Unfortunate Spacemen, a social deduction game released in 2016, shares some similarities with Among Us, but gives players a unique experience nonetheless.
This game combines the core gameplay of a social deduction game and adds more to it than simply discovering who the odd one out is. Identifying the killer is only one part of the game. Players also have to kill them.
Unfortunate Spacemen isn’t just an Among Us clone
While the comparison between these two games is warranted, it would be unfair to say that Unfortunate Spacemen is just “3D Among Us”. Unfortunate Spacemen and Among Us are both social deduction games in space, but Among Us targets a more casual audience while Unfortunate Spacemen introduces more complex elements.
Beyond a surface-level comparison, the differences only become more pronounced. The maps in Unfortunate Spacemen are large and sprawling, complete with dark nooks and long corridors for monsters to lurk in. Monsters can swap their disguise mid-game and are formidable enough to require a full team to take them down.
Unfortunate Spacemen does feature a special meeting called a tribunal where players can discuss events in relative safety, make accusations, and attempt to identify the monster. But these meetings are called by the game and not by players.
This means that most of the discussions will be conducted by players meeting up on the map in small groups. Unlike Among Us, which restricts communication to its dedicated discussion periods, Unfortunate Spacemen asks players to communicate as much as they can as often as they can.
Finding the monster is only the first step
Perhaps the biggest difference, however, is what happens when players discover the monster. In Among Us, players vote to eliminate a player, and the deed is immediately carried out by the game. In Unfortunate Spacemen, the tribunals are only called by the server, and identifying the monster at one doesn’t result in them dying.
Instead, tribunals allow players to accuse the color of being the monster. If they are wrong, the color will become locked (the monster will no longer be able to disguise as that color) and the player with that color will receive a debuff to their health and be permanently visible to the monster.
Inversely, if they guess right the monster will be forced out of their disguise and receive a health debuff. However, monsters can flee and attempt to redisguise later. But the players can coordinate to avoid losing track of who is safe.
Unfortunate Spacemen refuses to do the work of actually eliminating the monster for the players, and that alone gives it a very unique identity apart from most other social deduction games.
Room enough for two
While it might seem like Among Us and Unfortunate Spacemen are competing, they actually offer very different experiences. Among Us will always be the easier one to play. It is simpler, easier to find people to play with, and doesn’t demand nearly as much of a time commitment from players.
But for players interested in trying a social deduction game that gives a unique experience, Unfortunate Spacemen is free to play and worth trying.Published 16 Nov 2020, 00:55 IST