A great setting and lots of interaction with other players helps this party game stand out from other social deduction games, but you've got to figure out how to play it first. First Class Trouble has a very thin plot to explain what's happening. A rogue AI is draining the players' spaceship of oxygen and needs to be stopped, but this is more set dressing than a real story. Each round sees four players chosen as Residents, who try to reach the center of the space ship to shut down the Articial Intelligence named CAIN, while two other players are designated as Personoids, who try to blend in and sabotage the residents' efforts. The Resident's have two goals: they need to acquire three key cards from each level and make it to CAIN while keeping the oxygen levels high enough to make it to the end without dying, and they need to figure out who among them are Personoids. The Personoids have a more tricky role to play, as they need to either kill all of the Residents, or successfully make it to CAIN having convinced the rest of players that they are a resident. This is a fairly common setup for a social deduction game, but First Class Trouble introduces several mechanics to add wrinkles to the gameplay. The Personoids have very few ways of directly killing players, and have to be creative to elimate Residents. They can spread fires to block exits, attack with single-use syringes, trap people in freezers and push people into pools to directly remove other players, or try to do tasks poorly to slow down play long enough for the Residents to run out of oxygen. For their part, Residents can find log books that give clues on who among the other players may be a Personoid. Thanks to these added complications, rounds can play out a variety of ways, especially if everyone playing is fully aware of the mechanics and is taking advantage of the system quirks
Visually the game is fairly basic, but the art style and high-class cruise ship theme of the spaceship go a long way for building a unique identity. The lack of photorealism also helps diminish the brutality of the kills carried out by the Personoids, making them seem purposefully goofy and cartoonish. No individual action is particularly challenging, but there's a lot of information to keep in mind, and aside from some helpful tooltips, the game doesn't do a great job of teaching you how to play. This means there's a bit of a learning curve as you stumble around trying to figure out how things work and look extremely suspicious in the process. Voice chat becomes necessary to make out everything that happens, which puts your experience in the hands of other players. A good group can have plenty of humorous moments and tense rounds, and an unpleasant group will lead to boredom and frustration very quickly. But when everything lines up well, First Class Trouble is an engaging and silly party game that's worth giving a shot.