really fun, with different play styles for the two roles; including taking observations or speeding through each task as a crewmate and killing at every opportunity or being patient with kills as an impostor. The astronaut designs are very simple and there are cosmetics such as hats, suits, and pets to add some nice flair to the very simple characters. The game is also very cheap, priced at $7.50 on Steam, or for free on iOS and Android at the cost of ads and lack of suits. If you’re into social deduction murder mystery games like Mafia, for example, you’ll likely enjoy this one. If I were to change anything about the game I would make impostors actually able to perform tasks but have it not progress the task bar. This way impostors can’t be caught spending too much or too little time at tasks. It also makes impostor long tasks able to progress instead of always being on stage one.
One final note is that when hosting a game, it can be made private or public. If a game is private, it can only be joined via a randomised code or game invite sent by the host through, for example, Steam or Discord. If a game is public, it can be joined by random players without the need for code or invite, though both can still be used.
By Kane Kennedy