Gamer on a Budget #15 – Among Us

Reviewed by William LJ Galaini

Among Us
Developer: Innersloth
Price: $4.99 on PC and free for phones
Where: Steam, Innersloth’s website, GooglePlay, and Apple Store
Platform: PC, ios, Android

So, I’m finished reconnecting wires in a little minigame. Crossing off the task I turn around and tromp towards a lab to complete the next objective on my list.

But Jorp is there. Does he have a task in this room, too? Why is he- WHAT? I’m dead? He broke my neck like Solid Snake in Metal Gear. So now I’m a little ghost, unseen by all, as Contortois finds and reports my body. When the emergency meeting is called, I have to listen to Jorp act all innocent and deflect the blame back onto Contortois. “Nah, I was in the northeast part of the map. The airlocks.”

Among Us is a quirky game built from the ground up with only a singular overall objective: ferret out the enemy through deduction and argument. And if you ARE the incognito enemy, distort and twist the group deduction and argument to your advantage.

Think The Thing but with more shenanigans and fewer dogs. There’s even a level that’s an arctic base.

The quiet before the storm…

When the game begins, one or two people are assigned the roll of impostor randomly. This grants you the ability to kill others and use secret passageways to slip around the base to avoid suspicion. Wisely, if there are two or more impostors, they know who each other are and can work together to disable the air, shut off the lights, and isolate each other’s victims. But being the imposter requires finesse, timing, and masterful bluffing. I’m uh…. awful at it.

Anyone can be the impostor!

The aesthetic of the game is playful with simple animations, charming character sprites, and low resolution graphics so you can pretty much run this on anything better than a pregnancy test. Most of the minigames make perfect sense at first glance, but a few will trip you up trying to figure out the specifics of your task. The more time you spend doing tasks, the more vulnerable you feel adding a sense of tension to your work that is priceless. Is someone behind me? I’m connecting these wires and can’t look around. It genuinely reminds me of System Shock 2.

But the real action kicks in when someone finds a body and reports it. Everyone is teleported to an emergency meeting in the mess hall and they plea their case. “Where was the body? Who reported it? Was anyone near it? Oh, not me. I was in electrical. But BGUS DKUS is being quiet… wait, McSkippy was with him? Why are you covering for him McSkippy?”

It’s BRILLIANT. Among Us is not only rare in that it lives up to the hype, it is a perfect game from a design standpoint in that it facilitates the fun for the players without leading anyone by the nose.

The finger pointing, denials, and accusations are where this game shines!

Why you would buy it:
You enjoy mind games and playful manipulation
Dirt cheap and/or free

Why you would pass on it:
Seriously burdened servers
You’re an awful liar
The random players can be awful

Recommended for:
Everyone, even their mother. The hilarity and tension is genuine.

William LJ Galaini
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