The first time I came across a game like Among Us was at a pub. A friend took me to a board game night, and we played a game where we had to sit in a circle, and the dealer dished out a bunch of cards. We had to each look at our card and keep it a secret. Somewhere in the circle was an killer, maybe two, and the rest of us were villagers. We all then had to shut our eyes, and the game master told the killers to open their eyes and put their thumbs up so the killers knew who eachother were. Once that was done, we all opened our eyes and began asking quesitons to one another, to try and work out who the killer was. This is basically Among Us. A game of deceit, tretchery and backstabbing, to work towards a common goal. The imposters have to kill everyone else.
But there’s a twist. While the imposters are sneakily maneuvering around the map, figuring out the best angles, the crewmates have to complete tasks, albeit pretty simple ones. If the crewmates complete the entire task list before the imposters kill everyone, then the crewmates win. However, don’t stray too far away from the crowd. Every one is a suspect, and it gets real tense if you’re alone in a room with another player.
If I told you Among Us isn’t new, and it was actually created years ago, would you believe me? It’s only because it was picked up by various Twitch streamers in such quick succession that it’s become the powerhouse it is today, which is absolutely amazing. This is down to the fact that Among Us has such a simple learning curve, that almost anyone can just pick up and play with no real training. It’s also one for the streamers, as heated conversations are just an entertaining to watch, as it is to take part.
The game works best if everyone is on a party chat system like Discord, and there needs to be an element of roleplay to adhere to. While the round is happening, everyone is silent. The only time you can talk is during team meetings, which are either triggered by someone reporting a dead body, or someone calling a meeting from the central point of each level. Here you have a minute to discuss who you think the imposter might be. But, of course, it’s the imposter’s job not to get caught, so there’s an element of tactic and quick thinking needing to be done to divert attention towards other players. Oh, and if you’re unlucky enough to get killed by an imposter, stay silent for the rest of the game, otherwise you can ruin a game pretty quickly if you begin talking again.
During eah round the imposters can also fake completing tasks, and the game’s host can make this even harder on the server by turning off task animations, or increasing the number of tasks needed to be completed before the crewmates are wiped out, or further yet, turn off the green progress bar at the top that tells the crewmates how long they’ve got to go until they win. This is what causes the best gameplay. Not knowing if it is am imposter faking a task or a crewmate working towards the common goal is extremely tense, and it puts your trust to the test. Do you trust your friends not to kll you so you can get on with your jobs list? Or do you wait for them to run off? But be aware, there’s only so much vision a player can have, which is indicated by fog of war. If you’re standing in a doorway, you can only see a certain amount of area inside of the room. You have to go into the room to see it all.
There are also a network of tunnels that an imposter can escape down and move around the map. If the imposter makes a kill in a particularly hairy area, then a quick skoot down a tunnel, only to reappear across the other side of the map is a great tactic. Be warned though, make sure you check the security feeds. If someone is on the camera, and can see various points of the ship, it makes the imposter’s life harder.
Among Us only costs £2.99 on Steam, which is well worth the price if you can rope in some friends to play with. If you’re relying on the chat box when playing with randos online, it loses its charm, but if you’ve got 10 friends all in Discord, yelling at eachother about who the imposter is, then £2.99 for some truly golden moments is so worth it. I once reported my own kill because I thought a crewmate was getting close, and my kill timer was on cooldown, and I tried to pin the blame on the arriving crewmate for making a kill. It backfired of course, but it was well worth the debate that came prior to me being shoved into a pit of lava. Or maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it’s the fact these jellybean like characters you play are similar to those in Fall Guys, the last big game to smash the gaming world. Maybe it’s characters like these that just attract us to games.