Among Us is an indie, party-style game of Whodunnit created by Innersloth. It’s not exactly new though – it released back in 2018 but has recently become extremely popular on Twitch. It’s a game of teamwork and betrayal where 4-10 players act as either a crewmate on a ship in space or an impostor posing as one. Playing in online or local WiFi mode, your goal as a crewmate is to either sniff out the impostor or complete all of your tasks in order to fix the ship while the impostor sabotages your efforts and quite literally tries to get away with murder. Or you can just play as the impostor and try to kill everyone and destroy everything – that’s more fun…I mean that’s fine too. As you can probably tell, this isn’t a game for very young children due to its kill animations (ages 10 and up), though the fun graphics may say otherwise.
Each time someone is murdered by an impostor, any crewmate has the ability to call an emergency meeting where everyone votes for who they think did it. When voting wraps up, the crewmate who received the most votes gets ejected through the airlock and out into space – whether or not they were were the perpetrator. If someone sees the impostor kill another crewmate, they can rat them out during the meeting with text, but those who were murdered become ghosts, and well, ghosts can’t talk, so they can’t give up their killer. The entire thing is built on such an airtight premise that it’s as fun and well thought out as something like Clue, in my opinion. You can work the system, but we’ll talk more about that later.
The game has an incredible amount of depth for something you’ll probably be playing on your phone or Chromebook through the Google Play Store. It uses a sort of shadow field of view mechanic that only allows you as a player to see what your character would see, thus keeping things fair. Players can sneak through vents to get in and out of rooms, watch each other through security cameras, and much more to get the drop on their victims or to complete tasks undetected.
It all sounds like quite a bit to take in, especially considering that the best way to play is against real people. The developers have included a free play mode which allows you to practice without too many consequences. You can set your own tasks and carry them out to discover new ways to spot the impostor. If you do choose to go in for some multiplayer fun, you can create a private room and only give the room code to your friends or you can join a public room to play with strangers. When you create a room, you can set rules for the game session like adding a faster walking speed or more than one impostor to keep things interesting.
If you play this game long enough, you may even be able to tell who the impostor is just by watching their actions! Just to give you an idea of how much people love Among Us, there are tips and tricks videos like the two found below which have amassed over 12 million views on Youtube. If you don’t want the game spoiled for yourself and want to learn its nuances on your own, I would suggest avoiding them, but you can get a better sense of the depth and complexity I mentioned earlier just by listening to this guy talk about all of the things you can do in-game.
While Among Us does feature a virtual joystick and action button by default, I would suggest swapping this to touch controls in the settings. This makes it much easier to play on your Chromebook. If you’ve been sleeping on this game until now, I would encourage you to pick it up and try your hand at it – It is free, after all, and I think you’ll be taken by surprise!