Imposterble: A Review, or a Guide in Disguise?
The Art of Deception is 'Among Us'
So, you want to catch on to the newest uprising trend of Interstellar travel, minigame madness and the art of deception?
Well who doesn't! Deception games with friends has been a popular trend long before the cute colored space-folk of the trending game Among Us.
Revisiting the past, we've seen games such as:
-One Night Ultimate Werewolf (my personal favorite)
-1 Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
To name a few! I've played them all, and they are all worth the time and money if you can get players to meet in person during these viral times.
It's truly no surprise to me that a polished, endearing and low-cost version of this type of game is FLOURISHING during a time of social distancing and unemployment. Having sunk enough hours into it, this game is approachable by most ages and audiences that don't mind a bit of cartoonish violence and a marginal propensity to solve puzzles and play mini-games.
Also, Who doesn't want to trick their friends and strangers into believing you have their best interests at heart while secretly picking them off one by one?
But herein lies the difficulties of deception, even with the graces of hiding behind a computer screen... People are actually quite clever. I play Dungeons & Dragons regularly, typically as a Dungeon Master, and I can tell you TWO CERTAINTIES that, without a doubt, will make your time as a deceptive Imposter difficult and fruitless unless you learn how to overcome them.
The First Certainty:
Over thousands of years, human evolution has programmed the INSTINCTS TO SURVIVE into their DNA.
Studies have shown that virtual representations of self tend to garner emotional attachment, and as such the possibility of death and the impending certainty of such can cause a real neurological response in players.
It doesn't help that the cute little colored astronauts are customizable! I quite love my cyan-colored doctor with a halo floating about their helmet.
That being said: if the players believe receive a real, visceral response to death, and if it is in our nature to survive, you can guarantee that even the most dullard of friends may begin to show signs of intense wisdom and intuition when it comes to discovering who amongst them is an IMPOSTER.
The Second Certainty:
Some players are SKILLED WITH INSIGHT.
When it comes to deception-style games and success, learning as a player how to outwit basic human instincts is CRITICAL to allow your subterfuge to triumph over those who may or may not know you rather well! However, even if some players don't have quite the ethereal intuition that the previously mentioned have, they may be quite skilled with seeing through others deception and lies.
Many people grow up in a world of lies and manipulations, a defensive technique that many learn would be insightful critical thinking.
Did the Imposter alert the presence of a body they killed themselves? Is the Imposter purposefully playing into the suspicion of others? Is the Imposter a master of pretending to be taking care of their 'tasks'? Intelligent players will be able to see through lies in ways that intuitive players know in their gut that death and deceit is at play. As Sherlock Holmes once said to paraphrase, 'The Truth is often the most likely answer, and usually right in front of your face".
The Third Certainty:
Welcome to your real first lesson in deception my friends. Simply because I told you that there were only two certainties, doesn't mean that there isn't the possibility of more! In fact there may be no true end to the Art of Deception and Deduction, as per The Law of Duality; If the Art of Deception becomes so grand, the Art of Deduction will have the capacity of an equal contender. and Vice-Versa.
That’s right readers, some humans are gifted both with the Intuition and Skill to ‘sus’ out who among them is an Imposter. But how can we trick those both naturally and intellectually gifted enough to see through even the most subtle of Imposters? Without further ado:
Tips and Tricks to Becoming an Imposter Extraordinaire
This Guide is not meant to break down the mechanics of the game like most articles out there. Infact, I won't be touching on the mechanics of the game nearly at all! Simply put, these next Tips and Tricks are primarily on how to hide your nefarious intentions in a way that will ruin your friendships beyond repair! Well, hopefully not literally. Let’s GO!!
1. Being ‘Sus’ is a matter of perspective
As the Imposter, your job is to kill off the Crewmates one by one without being detected. Suspicions will ALWAYS be present in a game like this, it is inevitable and unavoidable. That being said, you must determine who has the greatest propensity of Intuition and Skill and find a way to alienate them from the rest of the Crew. Examples include, but are not limited to:
Place doubt within the Crew. ‘Whoever Smelt It, Delt It’
-Did they happen to find the body or are they attempting to avoid being caught themselves?
-Are they placing blame onto the Imposter or are they deflecting suspicion from themselves?
-Is their logic sound or are they actually a great liar?
Sowing seeds of doubt into the minds of the Crew is a great technique for ensuring your own innocence into the eyes of those who may hold yourself in contempt.
2. Recognize your own Strength in Subterfuge
Are you a natural born liar, or are you known for being incapable of lying?
Playing up your strength, or inversely using that to your advantage, can actually lead to subterfuge in ways you might have thought impossible.
Choose Truth or Lies When the Moment is Right
Some examples of Truth:
-I was observing -Insert Crew Color Here-’s actions because I don’t want to lose!
-I need to go handle this task, will someone help me?
-I’m really bad at lying and I can’t defend myself well from this argument
Some examples of Lies:
-Why would I report a body myself? That makes me look suspicious!
-If I was an Imposter, I would do ____ instead of that, that doesn’t make any sense!
-I wasn’t in ____ part of the ship, I was over here taking care of ____ task!
Whichever strategy is most comfortable for you will often lead to success, BUT if you are known for one, you should try to put the shoe on the other foot. People think you’re a natural liar? Start moving your character in a way that enables you to tell the truth. No one thinks you’re any good at lying? Start playing up that belief so that people agree that you COULDN’T be lying.
3. Silence is Golden
There are people who are gifted with the art of persuasion and there are some people who are not quite so silver-tongued. Some players in the game will be suspicious of the quiet ones and attempt to out them as Imposters! This actually can be used at your advantage one way or another
Knowing When to Speak, and When to Deflect
I will continue to use this example no matter the article I write, but there is Duality in ALL things in the Universe. That being said, here are some examples on how speaking less can actually gain you more confidence in your innocence rather than suspicion:
-I am busy focusing on my tasks; this _____ mini-game is frustrating
-I’m not talking much because I don’t know what to say to help, can someone guide me?
-You find my silence as suspicious, I find that you throwing blame is awfully suspicious myself
-I’m quiet because you keep saying that ___ is suspicious for talking and I wanna save the Crew
Adversely, If you are naturally a quiet person (therefore people think they can't trust you because of this) this next tip may be more helpful:
4. Vocalize the Facts
Some people in this world only respond to cold hard facts. Such is the intelligent mind and appealing your case to one who is deemed smart in their own right is a surefire way to get the eyes off of you as an Impostor.
Remember Where You Are, Who Was Around You, and How to Sell Your Facts
-What Crewmates were around when you last saw them? Where were they?
-What room were you in last? Can you sell the task that you were pretending to do?
-Can you sabotage the ship just right to make yourself look innocent? (ex: locking doors)
-How could you have killed that crew member you were in ____ doing ____?
Finally, the Greatest Subterfuge of All….
5. The Voting System
Sometimes the voting system can be ruled in your favor. Unless someone without a doubt SAW you commit the crime, they can’t be trusted to be absolutely certain. Use that to your advantage!
Playing the Voting System, Just Like in Real Life!
-Hey, you were real quick to ‘sus’ this guy out. Are you sure you’re not the Imposter?
-If you guys think they are the Imposter, I trust you (even if they actually are a partner Imposter)
-Why can’t you tell us where you were or what you were doing? My money is on you, 'sus’
-I don’t want to vote, guys. I don’t see enough evidence of this and I think that whoever pressed the emergency meeting button is being (paranoid, suspicious, unproductive to tasks).
6. The One Subterfuge to Rule Them All
FOOLED YOU AGAIN, THIS ISN’T EVEN MY FINAL FORM. MWUAHAHAH
Have Fun, No Matter the What Role You're Playing
If you’re genuinely having fun no matter if you’re getting killed or doing the killing, who’s to say when you’re being pious or nefarious? Certainly not even the closest of your friends. Sometimes they may believe you to be the Imposter when you’re not, and you can use that as an argument for the next time they suspect you when you actually ARE the Imposter.
Well Ladies, Gentlemen and Non-Binary peoples alike, I hope that you found these techniques to be helpful in future games against friends and strangers alike.
As a disclaimer, I personally detest lying in real life and have found that the truth is always the best! Which is why I am capable of writing this for your viewing pleasure: the truth is that lies are complicated, psychological constants to human nature and always will exist in the world whether honest people work to change that or not. The best we can do with the lies is understand them and just how deeply convincing they may become so that we may better protect ourselves and loved ones against them.
If you like this article, share it with some friends! I plan on writing the counterpart to this article as soon as possible: Crewmates, and How to Trust Them.