If you have a kid then you’ve probably heard of the game Among Us. In the last few months, the murder mystery game, which is available on mobile and PC, has been a huge hit. (Especially for my son, Penn Charles.)
If you haven’t heard of it or need a refresher, here’s a quick synopsis from CNN: The game requires four to 10 players, who are randomly assigned roles of either a crewmate or imposter [on a spaceship]. Throughout the game, crewmates try to complete their tasks and the imposter tries to murder the crew and sabotage the spaceship without getting caught. If a dead crewmate is found or an emergency meeting is called, players try to deduce who the imposter is while the imposter tries to convince everyone they aren’t a murderer. Most games last a few minutes.
Since Penn Charles won’t stop talking about this game, I wondered if I could create the game in the real world so maybe he could actually get some exercise and get off his iPad. This game is perfect for 4-6 players. The attached download is for a 5 person game and one adult as the “Game Master.” Fun fact you may not know about us: One of our best friends has been living with us since July. She’s looking for work and riding out the pandemic in our guest room. That means she has to do things like be “Game Master” so we can play this game.
This will all make sense once you play it once OR if you have kids in the house.
Preparing the Game
- Print the PDF download and cut out the colors and task cards.
- Set up the 8 tasks in different rooms around your house. The farther apart they are, the better.
- Trash Shot: Score 3 paper baskets into a trash can from 10 feet away
- Wire Connect: Connect the colored dots
- Card Match: Find the 4 matching cards
- Smile Scan: Draw a smiley face on a piece of paper (Imposter can’t uncap marker)
- Water Refuel: Move water from one full cup to one empty cup
- Stack React: Organize a stack of playing cards from A-10
- Shape Shift: Sort 9 shapes into three cups
- Diamond Cup: Fill a cup with 9 diamonds and take them to a different room
- You will need these items:
- Trash can
- 6 plastic cups, one filled with water
- The rest are included in the download and just need to be printed and cut out
Starting the Game
- Have the players each pick a color to pin on their shirt.
- Then they must draw a card from the deck, which will list their four tasks. The imposter will receive a card that tells them all the sabotages.
- Start a countdown and remind the players that there is no talking during the game. Once each crewmate finishes all 4 of their tasks, they turn their card into the game master.
Imposter Sabotages & Kills
When other players aren’t looking, the imposter can sabotage by holding up fingers to the game master and it gets yelled out a few seconds later.
- 1 Finger: Oxygen is depleted and players have 30 seconds to score 3 basketball shots.
- 2 Fingers: In meltdown, one player needs to go to the connect station and one player needs to go to the stacking station and count down from 5 in unison.
- 3 Fingers: The game master turns off the lights and play is paused until a player turns the lights back on.
- Imposters can “fake” tasks but just not doing the tasks correctly, i.e. shoot two baskets and then leave.
- An imposter “kills” a crewmate by lightly squeezing their arm. The crewmate must immediately lay down if “killed” and can’t make noise. Imposters must wait 30 seconds between kills.
Dead Bodies & Emergency Meetings
- If a player comes along a “dead” player they can yell “dead body” and immediately an emergency meeting begins.
- At any time during the game, except if one of three sabotages is happening, any player can call an emergency meeting by yelling that out.
- During the meeting, all players must vote to either skip or point at who they think is the imposter. If one player has the most votes, they are out of the game. Any player who has been killed or kicked out of the game must wear a ghost tag and can continue to do tasks. They may not speak during meetings.
Crewmates win by successfully kicking off the imposter or completing all the tasks assigned. The imposter wins if they kill enough crewmates before all the tasks are done or the oxygen is depleted.
There are many ways to up the ante on this game. If you have an indoor camera, you can have a monitor set up so the kids can see what other players are doing. The game can be taken outside and tasks can be changed to include more outdoor activities. The sky’s the limit! Or the spaceship? I don’t know! Have fun and be safe.
*This post was a collaboration with Zach Goldrich of Distant Dungeons – socially-distanced introductory Dungeons and Dragons for all ages!