Released on June 15, 2020, the game Among Us has recently experienced a huge surge in popularity. The basis of the game is that up to ten players launch onto one of three maps: The Skeld, MiraHQ, or Polus. Players are then given the role of either impostor or crewmate. The game, depending on the individual server’s settings, allows from one to three impostors, whose main goal is to kill as many crewmates as possible without being detected. When the impostors kill enough crewmates so that there are an equal number of each, they win. Impostors also have the ability to use the vents in order to travel more quickly and to sabotage the ship by doing things such as turning off the lights. In order to fix sabotages, crewmates must go to certain locations in the map and do the task required in order to reverse the effects. The crewmates’ main goal is to vote out the impostors or finish all of their tasks before the impostors are able to win.
In the beginning of the game, crewmates are given a list of tasks to do all around the ship, such as the example shown to the right, and once every crewmate completes their list, the crewmates win the game. In order to call a meeting, which will lead to voting, a player must report a body or call an emergency meeting. Players can call attention to those who seem to be acting suspicious and where they were when the body was found, giving clues to the crewmates as to who the impostors are. The meetings are also an impostor’s chance to gain the others’ trust and to create an alibi. After discussion, the players have the option to either vote for a player, who will get sent off the ship if they have the highest number of votes, or to skip voting, which results in no one getting sent off the ship. When a player is sent off the ship, it will be revealed if they were the impostor or not, unless the server’s settings keep their identity a secret. Based on who voted for who, crewmates can also gather clues on who could be an impostor.
While the game is much more complicated than the brief summary above, it is fairly easy to figure out the gist of it. The psychology behind the game is what truly makes it both difficult and fun. Depending on the other players, who could either be your friends or complete strangers, different strategies must be used in order to avoid speculation. For example, in a server with strangers, it may be much easier to convince them that you’re innocent, even if you’re not. It’s not uncommon that crewmates will vote off one of their own simply because they were acting suspicious, even if they didn’t do anything, meaning that no one is immune from the harsh criticism from others and all must defend themselves from being voted off the ship.
My review of the game is that it is highly enjoyable and I would recommend it to everyone. The game is free on smartphones and costs $5 on desktop, which is a small price to pay for all the fun that comes with it. Personally, I have no preference for being either crewmate or impostor. As a crewmate, it is extremely satisfying to be correct about your suspicions and to gain the trust of others. However, it can also be very frustrating to get voted out when you’re innocent and watching the crewmates make mistakes that cost them their lives. On the other hand, being the impostor can be very gratifying, especially when you win, because you were able to successfully trick everyone else in the game. Everyone should give this game a try, as it can be entertaining for every person who plays and can test your skills in detecting lies and appearing innocent.