Playing Among Us with strangers is fun and all, but playing with your family is a whole other thing.
I mentioned in a previous article (which you should consider reading before this article if you haven’t already) that I’d started playing Among Us with my eldest daughter and that we were all (there are 4 of us in total) going to play it as a family next time she visited us.
Well, she visited us and, true to our word, we played it.
It was very interesting – but not in the ways I thought it would be.
Among Us With Family: The Players
Ladies, gentlemen, and non-binary folk – please allow me to introduce the players:
Dingo (that’s me) is a long-time gamer who would find out that he sounds posh in chat.
Willow is my wife who would constantly be underestimated by the other players.
SophiaG is a sassy young lady who specializes in doing tasks.
– GroovyGal (AKA Pinkie)
GroovyGal is the Among Us veteran of the group who would graciously share gameplay tips with the rest of her family.
Among Us With Family: Getting Ready to play
SophiaG and I used the Steam version of the game. Willow and GroovyGal used the mobile version of the game, because they’re clever – it’s free on mobile.
Willow had to remove an app or two from her phone so she’d have space for it, which sent me off into a huge bitching session about everything I hate about mobile phones which can effectively be boiled down to: For the amount of money that using mobile phones cost, they shouldn’t just have enough space to install small games – they should also give you shoulder rubs, say nice things when you are feeling down, and do your damn taxes as well.
Fortunately for my family, this is a common topic of mine, so they were able to zone out and ignore me and do other things – ALL ON THEIR MOBILE PHONES, MIGHT I ADD.
*attempts to straighten tie, remembers he’s wearing a t-shirt*
We originally decided to all play together in the lounge/family room, but SOMEONE started bitching about having to move their computer into the lounge room.
(It was me, I was the one who was bitching about that.)
My family rightly pointed out to me that I was doing a lot of bitching and that maybe I should go and chill out before we played the game. I know good advice when I hear it, so I sent myself to my room, poured myself a glass of Johnnie Walker and had a quick smoke and thought about pleasant things like how nice it was to have some scotch whiskey (even if the word ‘whiskey’ was misspelt on the label for some reason).
When I returned, I found my family had been conspiring against me in my absence – by which I mean ‘Had already organised where everyone was going to sit while we played’. SophiaG and Willow would stay in the lounge room, and GroovyGal and I would play in the study.
Basically we’re a family of good-aligned nerds, so we didn’t have to worry about agreeing not to cheat (looking at other players screens etc.).
Ending our unspoken alliance, GroovyGal and I agreed that we would spacekill each other if we got the chance.
RIP #NeverGroovyGal, I guess.
Among Us With Family: Actually playing the game
Everyone had used Freeplay (practice mode) and practised doing tasks (see also: good-aligned nerds).
The first game went well enough. I was expecting a lot of teething issues, but everything worked as intended, because indie game devs are much better at turning out functioning games than the so-called Triple-A gaming companies.
I was the Impostor early on, and I made sure to kill SophiaG the first chance I got – I knew she’d finish her tasks before the others, making her the biggest threat. I ended up winning that game by sabotaging the electrical room – a strategy that would work almost every time, due to the low player count. With only 4 players, every single Crewmate would have to have to stop their tasks and head to the sabotaged room, or else the other players would assume they’re the Impostor.
As my loving wife, Willow, entered electrical, I spacemurdered her in cold blood.
After the game, GroovyGal and I went into the lounge/family room and had a quick chat to the others. I was mainly there to apologize to SophiaG for killing her so early on. I thought that telling her I spacestabbed her because she was the biggest threat would appease her by feeding her ego, but it didn’t work because she’s not literally just a younger version of me.
Willow pointed out that I had spacedestroyed her unfairly. I asked why, and she said ‘Because we had to go to Electrical’. I was going to retort with something like ‘THAT’S SPACELIFE, BABY!’ but then I saw her point. With only 4 players, that was, as the kids say ‘a dog tactic’. Much like SEGA’s temporary release of Golden Axed, it was definitely allowed but far from ethical.
I agreed not to use that tactic again.
Speaking of ‘using tactics again’, I was sad to find that everyone else was wary of vents, due to my preference of that playstyle.
GroovyGal and I returned to the study and we began another game.
Among Us With Family: MAD SHOOK
A few games later, Sophia was following me around. She had a few chances to kill me, so I assumed she was safe. I’d find out a few minutes later that she was indeed the Impostor – she’d chosen not to kill me, because she knew that I’d think someone was safe if they didn’t kill me outright.
This ‘If you haven’t killed me now then you won’t kill me later’ vibe of mine doesn’t even make sense – there’s a kill cooldown, which means that you can’t just spacedab on people whenever you want.
The next game, I was wandering around doing tasks when my loving wife spacegored me. I was shocked and proud in equal parts. I continued to do tasks (you can still do tasks when you’re a ghost) but my attention was elsewhere: I wanted to see GroovyGal’s reaction when she found out Willow was The Impostor.
It actually happened during the chat. For the seven people left on Earth who don’t know this, players can call a meeting at certain points in-game and chat about who they think the Imposter is.
Willow used the fact that SophiaG and GroovyGal underestimated her ability to understand the game to trick them into voting for the wrong person. I watched on with joy as one of my daughters was pushed out the airlock (which is a sentence I never thought I’d write).
I looked at GroovyGal, whose jaw had dropped even more than recent Quibi stocks (if you’re over 40 get your kids to explain that joke to you).
She was, in her own words, ‘mad shook’.
This is when it hit me that the real game in Among Us isn’t the game itself. It’s not the tasks. It’s not all the spacebooping. It’s in the chat – because Among Us isn’t a videogame, it’s a social deduction game that’s played via videogame.
Among Us With Family: Yes, I do know about American and English Spelling, thanks though
As I had continued to drink misspelt whiskey during the evening, the rest of the night was kind of a blur. Note to self: Don’t play ‘every time someone dies’ drinking games with Among Us ever again.
I do, however, remember some highlights:
– SophiaG realizing that I will ALWAYS treat someone as a Crewmate if they travel with me, even thought I KNOW that’s wrong
– Willow not reporting bodies because she ‘couldn’t be bothered’ (direct quote) even if she was a Crewmate
– GroovyGal constantly underestimating Willow
– SophiaG and GroovyGal saying that my insistence on using whole words and sentences in chat made me sound posh (which is funny because I’m almost the exact opposite of posh)
I do remember one thing very well, though.
GroovyGal and I also played on for a bit after the others had gone to bed, and one room we joined voted me out immediately before anyone had even said anything. They just randomly voted me out.
I asked GroovyGal about it: ‘Did I do something wrong?‘
‘Nah, they’re just fuckheads.’
One last thing: I also promised her I’d put the phrase ‘Blue is the dumbest person in the world‘ in this article. I didn’t promise it would be relevant to anything, so I have delivered.