Cozy is the New Black: The Surge in Popularity of Chill Gaming

I can’t remember which of my Twitter friends was the first one to start talking about it, but around the beginning of June somebody discovered that there was a new MMO coming to town. Palia is being described as a community simulator rather than a role-playing game (the type of game that usually comes to mind when you’re talking about massively multiplayer online experiences). The game is currently in very limited pre-alpha testing, but the official Discord currently has more than 30,000 members, so obviously, the interest for this type of game is definitely there, and it’s not a small demographic!

A lot of people might point to Stardew Valley as being the beginning of the renaissance of cozy PC gaming going mainstream. The breakaway 2016 hit has sold over 10 million copies across multiple platforms over the past five years, and that’s pretty damn significant for an indie game by a solo developer. I’m not sure there’s a whole lot of other cozy options, outside of the Sims series, that can compare to those sort of numbers (although I admit, I haven’t fully committed to the research so I’m just guessing here).

Of course, there have been tons of life sims focused on farming and crafting released since then, and there are still even more muddling their way through early access and Kickstarters, some of which only have the vaguest of release dates. But it wasn’t until the past year or so, after the runaway popularity of Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch, which released around the same time as the start of Covid-related lockdowns, that I’ve been truly aware of just how much the cozy gaming category has been exploding.

Wholesome Direct 2021 featured 75 titles in one very short hour, and while I really enjoyed the variety of games they showcased, I almost feel like having the show be so short and cover so many titles did the majority of the games a disservice. Of course, I still pumped up my wish list with games that focus on mundane gameplay over heroism. Games in which you fish, farm, cook, tend to animals, and take oh-so-many photographs. Games in which you write letters, paint pictures, and explore interesting worlds. Games that don’t ask you to kill anything at all.

This feels like the wind is changing, and I’m not sure if there’s any single reason we can point to. It seems like every few years, a new genre pops up as the Next Big Thing, and if the Next Big Thing (or the Now Big Thing) is cozy gaming, I am so completely here for it.


Bonus Blaugust prompt ideas: Why do you think so many cozy games are being worked on and released? Do you think AAA game publishers are going to jump on this bandwgon? Is this a genre of gaming you enjoy? Do you have a favorite cozy game? Do you remember the first cozy game you fell in love with? Are there any cozy games you’ve backed on Kickstarter, or that you’re eagerly anticipating the release of?

Origin of a Gamer – Getting to Know You Week

Much thanks to GoG.com for giving me the inspiration for this post!

I am now Of A Certain Age, and if I’m being really honest, I don’t entirely remember the order of things from my childhood. I remember my uncle, who lived with my grandparents at the time, having an ColecoVision, which according to Google could have been as early as 1982. I remember many, many hours spent playing games on an Atari 2600, which was originally release a few months before I was born, and was, in fact, the majority of the console gaming that I did prior to being an adult. I definitely cut my gamer-baby-teeth on Space Invaders, Megamania, Pitfall, and yes, even E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. But I don’t think any of those were what really got me into gaming.

I didn’t really fall in love with video games until I spent some serious time with computer games. I vaguely remember having some sort of computer at home, with a few text-only video games accessed via cassette tape, but I don’t really have any strong memories of what exactly I played like that, or where that machine ever ended up. No, the first video games I remember getting really invested in, I wasn’t even playing.

From the time I started school until we moved after I finished fourth grade, I spent most of my afternoons with my grandparents and my uncle on my mother’s side. If I do the math (and boy, do I hate doing the math), in 1986, I would have been nine. My uncle, who I realize now must have had the patience of a saint, would have been around 25. I don’t know that Might & Magic was the very first game I watched him play for hours on end, but it’s the first one I remember that I can put a name to.

I can only imagine I asked a bajillion stupid questions, as children tend to do, and he was always great about talking me through whatever I didn’t understand. I remember using the code-wheel and game manuals to help him get through the onerous copy-protection. And I remember being absolutely entranced in this oh-so-pretty fantasy world he kept in a small box on his desk.

It wasn’t until I was in my teens that we had a computer at home that I had regular access to, and I didn’t have a machine of my own until I was in college, but playing games on PC always seemed like the “right” way to play. This is probably why I am, to this day, crazy clumsy with a controller, and really awful at platformers. I would occasionally play console games when I was at a friend’s house, but the games I really enjoy were all better suited to mouse and keyboard. In fact, some of those games I really fell in love with in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I still go back and play to this day. The very first game I ever purchased on Steam was a copy of a game I played to death when it came out in 2003.

Sometimes, I feel like this is a thing I probably should have grown out of by now, but mostly, I have a deep appreciation of the evolution of gaming just from having seen it grow as I have also grown. I cannot even imagine how different my life would have been if I hadn’t had my uncle to introduce me to this absolutely fascinating world.


Bonus Blaugust prompt idea: You all don’t need me for this one, do you?

Recent Acquisitions – In Which Krikket Goes on a (Smol) Shopping Spree

This is kind of an awkward post to be making so soon after talking about how my experiment last year made me more conscientious about how I spend money on gaming, but the past few weeks have been a lot, and arguing with myself about whether or not I actually need some random games just isn’t a big enough deal to be sweating right now. Which has led to a bit of a spending spree the past couple of days.

So what did I buy?

Fanatical’s Guardian Bundle 3 – $5.99

This one I primarily picked up for Afterparty, which has been on my wishlist for quite a while now, but I figured since I was there, I’d also activate a few other keys for games that looked moderately interesting. Lately I’ve been drawn more and more to games that can be completed in just a couple of play sessions, but I rarely want to pay full price. Spending $6 on this one felt pretty good, even if I never play anything else from the bundle.

Another short, low-pressure title that caught my eye was Haven Park, which just released on August 5th. I’m not sure exactly what made this appealing enough to grab immediately – normally this type of game would be one I’d wait for a deep discount on. I’ve played a little bit of it so far, and other than really struggling with making my way around the map, I’m really liking the vibe of it and the art style.

I played the demo of Alekon awhile back, and really liked the vibe of it, but I wanted to wait a bit after release for the reviews to come in. The reviews are pretty good thus far, and I do sort of have a Pokemon Snap-sized hole that needed to be filled up. If this sounds like your jam, there’s still a demo available!

Atrio: The Dark Wild was one of my favorite games from the recent Steam Next Fest back in June that I hadn’t already backed on kickstarter. It just released into Early Access today, and I knew this was one I wanted to play sooner rather than later, so I scooped it up on day one. I have a few things I want to wrap up before I dive in, but I expect I’ll likely be spending some time with this one before the end of August, which means this was actually a good purchase for me – in other words, one that I won’t just file away and forget all about.


Bonus Blaugust prompt idea: What games have you recently picked up? Do you play games fairly close to when you purchase them, or are you more likely to be tempted by sales or bundles even if you know you won’t get around to something for awhile? What is your decision-making process (if any) that goes into determining whether you purchase a game soon after release, or if you wait on it?

Release Radar – Upcoming Farming Sims for Fans of Stardew Valley

Over the past couple of weeks, I find myself re-playing Stardew Valley. I picked it up shortly after it released back in March of 2016, and played it for well over 100 hours across a pair of playthroughs. I probably never would have loaded it up again, but recently a friend asked me to try out a multiplayer game with him, and after our second session, I started up another single player game, and it’s been all Stardew Valley all the time around here since then.

Over the last five years, I’ve bought quite a few titles hoping to recapture the magic I felt playing Stardew Valley for the first (and well, let’s be honest, the second and now the third) time. Some were pretty great – I really enjoyed Verdant Skies and My Time At Portia. Quite a few more either didn’t do it for me, or I never actually got around to playing them.

However, quite a few new titles are expected to drop over the next year, and if you loved Stardew Valley, you might want to drop some of these on your wishlist. Click the pictures to go right to the Steam page for each game!


Estimated Release Date: October 2021 (Early Access)

Coral Island looked so good to me, I backed it on Kickstarter in order to get alpha access (which is anticipated to be available sometime in June). And I don’t seem to be alone in this – the crowdfunding campaign brought in more than 23 times its original $70,000 goal! Needless to say, that hit all the stretch goals, including console ports, mod support, multiplayer, extra characters, and a more robust endgame than originally planned.

Coral Island will offer all the traditional farming sim elements – farming, fishing, raising livestock, mining, crafting, cooking, and socializing with the villagers. What it brings to the table that sets it apart is its underwater world – spend some time cleaning up the coral reefs and you might run into mermaids! I expect there will be enough here that is familiar to appeal to fans of the genre, and enough unique mechanics that will set it apart.


Estimated Release Date: April 2022

For me, Roots of Pacha looks particularly interesting thanks to the setting; it takes place in a pre-technology world! This adds an interesting research tree mechanic, where you decide which of your community’s ideas you want to work towards figuring out. You also won’t get to just pop over to the shop for your seeds and livestock – you’ll need to forage and domesticate wild animals in order to build your farm.

You will have NPC community members, but Roots of Pacha was designed for co-operative play, so it’s a great choice if you prefer farming with friends.


Estimated Release Date: May 2021

Although I didn’t personally back this one, it did have a Kickstarter, and is still accepting late pledges.

Sun Haven is closest to release, if you’re not inclined to be very patient. This farming sim has a distinct fantasy spin; you’ll be able to choose any of seven playable races, the livestock options are far from traditional, and a dragon serves as the protector of your town. Combat options will include spellcasting, and there are significant RPG elements as well as the typical farming sim fare of crafting, cooking, fishing, and socializing.

As if there weren’t already enough here to set it apart from other similar games, Sun Haven will feature a wish mechanic, allowing you to change the world around you through the power of wishing. It will also have multiplayer support at release, so this is another great choice for people who prefer farming with friends to farming alone.


Estimated Release Date: TBD

Ok, so calling Witchery Academy a farming sim might be a (very small) stretch – the concept is that the player is a student at a school of witchcraft. There are farming sim elements, as you will learn to brew potions, so you will need to grow and forage for your ingredients. The game will also include fishing, cooking, and “spell catching” but seems to lack the dating sim element that’s usually standard in these types of games.

Witchery Academy is planned to release on Steam and for Nintendo Switch, and it looks like something I’d really enjoy having on the more portable platform.


Estimated Release Date: TBD

Snacko seems to borrow slightly more from Animal Crossing than it does from Stardew Valley & Harvest Moon, but I still think it fits. You will be able to farm, and raise livestock, but there will also be a lot of mechanics catering to folks who like building and customizing the look of their town. Also, you get to play as a cat, and I mean, who doesn’t want to do that?

The developers are giving monthly updates on their blog, and progress on this game seems to be proceeding steadily, despite there still not being any indication of a release window.


Chances are good I’ll be picking up all of these games at or near their release dates, but I don’t think there’s a bad choice in the bunch if you like the gameplay loop offered by these sort of farming sims. I don’t know if any of these will be the huge success story that Stardew Valley was, but the market for this type of game still seems to be pretty robust.

Steam Winter Sale Splurges

Unless I am overtaken by an overwhelming urge to make just one last purchase, I am done with the 2020-2021 Steam Winter Sale. For someone with over nearly 300 games on her wish list, I found it surprisingly easy to whittle my choices down to a couple of dozen titles I was most interested in this time around. Many titles were eliminated from contention due to having seen better prices in the past, and I have quite a few games on my wishlist that have yet to release. However, I found that, while scrolling through, there were quite a few that I just wasn’t that interested in anymore, so I’m probably not far off from yet another wish list cleanout.

The First Cart – $50.82

I thought I had done so well, keeping my first cart under $50, but it ended up being just over once sales tax was applied. I finally gave in and picked up Disco Elysium – the new computer I bought in the fall has a NVIDIA video card, so I no longer have to worry about the problems reported with AMD cards. The news that the game is going to receive a giant free update means I’ll likely wait until then to play it, but I expect it’ll also see less deep discounts as that gets closer.

Godhoood has been on my wish list practically since it was announced, as I’ve been a big fan of all of Abbey Games’ previous titles, but early reviews weren’t great. Since it’s original release, it seems that things have improved quite a bit, since it’s now sitting at an overall Mostly Positive, and that was good enough for me to finally pull the trigger.

I picked up three small puzzle titles that I’ve had my eye on for awhile, but my big wild card choice was Uagi-Saba, a creature raising simulator that seems to have flown under everyone’s radar, having only a dozen reviews more than two years after release. I’m getting some major Creatures-vibes from this one, and I used to love those game (although they’ve aged poorly, in my opinion).

The Second Cart – $20.86

Another case of sales tax messing up my carefully budgeted purchase! I had already decided to skip getting any other “big” games, and instead to just pick up $20 worth of smaller titles. I debated far far longer over this cart than the first one.

Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker I decided to pick up to play during #DatingSiMonth. Archeo: Shinar is a game I keep only almost buying, but I love the concept of managing a team of archeologists, and it will probably be among the first games purchased this sale that I play. Despotism 3K is a resource management simulation game that is probably going to be too challenging for me to enjoy long term, but maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. My final pickups were two more puzzle games – apparently I can’t get enough of those – Animated Puzzles and Senna and the Forest.

Titles that I seriously considered during this shop, but that ultimately didn’t make the cut, included Firewatch, The Almost Gone, and Sagebrush, three narrative heavy games. Ultimately, I decided that games with less of a story focus were more likely to see playtime before the next major sale.

Games I Was Gifted

I received four games from friends during this sale, and although only one of the four was something I was considering buying for myself this time around, I’m pretty stoked to try out all of them. In fact, I’ve already played the tutorial level of Dawn of Man, which I expect to lose many many hours to, and have decided to start Outer Wilds later this week for #PuzzleGameMonth. I have no doubt I’m going to love Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and Donut Country is the kind of puzzle game I am likely to blow through in a weekend.

Overall, I probably acquired too many new games (especially in light of how many games I’m interested in from the January Humble Choice and the Fanatical Mega Bundle I scooped up a few days ago), but I’m absolutely delighted to have added all these titles to my library.

Quick Look – Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments (#AdventureGameDec)

I had such good intentions this month.

It wasn’t even a case of not liking the game – Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments is great! Early in the month, I played through the first two cases, The Fate of Black Peter and Riddle on the Rails, and I fully intended to get back to it.

But World of Warcraft has really devoured all my gaming time this month, and it’s not like December doesn’t have anything else going on. I just never managed to carve out 90 minutes or so where I could really get deeply involved with a story game after completing the second chapter.

That was, in fact, the only complaint I had about the game. I’m actually really glad it required thinking and paying close attention to the story, but that also made it nearly impossible to take an extended break in the middle of a case. More than a day or two, and I’m fairly sure I would have had to restart any given case. That said, carving out a couple hours to play through a case isn’t at all an unreasonable ask.

I loved that the game allows you to … well, it lets you totally drop the ball. Each case has a right answer, of course, but it’s also really easy to overlook something and end up accusing the wrong person (or the right person for the wrong reason). You also have the opportunity to make a moral decision at the end of each case, and that will effect the way the final scene plays out. As with just about any adventure game, there’s some tedious backtracking and some pixel-hunting, but overall, I found those things mild enough to not detract from the experience.

I absolutely intend to go back at some point and play through the remaining four cases, but this just wasn’t the time for me to play something so heavily story-focused.

Steam Winter Sale – Deals I’m Debating

It’s that time of year again, and although I primarily enjoy the two major yearly Steam sales for the opportunity to send (deeply discounted) presents to my friends, I do also tend to spoil myself rotten. Since my husband and I mostly don’t do gifts for Christmas or our birthdays (both of which are close to the holiday season), we do tend to get a little splurgey on whatever fun stuff catches our eyes this time of year.

On the first day of the sale, I check out all the stuff on my wish list that’s marked down and try to prioritize. As per usual, I find myself debating whether I’d rather pick up some pricier titles with some real meat to them, or if I want to pick up a whole mess of smaller indie games. This year, I decided to make two lists of similar cost, and then turned those into a graphic to really look at my options.

Even throwing a couple of somewhat higher-priced titles onto the “cheap stuff” side, I was surprised that picking my top three “big” games actually would cost just a smidgen more than buying all fourteen titles on the right.

Although the graphic makes it look like this is an absolute binary choice, it’s absolutely not. In reality, it’s much more likely I’ll grab one from the left, and four or five from the right, and call it a sale. After I’m done with all my gift purchases, of course. In fact, between making this graphic and posting this blog, I can no longer just go for the three games on the left, since I’ve been hit by the Steam Sale Santa and gifted Outer Wilds as an early birthday present!


Are you planning any purchases this year during the Steam Winter sale? Or are you side-eyeing your backlog and making the choice to hold off on new games?

Long Live the Queen! Turns 351-360

The Project Explained

Long Live the Queen is a collaborative Civilization VI base game play through and blogging project conceived of by Naithin at Time to Loot. We have 8 players, and each player is responsible for taking 10 turns and writing about our progress. I drew fifth in the randomly generated line-up.

The Story So Far…

If you need to know how we got to where we are, just pop on over to Time to Loot, where Naithan has kept track of all of our shenanigans in a really nifty list of links. Tessa had to sit this round out due to an injury, so I’m taking over from Paeroka this time around.

Turns 351-360

Holy cow, there’s a lot going on here. I’m not sure how much of that has to do with just being late game, and how much has to do with England maybe not having the most cohesive growth plan ever.

I, however, have decided to put as much focus as possible during my turns on the Space Race. During turn 352, I am able to start the Earth Satellite Launch in Stoke-Upon-Trent, and then send Carl Sagan right over to finish it off. I then set them to working on the Moon Landing. Research into Sufferage completes, and I start us on Totalitarianism, despite the fact we’re still rocking a Monarch, more options are good, right?

We also have not one, but two great Admirals in London. I have no idea what we’re supposed to do with them, because I don’t think we have a single naval military unit on the map. Perhaps UnwiseOwl will be able to find some use for them.

Despite not focusing so much on Culture, I gave Roosevelt 30 turns worth of resources for an Edgar Allen Poe story. Which Pedro then immediately demanded I give him. Sorry Pedro, you have nothing to offer me – and I do mean nothing. Two turns later, Gilgamesh also asks us for the book, but I turn him down as well. Apparently, this is an exciting book, and I made a good trade getting my hands on it.

Once we finished our research into Robotics, I took a small detour into Plastics, in order to open up both more oil access and some extra food from fishing. I also started production on some additional builders (one in Ur, and one in Bristol) as our population seems to be stagnating, and having a little extra food never hurts.

We built three new farms near Ur and sent a builder in the general direction of the unimproved tiles between Stoke-Upon-Trent and Adab. I’m concerned we might be more restricted by space than food, but I’m going to be honest – there’s a lot going on and being away from the game for weeks to months at a time, I’m not feeling like I really have a handle on all the mechanics.

I also started up a few new wonders. I bought a tile near Ur to start work on Petra, and the Hermitage in Leeds. It seems like we have a pretty beefy military we’re not using, so if a particular city didn’t seem to have something critical to build, I set it to improving the infrastructure that was there already.

On my last turn this round, we finished our research into Plastics, and I wanted to make sure our research path was on track for what we were going to need for our science victory. We’ve researched most of the required technologies already, with just Nanotechnology outstanding, Unfortunately, there’s two steps in the tech tree we haven’t researched that are required for Nanotechnology, so I started us on the first step, Synthetic Materials.

With that, I turn over the crown to UnwiseOwl. Save file can be found here.

In Review – October 2020

I’m really loving ManicTime – although, really, I did NOT need to know how many hours I spent between online shopping & doom scrolling this month! The only weirdness I noted here was that it doesn’t actually know what the Puzzle Pirates window is – the 18.45 hours I spent in Java(TM) Platform SE 6 U25 was spent on the cartoony high seas!

I managed to complete two games this month for #HorrorGameOct in the Community Game Along: Alan Wake and Stories Untold. I tried out, but ultimately didn’t get invested in two more – Little Nightmares and Among the Sleep.

The 9.0 patch for World of Warcraft released on Tuesday, October 13th, and that was when I reactivated my account to check out the revised leveling experience. I managed to finish leveling both my warlock and paladin, and spent way too long in the character creation screen before losing interest. Now that the Shadowlands release date has been re-announced for November 23rd, and the second half of the pre-patch coming on November 10, I’m starting to get the itch to go back and at least finish my priest and maybe one other character so I can focus on the pre-launch activities and the gear catch up mechanics therein.

But while I’ve been treating the MMO as more of a solo play game, I’ve been playing SMITE and Among Us when I want to hang out with friends – even having set up a night for my WoW guild mates to try out Among Us for the first time.

The only other games I spent any significant time with this month were My Time at Portia, which I played for a few evenings near the beginning of the month, and Puzzle Pirates, which I’ve been playing pretty compulsively for the last week or so. I still haven’t even purchased Phasmophobia, as the majority of my friends weren’t overly enthused for the concept, and I haven’t touched Hades all month long.

I did, however, play a dozen different demos during the Autumn 2020 Steam Games Festival, and tried out Drake Hollow on XBox Game Pass for PC. I added a few games to my wish list, and satisfied myself that Drake Hollow wasn’t for me.

I purchased two new games directly through Steam this month – 1000 Days to Escape and Abracadabrew. I also bought The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker on Fantatical, as well as two of their bundles and the Humble Monthly for October, making this a pretty major month for game acquisitions. All three of these bundles are still available for purchase at the time of posting, if you see something here you’d like to grab for yourself.

Fanatical’s Very Positive Bundle 5 ($3.99)
Fanatical’s Reaper Bundle 7 ($3.99)
Humble Choice – October 2020 (price varies by subscription option)

I did also complete my GoodReads Challenge for 2020 this month, and am currently sitting at 38 books read for the year. I’m really enjoying the nostalgia of rereading (or in some cases, reading for the first time) the books of Christopher Pike, and listening to my first ever podcast, The Pike Cast. It has even pushed me in the direction of starting a new project, but I’ll talk more about that when I talk about my November goals.


Normally, this would be where I’d dump a whole lot of pictures of all the wonderful Halloween related television and movies I’ve watched this month, but I’ve really been struggling with my attention span and simply watching things as of late. With the upcoming presidential election here in the U.S., and with social distancing still very much being a thing, I just wasn’t into the whole concept of Halloween this year either.

That said, sometime before I go to sleep tonight, I will be putting The Monster Squad on television because some traditions are worth preserving, even if I’m not really feeling it.

Thrown Into Space – An Evening With Among Us

If you’ve been anywhere on the internet over the past month, you’ve probably seen an Among Us meme. More likely, you’ve seen dozens. You might have been under the impression that it was a newly released game, but it’s actually been available for over two years now.

It blipped across my radar a little bit ago, and I pretty much wrote it off as being not for me. Until a couple of my friends picked it up. And then a couple more. Before I knew it, nearly my entire friend group had clicked add to cart and jumped on the Among Us bandwagon. Last night, I made my first foray into the game with them.

Tip 1: Don’t just dive into a game with friends directly.

Now, I’m not saying you have to play public games – I’m saying you definitely should spent a few minutes with the “How to Play” area, because no matter how well you think it’s being explained? It’s not being explained well enough.

I almost quit after … about a minute and a half. Not having looked to see how the controls worked, I couldn’t actually interact with anything, so I started trying to randomly click to troubleshoot the problem, as you do. Well, the first thing I managed to interact with was the Emergency Meeting button, at which point I had to explain in chat that I was an idiot, there was no emergency, and I would very much like to be ejected from the ship now.

It probably took half a dozen games before I started to feel mostly comfortable with how to be part of the crew, and I was pretty lucky in that I got to play that many without being marked as an Imposter. Another friend joining us for the first time last night wasn’t so lucky. He also skipped the instructions, relying on all of us to explain the game. Which we did. If he was a crew member. Which he wasn’t in his first game.

Although you’d never know it from all the laughing that was happening, I felt pretty awful when he told us in our second meeting that he couldn’t figure out how to do tasks, the only thing he had been able to do so far was go into the vents. Oops.

Tip Two: Don’t be afraid to die, and if you do die, the game isn’t over.

Being dead in Among Us is actually pretty great. First off, you get to be a ghost, and there are perks to being a ghost, not the least of which is ghost chat. Ghost chat is where all the people murdered or ejected can talk about the other people who are still alive and oblivious to what’s actually happening.

As my husband remarked last night, Ghost Chat feels kind of like being one of the princes in Stardust. You know stuff when you’re dead.

You can also continue to complete tasks (as a Crew Member) or sabotage the ship (as an Imposter, assuming your game setup has more than one). Also, once you’re a ghost, you can move through walls, which is great for someone like me who lacks a sense of direction and basic understanding of maps.

Tip Three: The game can be fun regardless of what team you’re on.

From what I understand, it’s not terribly uncommon for someone to bail out on a public game if they aren’t made an Imposter. Sure, that’s the flashy mayhem-causing role, but there’s something ridiculously satisfying about getting your tasks done, and then acting as bodyguard for that one person you’re 99% sure is also just a regular Crew Member. Especially because if they’re not so sure of you, following someone around can really freak them out.

And – in the interest of full disclosure – I expected I would hate being an Imposter and was dreading the first time that came up. All the games we played were two imposter games, which took a little of the pressure off, but I was still nervous.

As it turned out, all the things that made me kind of shady as a crew mate – recklessness in approaching others, a complete and utter disregard for doing things in a logical order, and just being generally bizarre in the way I navigated the map – made me a pretty great imposter. The group had gotten used to my clumsy play style, and I wasn’t doing anything differently – except murdering people. I avoided the vents and couldn’t figure out how to sabotage the ship, so murder it was. Both times I was half of the imposter team, we won.


Among Us is not a game I expect to spend too much time with, outside of playing with friends. I don’t feel terribly competent, and despite what my Imposter wins would seem to indicate, I’m a pretty awful liar. But the rounds are quick, you can still win when you’re dead, and I’m interested to see where the developers take the game after its unexpected rise in popularity.