A New Experience – EXP Share

It’s the final hours of the month, which means I’m finally finishing up my post for the EXP Share collab headed by DanamesX over at Tales from the Backlog.

For this month’s prompt, we are sharing a game that you have started playing for the very first time along with your first impressions. There’s a few games that I’ve begun playing the past few weeks, but one of them seemed like a perfect game to share my experience playing. First, let’s quickly go over the monthly objectives…

  • Play a game that is completely new to you
  • Play for at least a minimum of 1-2 hours(just enough time to get your initial opinion of it)
  • In your post, talk about why you choose it, what you like, dislike, if you will continue to play it, and anything else you would like to add.
  • Bonus points if it is in a genre that is new to you or one that you don’t really play

I believe I can check every one of those boxes…

Among Us is an online multiplayer game by indie developer InnerSloth, which was released all the way back in 2018, but quickly became the most-viewed game on Twitch during the late summer/fall of 2020. The game takes place on a space vessel as the assorted crew members work to complete tasks around the ship, which typically consist of small minigames such as resetting electrical boxes or filling up the upper and lower engines with fuel. Unknown to the crew is the fact there is an impostor in their midst, whose objective is to sabotage the ship and eliminate the other crew members along the way. This usually involves a bit of deception and strategy as the impostor looks the exact same as any other member of the crew and can give the appearance of going about routine tasks, but possesses the ability to hide in floor vents in order to ambush their targets. The premise of the game plays very similar to John Carpenter’s The Thing in how the remaining players can descend into paranoia and suspicion once being alerted to the fact something, or someone is masquerading themselves as a crew member and killing the others off one by one.

Despite its enormous popularity, largely due to exposure on Twitch, I still hadn’t played the game. This past weekend however, I spent a few hours playing Among Us in a lobby of fellow bloggers – DanamesX, Frostilyte, Meghan Plays Games, MagiWasTaken, and a few others who were able to join our group. I had known of the game since shortly after it blew up on Twitch and became a pop culture reference, but knew very little else about the game. I had heard your experience and enjoyment of the game can greatly depend on whether or not you are playing with a group of people you know, rather than random players online, so it’s fortunate that I was able to find a group of people I was moderately acquainted with to play.

The games went pretty well(I thought so, at least?) and I had a lot of fun playing the game, though I will say playing as the impostor has a little bit of a learning curve as you can easily give away your identity if not careful. I was selected as the impostor only twice in the three hours we spent playing the game, but was quickly ejected from the ship – once after not being completely aware of my surroundings as MagiWasTaken was in the vicinity and noticed as I snuck down into a vent to try and wait for someone to pass by.

Having played the game, I can definitely see its appeal, especially as a social/party game very much in the same vein as we would always play something like Mario Kart/Party or Super Smash Bros. as a kid. I even enjoyed just going around the station completing my list of tasks, which probably served more as a distraction from investigating who the impostor is than anything. I found myself getting pretty good at re-connecting the wires in the Electrical Bay or the card-swiping mini game in the Admin area. This most likely resulted in me getting killed by the impostor more than I should have, but….the joke’s on them, I can still finish all my tasks and help my crewmates as a ghost!

There wasn’t anything I’d say I disliked about the game from my few hours spent playing it. The only real issue I(we) had was a few matches ending prematurely due to connection errors, which didn’t necessarily affect my enjoyment of the game. The online play for a small indie game such as Among Us would typically be something you would come to expect, though considering the publicity and exposure since its meteoric rise to stardom this past year, you’d think most server bugs would be ironed out by this time.

I’ll admit that I’m not usually much of a “social” gamer and spend the vast majority of my time playing single player games or the occasional multiplayer game with other random players online. Will I continue to play the game? Yes. I had a lot of fun playing the game and would like to be able to join others from around the WordPress/Twitch community in playing Among Us. Outside of an arranged setting however, I’m not sure how much desire I have to try and hop online to play with random players. Until next time…

Thanks for reading!