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Ultimate Parents Guide to Among Us

Is Among Us safe for kids? 

The short answer is no unless you properly understand what’s going on, and do some research yourself. With some guidance, it can be a safe place for many ages to enjoy.

This depends on the age of the son or daughter, Among Us itself is only mildly violent with very cartoonish and animated death which protects our kids from seeing too much gore or disturbing imagery. It does however still revolve around murder and violence at its core. Among Us is not nearly as violent as many modern games. The real reason to be cautious of this game is largely it still includes a public chat. No matter how hard developers work, people will ruin it or find ways to make these rooms unsafe. Our advice is if you are going to let your child play, make sure you are monitoring their activity. Only allow them to play with friends and family in a private room, staying out of public games. If your child is older and you can trust them and have good communication, then the game is tame compared to many AAA (Blockbuster) titles.  Join us as we navigate through and give you the ultimate parent’s guide to Among Us.

What is Among Us?

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Among us is primarily a multiplayer game on local wifi or online for 4-10 players. Among Us by innersloth is available currently for PC, Android, and IOS devices.  The game is set up between two groups. You are either an imposter or a crewmate. The majority are crewmates that work together to solve who the imposter could be. There can be a maximum of 3 imposters depending on the number of players.

The game is set on a very strange ship with some simple puzzles to bring systems back on. As a crewmate, your job is to get the tasks done and be vigilant as to who may be an imposter. Your missions vary but they are simple enough for anyone to figure out. As an imposter, you are there to blend in and try and kill off or sabotage the crew in whatever way you can. The premise is simple but creates a fun repetitive quick game out of each encounter. The approach of the imposter can really change the entire game. 

The basic game also has a chat room and voting system to vote players off the ship if you believe they are the imposter. This is where the deceitful tactics really kick in for the imposters trying to blend in. It’s also the place that can make the game fun, or ruin it from time to time with inappropriate behavior and comments. You are playing with people after all.  Some of the encounters get intense and as simple as Among us is, it is a game that is much like poker. It can be fun but has a whole mastery of deception that can only be fine-tuned by lots of play and cunning wit. The nice thing, Among Us, is still fairly accessible because you have ways to narrow down suspects, and you can play in teams if you have friends who want to play together.   

Why do my kids want to play Among Us?

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We recently did an article on Roblox, CLICK HERE  and one big thing to think about as a parent is your kids want to play with friends. When we were younger we went to the park, went out in the woods with friends, rode bikes, skateboarded, played sports, and maybe occasionally gamed. The trouble is that kids’ interest in being outdoors, and doing these types of activities is fading over time. We encourage a push to try and still maintain outdoor activities. That being said, our children want to play with their current group of friends, and the majority of new friends they will make are also playing these games. They have a social presence and understanding of these online worlds and are technologically more mature than our generation. These are modern playgrounds with their own rules and ethics.

Among Us has exploded with popularity with all the stars, politicians, and social celebrities playing it. It’s got hype. It’s a fun and quick game that is very accessible to anyone who wants to jump right in. In our experience, our first few games were a blur and we didn’t even know what was going on. Once you play a few games you start to really know what you want to do. The game is like a modern-day faster game of Clue. Among Us is all the fun but with an expedited game of usually five minutes or less. 

Tips and tricks to win against your kids?

If you’re a crewmate 

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  • Do the tasks! They are quick and if you can get them accomplished then you can win.
  • While you are completing tasks, be always on the lookout, especially if someone is following you.
  • Be sure to watch for anyone pretending to do tasks. Only crewmates can complete tasks, look for the animations to confirm when a task is completed, or watch the status bar.
  • If the status bar does not go up when someone is doing a task then they are either really bad at the game or they are the imposter.  
  • Use the surveillance cameras, a lot of times an imposter will risk something on camera, either because they don’t know it’s there, or they assume no one is watching.  
  • Good communication with your crewmates is key, you need to make sure you don’t get voted out so don’t be all panicky. Explain what you saw and why you think a certain person is an imposter. Without this, it’s more a game of chance or a race to finish objectives.

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If you’re an imposter

  • Learn and use the vents, they can be tricky and can even give you away. Wait until you know someone can’t see you before you pop in and out of any vents.
  • Sabotage can be a great distraction and can win you the game against inexperienced players. If the area is empty try to sabotage rather than kill crewmates. You might get lucky.
  • Just like sabotage only you can control doors, use them to your advantage to block players or isolate targets. 
  • Pretend to do tasks, but don’t pretend to be too long or too short during tasks. If you are at a task for only a second, then people will know your sus, and vice versa if you are just hanging out in one spot.
  • You can’t actually do the tasks so the animations not going off can also give you away.
  • Remember your job is to blend in, only kill when you know your off-camera, and no one can see you. You can tell a camera is on when it has a red light.
  • You may need to double kill so get good at it in those small hallways, sometimes this is the difference between winning and losing. You will need to get the first person and take down the second person before they can report. 
  • You can attack from further than you might think. If the crewmate has a red outline they are within range. 
  • If you have two imposters try to coordinate your attack timing to confuse the crewmates. 
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Is Among Us free?

Among Us is free to just jump in on your phone or tablet and play, you just need to install the app. If you want to play on PC it’s ad free but costs $4.99 for the base game. The app on phones is ad-supported so you will see ads between games etc. It’s not too bad, however, make sure if you do let your kid play they are not clicking on the ads and being taken out of the game. This is the first place you may want to spend money if you are going to invest in Among us. Currently, it’s $1.99  to remove ads on phones and tablets. There are cosmetic add ons that can be purchased like a pet or all the infamous hats. Skins run from $.99 to $2.99 at the time of writing, the more expensive usually offering multiple item bundles. 

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What can I do to make Among Us safer?

Among Us developers, Innersloth has said they are not going to work on a sequel as planned but put that time into working on Among Us, as a new patch note in October 2020. They have already made a big patch that fixed some major hacking issues recently. The hard part is the chat, they can clean it up and filter it, but it’s still people so it is hard to censor everyone. You and your child need to have open communication about what happens in the game and be sure to report any inappropriate behavior. We do recommend as stated above, the best way to be safe is to only play with friends and family in private games. Remember it’s a privilege, not a right, for your child to play the game, if they don’t earn it then they can’t play it. 

What do I need to be concerned with?

Chat and Social Aspects.

We mentioned the chat is the biggest concern above and we believe that to be the part you need to have constant monitoring of and open communication with your son or daughter. The chat is unfortunately very unpredictable and you may see things you didn’t expect. This is the biggest reason we can’t recommend the game without being educated on what to expect.  You may see vulgar language, explicit language, and other inappropriate activities.

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Bad Experiences

In one session while playing in a public game, we were in an encounter that the moderator kicked everyone except for themselves and two of us out. He asked us to “do it”, now this obviously is inappropriate, but we left and didn’t see another problem in the twenty or so games we played. This is, unfortunately, par for the course in online communities, believe it or not, your kids are probably better at dealing with this sort of thing than you are. That being said we cannot stress how important having a good line of communication with your children is. Let them know they can talk to you about what they are seeing or hearing online. It is the only way to make any online community safer. 

Cyber Bullying

This is also something that can happen anytime you have kids that may want to instigate or “troll” individuals. If this starts it can escalate quickly and sometimes have many children picking on one individual or group. Cyberbullying can be just as detrimental to your child as in-person bullying and is unacceptable. If your child feels victimized make sure they know to bring it to your attention so that it can be reported properly.

Violence and Gore

The violence in the game does exist and though Among Us is very animated, it may not be suitable for some younger children. Our suggestion is to download it yourself and play a few games. If you do decide to let your child play Among Us, keep it installed on your phone and play with them from time to time. Recently, there have been some strings of hacking problems. The developer has since issued a patch to try and clean up these attacks. 

Conclusion

Among Us is a fun simple game that has just skyrocketed in popularity during the COVID-19 lockdown.  Among Us brings back a lot of nostalgia for games like Clue, or Mafia. It’s nice and wrapped up in a new modern theme of space, with quick fast-paced gameplay to keep the games going and never too dull. The social aspect is its greatest strength and in turn its greatest weakness. Among Us is a game that we want to recommend to all ages but we need to be cautious when allowing younger children to play. Follow our advice limiting games to private only until both you and your child are comfortable playing in the public rooms. 

References and Links.

Information obtained from Innersloth as well as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Among_Us

http://www.innersloth.com/gameAmongUs.php

http://www.innersloth.com/index.php

Inner sloth and Among Us are trademarked by Innersloth and used only for advice and review, we are not associated in any way with the trademark holder.