This old title has exploded in popularity in the last few weeks for some reason. Possibly its the replacement for social interaction we so desperately crave in these past lonely pandemic-ridden months… Or maybe its the mix of cute armless space-suit figures and horiffic death. And possibly its great meme potential.
Among Us is a title released in 2017 by indie developer Innersloth. It involves you either taking the role of a cutesy defenseless space-man on a space ship, or a devious imposter. The setup is a common one – The imposter(s) must stealthily try and kill all of the crewmates (the innocent players), and the crewmates must discover who the imposter is and promptly eject them from the ship through voting. Whilst many games have this basis, Among Us builds on this concept with tasks, and the limited use of speech.
The fact that you can’t talk or message other crewmembers during actual round-time takes it to another level, as you struggle to formulate plans or discuss who is the imposter in real-time. You are only allowed to discuss with others after a body has been found, or if someone presses an “Emergency meeting” button. It also helps to bring the game balance in the imposters favour, as you cant just yell “Its yellow I saw him vent” the second you see who the imposter is.
The crewmates have no way of defending themselves against the imposter other than voting to eject them off the ship, after the aformentioned discussions. I think this brings a wonderful twist onto the “traitor genre”. Apparently this is similar to an older game called “Town of Salem”, which I haven’t played but I am told is pretty much the same thing. I can see why that game used to be so popular if so.
The crewmates tasks, other than finding the imposter, are to complete a set list of spaceship chores. Once everyone has completed their tasks, the game is won by the crewmates. This creates a hint of urgency for the imposters, who can delay them by killing crewmates and sabotaging ship systems. The sabotage system is also noteworthy – it creates more choices for the imposter, as they can time these events (which the crewmates MUST react to or die) in order to split up the remaining crew members, or create other strategies.
By far the most interesting part of the game is the discussions with crewmates before the voting. This is why there are so many memes about this part – it is rife with indecision and traitorous behaviour. When you push the meeting button to call suspicion onto another player, you are just as likely to be voted out as them, usually for “behaving pretty sus”.
The only downside currently is the overloaded servers. Since the game has exploded in popularity in the last month, the servers are just constantly full, which leads to annoying waits trying to create or join a server with your freinds. As soon as they smooth the issue out with more servers, this game is going to be pretty smooth sailing. There is the occasional bug, but in this type of game it isnt massively annoying.
So is it worth the £4 on steam? I’d say so, and if you have any doubts, just download the android or iOS app for free, play a few rounds and decide for yourself. It is crossplay compatible, and exactly the same application. The only real benefit of having it on steam is you can use WASD keys and have a bigger screen. You also help out the developers, who have cancelled Among Us 2 in order to just bring the features to the current game.