Review: Among Us Imposes Fleeting Enjoyment

Among Us fails to prolong a sense of satisfaction in its gameplay, but its simple design manages to stand out as a clever endeavor into a commonplace party game

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Sristi Palimar

Among Us keeps students gripped to their devices, immersed in a “whodunit” style videogame that takes place in outer space.

With an immeasurable success of brazen popularity through streamers and social media, Innersloth’s instantly classic Among Us, which released in 2018, offers a fun twist on the Mafia game concept. Although, the repetition of the gameplay and a distasteful online community bog down its overall longevity.

In Among Us, players are varying colored astronauts who are taken up into a space station, airship or base split into two roles: an imposter which seeks to murder all other players without getting caught and crewmates that attempt to sus out the imposters.

While a simplistic concept, Among Us varies its gameplay through small design choices, the most notable being tasks. There are various tasks to attend to around each map, existing as momentarily fun microgames, such as connecting the correct wires to one another, shooting incoming asteroids or downloading and transporting data.

This inserts players in a more complex role, as crewmates now have duties to fulfill in keeping the base running, while the imposter attempts to lie in order to successfully kill other players. If there is any suspicious behavior or the imposter manages to murder another player, players can call a meeting to discuss who they believe is the imposter.

Unfortunately, these text-based conversations are based on irrationality rather than merit, as players suspect seemingly random choices for the imposter. Players can either vote to send someone out of the space station to death, or skip the vote. If a person is voted out of the ship, they die and are revealed as either an imposter or crewmate.

Either way the cake is sliced, matches create enjoyable scenarios if only for a few playthroughs. That is until the repetition of the superficial gameplay settles in.

Although Among Us retains the fun factor for spaced out game sessions, playing the game in relatively consecutive intervals reveals the lack of varied content. Each game runs through the identical motions, and it is frustrating to see the same errors in player judgement in randomly voting on who the murderer is or the same, gimmicky minigames.

Further into repetition, there are several maps in the game, each of which offers different locations, layouts and mechanics, but the Skeld Map shows up disproportionately more than the other three. Combined with the lack of music in the game and Among Us rests as an increasingly stale experience.

Creating local matches with friends offers fun gafs, but in an uncertain world, finding eight to 10 friends to play with is difficult and any less loses the totality of the game’s design.

On the other hand, during online play with random individuals, not every server is subjugated to appropriate socialization. Players may join a game to find everything lollipops and rainbows, whereas many other servers are desecrated with vulgar language or inappropriate player names.

While this is the risk with many online games and the entire internet, there is still no guarantee that Among Us will provide users with an enjoyable experience due to the vulgar comments made by other players.

There are additionally in-app purchase options for cosmetics, though nothing too special. They are available merely for users who want to add a few more items to their appearance, unlike GACHA games, which are games that encourage gambling real world money in order to gain a chance of winning random, useful items.

Fortunately in Among Us, there is no potential over-spending on in-app purchases compared to other apps such as Mario Kart Tour.

Ultimately, Among Us is free on Android and IOS devices, so there is no harm in checking the game out. The game is also available for a $4.99 purchase on Steam, Nintendo Switch and an upcoming Xbox release.

A few matches every few days maximizes the potential elation the game offers. Adding in some cute character accessories, and Among Us can be a minuscule distraction from the stress of the everyday world.