Indietail – Among Us

A while ago, I watched John Carpenter’s “The Thing” with a few people on Discord and enjoyed it quite a lot. The actors are doing an incredible job at conveying this feeling of anxiety and distrust they have… I mean, there is a thing that is possessing bodies, acting like them, and killing people there… But then I noticed that it’s really similar to a game I wanted to review: Among Us. Obviously, the similarities are there as Among Us even features a map inspired by the movie, Polis!

Alas, today we’re taking a look at Among Us by Innersloth, the popular party game of teamwork and betrayal.

Developer: Innersloth
Publisher: Innersloth
Genre: Space, Trustlike, Social Deduction, Social Deception, Multiplayer
Release Date: November 16th, 2018
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC, iOs, Android
Copy was purchased.

Among Us’ premise is simple. There are four to ten people on one of the three maps with one to two Imposters among them (roll credits!). The crewmates’ job is to finish the tasks to ensure victory. Meanwhile, the Imposters have to try and deceive everyone into thinking that they’re crewmates while also killing off people. To do so, they can kill people, vent into places, lock doors, and sabotage.

“Oh, hi, Skully!”

The main portion of the game, however, is social deception. Just like with other social deception games or trust-likes, as someone called them, you try to gaslight, manipulate, and deceive people. You want people to trust you so that you don’t get voted out. When a body is found, people will report it. The people near the body or whoever’s not accounted for is obviously the Imposter. Once a meeting is called on emergencies or when a body was found, everyone has time to discuss the matter, clarify where everyone was, deceive, or do whatever to prove that you’re innocent. Just like in other games, the crewmates then decide to vote someone out while hoping that that person is indeed the Imposter.

Unless you play with the proximity chat mod, you’re not allowed to speak during the actual rounds. When you die, you stay quiet. Meanwhile, you can only talk during the meetings. The Proximity Chat Mod allows you to talk to nearby people, which can be quite fun. There are also other additions to the game that can help you discover a playstyle you and your friends like.

All of this may sound complicated but you get the hang of it once you play a round or two. Be it at small gatherings, with friends or online with random people, you’ll be able to play it without much trouble.

Close enough to not be sus.

The more complicated bits are tactics like marinating* people (*marinating means that you’re “sticking around to give them a sense of comfort and trust when near you”) or the faking of tasks. While it is fun for the first few times that you play the game, it can be also rather taxing as you lie and deceive your friends only to backstab them in the end. At times you trick people into believing you while you gaslight others and accuse them, falsely, of being the Imposter even though you did it.

So, do I like a game like that? Not really. I don’t feel too good about it, so I can’t really play too many rounds at a time and I get tired of it quite fast and leave early most of the time. For a game that is available for free on the mobile versions (both Android and iOs), you can get a lot of entertainment out of it. The low cost of four bucks on Steam also helps with having access to it and inviting friends to play it with you. I easily got thirty hours of entertainment out of it, which is absolutely worth it, although that was partly due to alternate rulesets as well.

In Among Us, you’re able to customize the game’s rules to fit your needs as well. Want to make the game more challenging? Turn off confirmed ejects and visible tasks. Want to make the games shorter? Lower the tasks and the kill cooldown. Want to play Hide n Seek? Change the Vision settings for crewmates and imposters to fit that playstyle. In the end, it allows you to have a pleasant experience no matter who you are, as long as you have the right people.

Just the routine check up in the medbay I guess.

The online portion of the game sucks, however. Lobbies are either toxic with people having “bad words” in their names and these randoms just randomly voting you out. The absence of voice chat makes it hard for you to defend yourself, especially since the majority of these random peoples in public lobbies seem to be unable to write full sentences if at all. It’s hard to have fun in public lobbies, in my opinion, frankly because the game got so popular that a lot of kids ended up getting into it. Alas, I’d recommend private games.

Even with private lobbies, however, the game’s popularity is harming the game more than it helps. I’m sure the developers are aware of this but at times it can be rather hard to get into games, even when they’re private, as there are times when the server is just full with too many people logging into the game.

Apart from that, I would love it if you were able to change the number of Imposters as well as the map in the lobby-settings. If you want to change the map, you’ll have to quit and enter a new lobby. If you take too long to decide, everyone gets kicked. With a lot of settings being in the lobby, I don’t get why the map, the number of crewmates and the number of Imposters are only accessible in the pre-lobby-settings.

But at the end of the day, I end up excusing those small issues as it is a rather cheap game that can be played with people anywhere and everywhere.

Purple just claimed that white killed someone in this public lobby I joined. Everyone voted white. White wasn’t it. I called an emergency and voted purple. We won. I got banned from that lobby because I’m making sense. Fun.

Lately, I’ve enjoyed the Hide n Seek ruleset where Imposters see nothing while Crewmates see everything. At the beginning of the round, the Imposter announces that they’re “it” and they’ll count down to zero. The Imposter has to “find” people (aka kill them) while the Crewmates try to avoid the Imposter at all cost while finishing their tasks. Another ruleset that I really liked is “Chaos” where you’re allowed to talk whenever and where you can’t talk at all during the meetings. Vote time is decreased to 15 seconds with no discussion time. You have to vote people or else you’ll get voted off next. Once the meeting is over, everyone tries to finish their tasks while keeping quiet about previous rounds. As the name suggests, that’s really chaotic, especially as anyone that reports the body sounds suspicious when they can’t defend themselves.

In the end, it’s a fun game with an adorable art style, gruesome kill animations, an okay soundtrack but a lot of value for the little money you spent, if at all. Due to crossplay, you can enjoy the game with your friends on Steam, iOs, and Android without any issues, allowing a lot of people to join in. In the same manner, you can try and alter all of the rules, resulting in a pleasant experience that can be customised to fit your needs. Hence, the recommendation.

Although, I’d say that you should leave the game be a game. If you end up taking the gaslighting and everything into the Real Life, you may end up destroying friendships. Oh well,…

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

EXP Share Prompt #2 – Stories of the past

So, just earlier today I read GamingOmnivore’s post on Sharing a pastime where GO shares three stories from different stages in their life that coined their gaming experience. Alas, I wanted to do the same as I really like the prompt. DanamesX from Tales From The Backlog actually prompted this in an event they organised called Exp Share. Alas, check out their post(s) for this prompt as well, if you haven’t yet. They also linked to other bloggers that took part in the prompt(s).

I wanted to this in a similar way of GO and share different anecdotes on it.


Alas, the prompt is:

Share a story where you shared the gift of gaming OR someone shared it with you

No. 1:

When I was two or three years old, my father brought me to a store and saw that I took quite the interest in the N64 that was being sold their. According to my father, my eyes were sparkling, so he bought it for about 350 DMark which would translate to 175€ nowadays, I guess. Back then I was still an only child and when my friends at the time didn’t have time to play with me, I’d end up playing Super Mario 64, Pokémon Puzzle League or Mario Party on the N64. Memories are somewhat blurry but I mostly played Pokémon and SM64 back then. Puzzle League was my first encounter of puzzle-games of any kind, especially as this one was a competitive one, which was fairly interesting, especially due to the challenge of it. Super Mario 64, on the other hand, was probably my first-ever encounter with 3D games and platforming. I loved jumping around in that world and exploring different areas. I loved the area where you become smaller and bigger and where the world changes in prospect. Another area I loved was the sandy area with the hidden pyramid secret as well as the flooded city. Two areas that I absolutely hated where the under-water level encountered on the far right of the first hallway and the Ghost area. The Ghost area featured a piano that would move and attack you, which was terrifying for little me (and honestly still is)… Meanwhile, the under-water-level featured a giant eel that would come out of a wall and it would terrify me so much that I wouldn’t want to go swimming out of fear that something like that pops up. That could also be the reason why I only learned to swim when I was much, much older… A friend of mine also had an N64 so we’d often exchange cartridges so that we could play each other’s games. I didn’t like Banjo Kazooie at all but I loved Ocarina of Time. I did play Pokémon Colosseum at a neighbour’s place much much later… and I loved it.

No. 2:

In 2008, we got our first-ever PC. It enabled us to talk to our grandparents from afar without the abysmal telephone bills and we were able to see them as well via MSN. It was incredible! I never knew that the internet existed before that. On our PC, we used to play some flash games every now and then… but I think I had the most fun with Sonic Adventure DX Director’s Cut, a game where you experience the same story through the eyes of different characters in the Sonic universe. Each character had different abilities. Tails would be able to fly and would brag how he saved the day while Sonic would zoom around and while Knuckles would do his own thing, trying to find Chaos Emerald Shards. Meanwhile, Amy is chasing after Sonic and being hunted by some sort of robot and Big The Cat is trying to fish for Froggy, his friend, who ran away at one point. There was a fishing game mode, different races, and different stories, on top of having the Chao Garden where you take care of little creatures and sent them to races and stuff. Another game we received from a friend of my father was Beyond Good And Evil, which is probably the first-ever game that I did a 100% playthrough of. The Plot Twist in that game was amazing, at the time, although it probably isn’t nowadays when I think about other games with great stories. The combat was cool and I really enjoyed it. I also owned Oblivion and some Tomb Raider game as well as other titles (all gifts from that friend of my father who got them through some subscription for a PC magazine and who didn’t need the games as he was only interested in the software) but I failed to get into any of those… Especially due to big fucking spiders in Oblivion…

No. 3:

When I got my first-ever laptop, I was finally able to play online games like League of Legends and play with friends of mine. While the former two stories were about Single-Player games (mostly), this story is about my first encounter of other people on the internet. I remember playing League of Legends for the first time about ten or eleven years ago and really loving the game, especially as friends of mine were playing it. Through the game, I got to know many great friends… and this one guy that I cut off ties with recently… I got to play with IRL-friends and make Online-friends from all over the world. I even was able to enjoy the competitive nature of games, although I didn’t understand anything that people would say in those games (they probably were flaming me). Back in the day, when the Blood Thirster would give you stacking AD and when you could play anything anywhere, I would only play Ashe and basically just split push and win. Later, I met a proper Ashe one-trick who explained that Shiv is a great item on Ashe. Eventually, I started playing Riven when she came out and was actually really good at her… until I discovered my love for the Support role and my love for Taric who was actually really good but who people thought of as “gay”, which apparently was a bad thing. I kind of liked the idea of playing that character, getting focused by others and still surviving as I was a tank, healing allies and stunning enemies. I maybe also liked the sparkly things about the champ as I discovered some “tendencies” that I had IRL that I obviously couldn’t show to anyone, because – again – in that time it wasn’t as bad as before but I would have been beaten up for it for sure by my class mates who already were bullying me… not to mention my family to this day isn’t allowed to find out about any of this… but online that was a different thing. Eventually, I got into my first-ever MMOs, mainly Warframe and Swordsman Online. Later, I’d play Indie titles like Isaac and Don’t Starve on Steam, which was great. And by the time that I stopped playing stuff like Team Fortress 2, I’d end up playing so many other titles, claiming free games wherever possible, resulting in me already amassing somewhat of a backlog… which was the beginning of me contemplating what to play next and so on.

No. 4:

A year ago, I joined Twitch for the very first time. I apparently created an account ages ago but never used it… Then I ended up watching streams a year ago, not too long after creating this blog, and I think I even wrote a few posts on streamers that I’m recommending like Jimb0, XilentFlex, Aeyvi, and others. Jimb0 sadly doesn’t stream anymore and timezones make it hard for me to keep up with Aeyvi’s streams but XilentFlex is actually still a big inspiration of mine to start streaming, myself, and alas, I still tune into his streams whenever I can. Through Twitch I got to make a lot of friends and found joy in watching others play a game that I personally love… for the first time. Playing a game like Outer Wilds for the first time is a great experience. You get to see so many things and you explore and make discoveries yourself and you just end up really enjoying it… but once you had that first playthrough, you essentially can still play the game but you won’t have that first-ever “Aha!” moment. It won’t be the same anymore. Meanwhile, on Twitch, I’m able to see people play games like Outer Wilds or other titles that I love for the first time. I’m able to actually see their first-ever steps into resolving that mystery and solving puzzles and so on. It’s lovely! At the same time, I got to make many great friends on Twitch while also building my own audience as well in my streams. And I love that!

No. 5:

This story will be the last story for this post as it’s already really long. It’s not about me really but rather about Ms Magi who I love and adore but who doesn’t really play any games. Ms Magi’s experience with gaming is limited to The Sims 4, some Daedalic Entertainment games (Deponia, Edna, Harvey’s, etc.), and (as of late) Among Us! As video games are a big part of my life, I guess, I wanted to introduce her into the medium, so I showed her a couple of games once, like Untitled Goose Game, Portal, Stardew Valley, and Slime Rancher. All of them are great games that are fairly beginner-friendly… She loved Untitled Goose Game as well as the latter two but as for Portal, she’d constantly get lost as she wasn’t used to the camera movement or the logic behind what the game wants her to figure out and how everything ties in together. Ms Magi is super smart but I guess to be able to play a game like Portal, you still need experience with puzzle games in general and the camera movement of 3D games. It was tricky for her but she liked the humour a lot and the concept of it. Ms Magi likes watching me play games and hearing me speak English, so she sometimes wants to see clips of my stream or watch a vod together, which I kind of find “eh” since I get embarrassed by my accent. I’m kind of always searching for games to play together and I may actually buy a second gamepad eventually so that we could play some titles in local-co-op eventually. I still need to find a solution for the audio as my PC doesn’t have speakers and as the Aux-input doesn’t work for whatever reason. At the same time, I only have one pair of headphones and the cable stuff is kind of making stuff hard to deal with. I’d love to share this part of my life with her more often and enjoy stuff together. We did play Bake n Switch together and she liked it… so I’m looking forward to showing her other stuff. Watching a stream on Twitch together has also been fairly enjoyable for her, especially as KingArgaroth is just a lovely bean. 

Thus, this last story is basically about me introducing other people into gaming… which can be trickier at times.


I hope you enjoyed this post. Check out GO’s post on it and DanamesX’ post on it if you haven’t already. 

And I hope you have a great time. Have a nice start into the new year!

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.