A sensation among us, a review
With the entirety of the world (bar Sweden) being stuck inside for the past seven months one can already assume that millions of sleep schedules have been ruined by staying up all night playing games. No game has ruined as many sleep schedules lately as the game known as "Among Us." "Among Us" is an online murder mystery game released on Android and Apple products for free on June 15 2018 and on PC for $4.99 a year afterward, developed and published by independent game developers Inner-Sloth Studios. Although this game was released over two years ago, over the course of August and September it has gone viral, attracting an active player base of nearly sixty million players daily, with that number only growing as time goes on. This review will go over the game’s core design, its pros and cons and future to determine whether or not this game is worth your time.
The gameplay of Among Us follows a simple formula. After joining a lobby four to ten players will be spawned into one of three maps and be given the rank of either crewmate or imposter in a style reminiscent to the game Mafia. The crewmates have two goals: to finish small tasks spread around the map, and vote off all of the imposters. This is done by calling meetings. Meetings can be called by pressing the emergency button or by reporting the dead bodies of their former crewmates. During meetings, all living players will meet up to discuss the limited information they know through the in-game texting system or by using a third party voice chat like phone calls or discord. At the end of the meeting the group will decide to either go back to doing tasks or to vote someone out of the game. When all the tasks are completed or when all the imposters are voted off, the crewmates win. The goal of the imposters however is to eliminate all the crewmates without getting caught by lying their way out of danger. When the amount of crewmates matches the amount of imposters, the imposters win.
Game balance is a major pro of this game. The creator of the lobby has the ability to choose how many tasks crewmates have, how many imposters there are, how fast players can move around, what map to play on and more, allowing the game to stay fresh and unique with each round. The visuals of this game, while under-looked, are all hand-drawn, animated and aesthetically pleasing to say the least. Players can customize their jellybean-like avatar by choosing what color they want to use and which hats and clothes they want to equip, alongside other subtle nuances like death animations that are as silly as they are scary, make the game feel alive.
Another massive pro of this game is its accessibility. The incredibly easy to play platform means you could play on your phone while your friends are on the computer. It is also free on Apple and Android devices (with minimal ads) and only $4.99 on PC with no ads. During these times of self-isolation, interactions and having fun times with friends have been incredibly hard to come by. However this game somehow manages to bypass the limitations of quarantine and allow friend groups of all types to get together and yell at each other, and that is what friendship is really all about.
The absolute biggest pro of this game though is the voice chat with friends. Hearing your friends falsely accuse one another of being an imposter to launching an innocent bystander out an airlock is the levity that has been missing in life ever since quarantine began.
There are very few true faults of this game, such as game balance being an issue with less than ten players and the in-game chatting system can be limited, but these issues can be remedied. The most problematic and apparent fault that cannot be avoided however is the overloaded servers of the game. Only three people made this game, and only one of these developers manages the servers, which were designed for about one million concurrent players at most. As previously mentioned the game has now over sixty million concurrent players at a time, meaning server errors are abundant throughout the day.
However it is important to note the developers have been trying to improve server stability reworking the code as well as add new content like friend lists, colorblind settings and a new map.
"Among Us" is one of the few games where the heart and passion of the developers can be seen in every facet of the game alongside being a delightfully engaging and fresh game that has helped me and sixty million others survive this quarantine and stay connected with friends. This game has brought me all sorts of hilarious moments with my friends and I cannot wait to see what "Among Us" brings to the table in the near future.
I give "Among Us" a 4.9 out of 5. If you think it is not worth your time, you can vote me off but "I don't know man, red is looking kinda sus."