Among Us: An imposter among video games


By Umar Samdani, Co-T/E Life Editor

In a matter of a 25 minute battle royale, graphics, consistency, and overarching plot became irrelevant to the quality of a game. All of a sudden, a game was judged by its emotional, not visual, impact. “Fortnite” was free, but the experiences — the seconds before a victory royale, the intake of oxygen upon hearing footsteps and the thrill of opening an abandoned chest — were priceless. And that is why such an underdeveloped, unbecoming game succeeded. 

Among Us” has taken the best qualities of “Fortnite” and amplified them to another level. InnerSloth, the developers behind the game, intentionally gave no background on the midget astronauts wandering in space. Before the game starts, each person is secretly assigned the role of imposter (the one trying to sabotage the ship and kill other players) or crewmate (the one trying to find the imposter). Players can explore the ship, complete tasks and hold emergency meetings to accuse one another. The game ends when the imposter is correctly identified or when all of the crewmates are killed. 

Unlike other games, “Among Us” requires a proficiency in articulation and thinking on the fly. If a crewmate is unable to accurately detail their whereabouts, they will likely be regarded as suspicious and possibly voted off. Likewise, an imposter needs to always have a proper alibi handy or their cover will be blown. This game gives a heavy advantage to those who are able to concisely express their thoughts. For this reason, it appeals to people who are less familiar with video games. 

Players who are not as good at impromptu thinking can focus their energies on the detective aspect of the game. “Among Us” brought out my inner-sleuth, requiring me to focus and look for fallacies in others’ alibis. A crewmate needs to find the perfect balance between acting fast when having suspicions and being careful enough to not accuse the wrong person. Every new game takes on a new story, one written by the actions and words of the crewmates and imposters. 

The small but noticeable features of “Among Us” are what truly makes it one of the best games ever. The graphics are cartoonish, giving the overall platform a family-friendly vibe. The humorous animations seen when an imposter “kills” another player startle the player enough to invoke a jolt, but not to scare them away. Finally, the purchasable pets serve as fun accessories. While they do not help with gameplay, these pets can become fun companions as a player completes tasks.  

But perhaps the most unique and heartwarming aspects of the game is its ability to bring people together. In times of social distancing and quarantine, it becomes hard for people to find activities to do with their families. “Among Us” acts as the perfect board game: It’s easy to learn and enjoyable to play. A sense of camaraderie is established in the adventure that carries its weight outside of the virtual world. A quick search on YouTube can reveal how people of different genders, races and ages are coming together to play this game. For that 15-minute interval, we can forget about any worries, qualms or tension we have in the outside world. All that matters is one question: who is the imposter?

Umar Samdani can be reached at [email protected]