What is the Among Us game?
This is one of the best short descriptions ever:
An online and local party game of teamwork and betrayal for 4-10 players…in space!
Who wouldn’t want to play a game that offers those things? Here’s the official Apple App Store description:
Play online or over local WiFi with 4-10 players as you attempt to prep your spaceship for departure, but beware as one will be an impostor bent on killing everyone! Crew mates can win by completing all tasks or discovering and voting the impostor off the ship. The Impostor can use sabotage to cause chaos, making for easier kills and better alibis.
[Excerpted from Wikipedia] The game has been around since 2018, but SURGED to popularity in the US in the summer of 2020 due to Twitch streamer Chance ‘Sodapoppin’ Morris and his streaming of the game to his massive following. In September 2020, it received 100 million downloads (more than doubling August downloads), as well as gaining nearly 400 thousand concurrent players on Steam. 
App Category: Games
Corporate website: InnerSloth
APP Store rating:
What do parents need to know about Among Us?
The game is fun. Seriously! If you’re with family for a party, be prepared for a great laugh. We’ve had many parents delighted that there’s finally a game that their kids think is cool and isn’t totally inappropriate (or complicated for us parents!).
Among Us collects data (driven by Google) in order to serve up ads when you’re on the free version. Here’s the disclaimer you see when setting up the app.
Among Us allows players to connect with other players from anywhere. This of course brings the inherent stranger risk that any online game has. The game also has in-game chatting, which you can see in the image below. BONUS – you can select a “Censor Chat” in settings and it does a decent job “****-ing” out swear words. It did well with the standard naughty words, but it let “fricken” through (lol). But again, there’s always greater risks when chatting with online strangers. Also, note that usernames from other players can be mature. You just can’t control that.
Special “stranger” note from a mom who posted on our Facebook page:
“I have now seen twice [where] people ask for Snapchat usernames, and one person asked if I’m male or female then asked for [a] Snap name from someone else. Freaked me out. Something to watch for in the pregame chats.”
Here’s are 2 digital truths that impact Among Us:
- Where the kids are is ALWAYS where the predators are.
- All digital environments with chat ALWAYS struggle with the content being shared. I don’t care how good their syntax controls are.
I suspect we will soon see news stories detailing how Among Us was used by a predator to groom a kid. It eventually happens in every app with public chat. For this reason, we believe that a more appropriate age for the app should be 12+ and if you allow elementary-aged kist to play it, it should always be supervised by a parent.
Related post: Tricky People – Stranger Danger in the Digital Age
There are 3 different options for playing the game: (1) being the host device for other local network players, (2) playing online with others, or (3) using a private invite code from (1) to join them.
Our final note is that the game can be played on Steam via a PC, which does make it slightly more attractive for monitoring play for younger players as they get started. Hopefully, that Chromebook, laptop, or PC is in a public place!
Among Us Steam page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/945360/Among_Us/
The bottom line: Is Among Us safe for your kids?
- Due to the public chat, the age of app in the App Stores should be at least 12+.
- Anyone younger than 12 should be supervised 100% of the time while playing Among Us.
This app can be a lot of fun, if you have strong digital trust with your kid. Just make sure they know how to handle strangers, to avoid naughty chat, and YOU as the parent have to play it with them first! Maybe you both join an online game together?
- Stay current on the digital landscape by registering for our free, weekly parent webinars.
- If you want to allow kids to pick apps but with permission – Set up Family Sharing (iPhone) or Family Link (Android).
- If you want to prevent access to app stores altogether – Turn off the App Store in Screen Time (iPhone) or use an App Lock (Android).
*There might be affiliate links throughout this post because we’ve tested and trust a small list of parental control solutions. Our work saves you time! If you decide that you agree with us, then we may earn a small commission, which does nothing to your price. Enjoy!