If you’ve been on the internet for the past month, chances are you’ve heard of a game called “Among Us.”
The premise of the game is very simple: you are a part of a team of 10 on a ship that’s been broken down. As a crewmate, your job is to finish all your tasks and allow the ship to continue on its journey. However, there are one to three imposters on this ship whose job is to kill each crewmate until the crewmates are in even numbers to the imposters, or to sabotage the ship’s oxygen or reactors until the ship can no longer be stable, or until there is no oxygen on the ship. The crewmates have to try and figure out who the imposters are.
With such simple rules, it’s easy to see why it is so popular: it’s simple enough that children can understand it, it has enough skill involved for adults to be able to have fun with it, and it’s completely free on Mobile and only $5 on Steam —easily affordable for every type of player. The real question is: is the game any good? Of course, the game is successful, but is it an entertaining game and overall positive experience?
The game itself is very well made—it’s a tried and tested fact that murder mystery games are a fun way to try to play detective without there being the cost of real murder. Where the game does fall short, though, is in the outlet. It’s no secret that when playing an online game, there will be some of those who find it funny to hack and cheat in order to get free wins every time. That would be okay if it were on rare occasion, but with practically every fifth lobby I’ve played in, someone admits that they’re talking to another player on the popular app Discord, and that player gives the identities of the killers. This ruins the game for both the imposters and the crewmates who wanted to be able to figure out the imposters for themselves.
There is also an issue I like to call “Not imposter? Not playing.” These types of players will join a lobby, and as soon as they see that they are in fact playing as crewmates, leave the lobby and join the next one, so they can have a better chance of getting the role of imposter. This undoubtedly ruins the experience. There have been instances where I’ve played a lobby for no greater than 10 seconds, and five people have left the game because they were not chosen to be imposters. This leads to an unsatisfying win for the imposters, and a game that lasts less than half a minute for the crewmates.
Next, is the issue with the “Among Us” servers: they were obviously not meant to sustain a peak of 3.8 million active players at the same time. This leads to the servers having strange crashes during peak game times from 2-5 p.m., which then leads to people being put off by the amount of times they get told that they disconnected from a server and thus are no longer playing the game.
There are hopes of improvements though. They recently came up with a color blind mode, that allows people to be able to do tasks that have to do with matching one color to another. There has also been an announcement that the servers are being updated, but their effectiveness will be unknown until a later date. The developers of the game have also announced that they are working on creating a fourth map and an “add a friend” system, which has been suggested since the beginnings of its popularity. I find that the best way to solve a lot of these problems yourself is to simply play along with 10 of your friends on Discord. It is obvious that the developers are passionate about trying to make this game better for everyone who plays.
“Among Us” is a fine game, but with lots of issues. Many of those issues come from the players themselves, but as long as there are public games, there will always be those willing to ruin the gaming experience for their own enjoyment. Do not refrain from getting this game, but be aware that there are a few downsides to the experience.