top of page

Among Us




Summary


Among Us is an online multiplayer game that requires social deduction to find the mystery imposter (or imposters!) in each game. The game encourages interaction and strategic thinking among players to come together and figure out who the imposter is. Each round only lasts about 5 to 15 minutes which makes it a short and sweet game. The game does have simple mechanics which is why it can be quite entertaining for younger players. Among us is available on mobile, PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox. Looking at different types of ratings for this game, it seems that most companies can’t agree on what age is appropriate. However, the main rating appears to be for players 10 years and older. After playing this game, we consider that the game could easily be played by ages 7 and up as long as discussions are had around safety in the text chat, parental controls are in place and children are comfortable with mild cartoonish violence.



Gameplay


In the main play mode, players are either assigned as a ‘Crewmate’ or an ‘Imposter’. The Crewmates have to go around the map and complete tasks while also trying to figure out who the imposter (or imposters!) are to win the game. For the imposter/s to win, they must sabotage the area and kill all the crewmates without being caught. The gameplay requires great deception skills to win as the imposter and trick your fellow crewmates. There is no story to the game other than this so the initial excitement for a child of deception and mystery is exciting and the game's simple mechanics mean any beginner can easily pick it up. In order to find the imposter, the crewmates have to discuss their theories on who the imposter is. They can do this by calling a meeting either by pressing the emergency meeting button or when a ‘dead’ body is reported (even the imposter can initiate these discussions to be extra sneaky). When they call a meeting, they can then discuss in text chat and vote on who they think the imposter is. If they get it right, the crewmates win! If the majority votes for the wrong person… then the person with the highest votes gets kicked off and the imposter is one step closer to winning!



Among Us allows up to 15 players either in a public channel (with random players) or in a private channel (with friends only). Among us does have some additional types of games and could produce more in the future so this is something to always look out for. The game is a lot more fun playing with a group of friends as you can have fun deceiving people you know rather than randoms online. If you are playing the crewmate the gameplay can get a bit boring and tedious. If you are the imposter, it is much more fun to reck havoc!



Education


While the game provides an engaging and suspenseful atmosphere as players try to figure out who the impostors are, there is little focus on educating. The game does, however, promote discussions and communication, but also focuses primarily on the strategy of deception. While the idea of children learning deceptive skills may raise your eyebrows, it is important to differentiate between deception in the context of games and deception in real-life situations. In the context of games like Among Us, deception can teach children critical thinking, deduction, strategic thinking, and planning.


The game's simple yet effective mechanics, combined with its emphasis on communication and teamwork, have made it enjoyable for many. While there is strategy involved, we consider that the level of education is lower compared to other available games. But, this doesn’t mean it isn’t fun!



Violence/ Adult Themes


Parents and caregivers need to be aware that Among Us does require the imposter to ‘kill’ the crewmates to win the game. When an imposter kills someone, a brief animation banner will come across the screen which shows a cartoonish scene of the imposter killing the crewmate. There are several different scene animations of the kill including, shooting with a gun, stabbing in the back with a knife, the imposter opening its mouth and a spike going through the crewmate, breaking their necks by twisting. During these scenes, it still maintains its cartoonish nature so the graphics are very mild and there is no injury or bloodshed. After the crewmate is dead, they can then haunt the map area until the game finishes.



The crewmate's body is then left in the game with their top half turned into a single cartoon bone coming from the body to represent that they have been killed by the imposter. Again, very cartoonish so it sounds a lot worse than it actually is. We don’t consider the violence to be graphic or concerning due to its cartoonish appearance. It would be more compared to a Looney Toons show where the cartoons smash each other with a mallet for example.



Swearing is allowed in the text chat but this can be censored in the settings menu. If the censor is turned on, the swear words will appear as *****. Should a player be making inappropriate comments, there is a function to block and report players so there is little risk of children being exposed to any foul language or behaviour.



Monetization


While Among Us is available on most platforms and consoles, there is an initial cost to buying the game, as of today it is actually free on mobile, but this might change in the future! Apart from the initial cost, there is no need to spend any further money to enjoy the gameplay or gain any advantages.


There is a customization component of the game where players can buy different outfits, nameplates, and pets using in-game currency. In-game, currency can be earned either through playing or using real-life money to purchase the in-game currency. The cosmetics offer no advantage in the game so there is no need to spend real-life money on these items. But some of them do look pretty cool!



Safety


One feature that is really helpful for parents and caregivers to be aware of is that upon initially downloading Among Us, it will ask for age verification. If the player is under the age of 18 years old, free text chat will not be enabled. This means that text chat becomes very limited and instead, there are pre-set appropriate phrases to communicate with for your child. If the account is under 18 years old, it will also ask for a guardian’s email address to be added. This is so if a child tries to change the free chat mode, you will be notified by email to request this to be changed first. The only issue is to make sure that the child ACTUALLY INPUTS THE CORRECT BIRTHDAY when you first play the game. I know how kids can be, It is not that hard to put in an older birthday to get around this as there is no other verification. So if you want to make sure this is activated, please ensure that you are there to assist with the initial download and monitor this first part.



If your child gets around this part, or you feel comfortable letting them type in an older age to experience the full-text chat, this will mean that they can type anything they want into the text chat during the meetings with online players.


While there is no voice chat available in the game, quite often people will use other third-party voice chat programmes (such as Discord, Steam chat, Mumble, Team Speak etc) which people may ask people to join so make sure that you are aware of what your child is doing and who they are talking to if they are invited to a private third party voice channel or using a microphone during this game.


Tips and Tricks


If you are concerned about your child playing this game, encourage them to set up private games so that they can only play with people who they know and organise for their friends to join their private server.




Comments


bottom of page