A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Promotes teamwork, working toward a goal, helping others under challenging circumstances. On the other hand, if you're the imposter, your goals are sowing chaos, killing other players, and accusing opponents.
Positive Role Models
No character development within the game, because there's no plot, and part of the gameplay revolves around accusing players of being murderers.
Ease of Play
Controls are simple to learn, whether you're a crew member or an imposter. The challenge comes in learning the mini-games for tasks, or the timing required to pull off murders. Crashes and server issues can interrupt sessions on a regular basis.
Violence & Scariness
The task of imposters is to murder or sabotage equipment to kill crew members, often in violent ways, such as stabbing or snapping characters' necks. Ghosts of killed players are shown. Actions are gory, and bodies are left behind, but no blood is shown, and cartoonish nature of game limits impact of violence.
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While no dialogue exists within the game, play is not moderated, which could expose players to inappropriate comments in chat or as names for their character.
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Products & Purchases
Various add-ons are sold in packs to provide cosmetic items and even pets that tag along. It also has been released on iOS and Android devices.
Parents Need to Know
Players need to know that Among Us is a downloadable action/strategy game for Windows PCs. The game has also been released on iOS and Android devices. Players take on the role either of crewmates trying to accomplish tasks or of imposters trying to sabotage these missions and murder the crew. Imposters can kill players in somewhat gory ways, and bodies are left behind, but there's no blood and the cartoonish visuals limit the impact of the deaths. While there's no dialogue, play is unmoderated, especially when using external chat programs or discussing who may have killed other players. Gamers can also select offensive phrases as their character name, so players should be warned that they could encounter racist, sexist, or homophobic language. Players can choose to purchase cosmetic items and pets that tag along, but these give no advantages within play sessions.
Is It Any Good?
Deception, deduction, confusion, and humor go hand in hand with this party game set in space, where the person next to you could be key to your survival -- or willing to stab you in the back. There's no plot in Among Us, other than trying to complete your tasks and uncover the impostors hidden in the crew, who are more than willing to sabotage your equipment and murder everyone to accomplish their goals. It's the drama that springs from trying to deduce who the killers are that's captivating. Did you see someone murder another crew member? Why is that person hanging out in that room? Was it to accomplish a task, or were they pretending to while sabotaging something? These questions and more will pop up as you run through the halls, until someone calls an emergency meeting to accuse someone of acting "sus" (game lingo for "suspicious") or because they've found a body. At that point, everyone can chat to explain where they were and who they think did it. If you have an alibi (or are a better liar who can divert attention from yourself), you may stick around for the next round; if not, you'll get ejected into space or tossed into lava. The bartering and excuses that people come up with during these meetings are not only an incredible glimpse into the minds of fellow players, but also where the action shines: watching alliances suddenly form and fracture as people accuse others and defend their actions. And the game excels with a full complement of 10 players and multiple imposters, because it calls into question everything you think you know about people, especially if the character you swore was guilty turns out to be innocent.
Visually, the gameplay is cartoonish, which is nice when you consider how ghoulish the actions are that you or your fellow players can commit: blowing up a reactor or eliminating oxygen are just some of the ways you can kill players, apart from directly getting your hands dirty. But aside from the limited gore, the game is easy to learn how to play within minutes, and depending on who you're playing with, matches are quick affairs, running 10 minutes or less. Some of the mini-games to complete tasks range from simple to difficult, which is good because it raises suspicion depending on how long it takes to complete. The downside, though, is that once you finish all of the tasks for a stage, no new ones are issued, apart from stopping sabotages, which makes the action devolve into either a waiting game for the next murder or a bunch of rampant accusations out of boredom. The other issue: The game isn't always stable. Games crash frequently, matches that appear open are magically filled, and wins sometimes happen without players doing a thing. But these glitches aside, Among Us is a surprisingly fun, chaotic deduction game that keeps you coming back to find a murderer (or to commit mayhem) round after round.
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