Nothing says friendship like a battle of wits, a bit of bluffing or a whole lot of betrayal. In 2020 the multi-platform, multiplayer phenomenon that is Among Us took the world by storm, winning people over with its addictive, asymmetric gameplay and accelerating the already-huge demand for more social deduction titles, where communication with other players is the key to survival… or the reason for your untimely death.
The concept is simple; you’re either a secret traitor or an innocent soul trying to counterall the sabotage and deadly antics that get thrown your way. Players must work together to figure out – before it’s too late – the identity of the betrayer in their midst. But when the imposter could be anyone, who can you trust?
With heated group discussions, tense superstition and often-hilarious reactions to being killed by the one person you’d didn’t suspect, social deduction games make for some of the best and most memorable game nights with friends – both digitally and on the tabletop. Here’s our list of the best games like Among Us, featuring an honour-roll of outstanding PC titles and board games that will have you questioning everything you know about your fellow players in a tense struggle to make it out alive – and, you know, have a crack at winning the game along the way.
THE BEST GAMES LIKE AMONG US
- Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
- Betrayal at House on the Hill
- Dead of Wintere: A Crossroads Game
- One Night Ultimate Werewolf
- Project Winter
- Town of Salem
- Unfortunate Spacemen
Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game
When there’s a zombie apocalypse going on and every character is selfish and sneaky in their own right, finding the true traitor becomes more stressful than ever. Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game is a story-rich experience, where players struggle to keep their colony and factions alive under siege by hordes of zombies, just as – all the while – a hidden saboteur continually works against them.
It creates intense survival mind games and paranoid reasoning
With a group of characters who tend to steal and stockpile, and a new crisis card revealed every turn to deliver refreshing new ways for everyone to get killed and eaten, Dead of Winter creates some of the most intense survival mind games and preposterous paranoid reasoning you could hope for.
It also stands as one of the best story-driven options you can play, making for a rich co-operative game all round – even if it ends up with you throwing your friends to the walking dead based on a random hunch.
This here is Among Us meets John Carpenter’s The Thing, as teams of 15 race to complete tasks while being hunted by a shapeshifting monster.
With 15 maps and tons of strategic killing and trapping opportunities, Unfortunate Spacemen’s shapeshifting mode makes each round feel unique as players struggle to survive. The first-person perspective and solid art direction add an extra layer of suspense as players navigate the abandoned spaceship, anxiously awaiting the betrayer.
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Thanks to the variety of gameplay options and the recently added ‘tribunal’ system, Unfortunate Spacemen feels like a more fleshed out (and free) alternative to Among Us.
Even if you suspect the monster correctly, you still need to shoot it down, avoid being conned, and complete your objectives, making this one of the more detailed and challenging social deduction titles out right now.
Betrayal At House On The Hill
If you are a fan of slasher teen movies, this thematic board game will be right up your alley. Betrayal at House on the Hill is a semi-cooperative game where players explore a haunted house, laying down room tiles and gathering items until a ‘haunt’ is triggered. Based on certain conditions, one of 50 different scenarios will then play out, in which a traitor actively works against the group of heroes.
Perfect for gamers looking to live out their Scooby Doo fantasy
Unlike other games on our list, you often know who the traitor is. Even so, suspense and mind games still abound as you explore the house, with nary a clue who of your merry band will turn against you – until the haunt starts.
Betrayal at House on the Hill offers so many quirky, enjoyable scenarios for you to play through that it’s quite a replayable package, and its shook-up betrayer gameplay and super-accessible, likeable haunted-house aesthetic make it a winning choice for any Among Us fans hoping to live out their Scooby Doo fantasies.
Town of Salem
Town of Salem is a classic, browser-based indie game, where the cute aesthetics and discussion-driven gameplay of Among Us are elevated and expanded into a more complex web of interwoven roles and pretences.
At its core, it’s a game about a battle of alignments and a contest of lying. The 15 players each get assigned one of 29 roles, each with their own characteristics and methods to help their side win.
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On one side, you have roles like mafia or serial killers who must avoid detection and kill most players, before the other side begins to suspect and votes that they be hanged.
The Among Us before Among Us was even released, Town of Salem was and still is, a highly popular online social game deduction game with a knack for keeping players invested, even as its cartoonish, browser game-like graphics look ever more aged.
A rapid round of bluffing, Coup is a card game that will expose the expert liar in your circle of friends.
Coup’s top-tier reputation is well earned
Lasting for an average of around 15 minutes of straightforward ‘knockout’ gameplay, Coup starts players off with two character cards and two coins. To get the most influence and win the game, players will lie about cards they have, using their abilities to swindle cash. But if they get called out in their subterfuge once too often and run out of cards, it’s game over.
Simple, streamlined gameplay, pacy, quick-fire rounds and clumsy cover-ups combine to produce the same light-hearted, sociable atmosphere seen in Among Us – with added visual enjoyment to be had from the cards’ delightfully kitschy, campy sci-fi art style. As far as we’re concerned, Coup’s lofty reputation as a top-tier social deduction game is well-earned.
Intrigued? You can get Coup on Amazon by clicking here.
Seven players are thrown into a Saw-esque setting in this darker, horror-themed spin on the imposter game. The atmospheric art direction and 3D first-person perspective are a terrifying, yet intriguing, adult counterpoint to Among Us’ top-down playset full of colourful spacemen – perfect for survival horror fans.
Players must evade their former crewmates, the unfortunate test subjects of an experimental virus, who have been transformed into bloodthirsty ‘terrors’, roaming in search of their next kill.
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Although spooky overall, with so much going on in a single match, Deceit rarely manages to summon up full-blown, blood-curdling fear. Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that it’s one of the most unnerving social deduction games you can experience.
With a killer that can dodge your bullets, take cover and escape before being voted out [very sus – Ed.], convincing others and fighting for survival in Deceit creates a perpetual state of recreational anxiety that few others achieve.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf
The best available version of /the/ go-to party game – Werewolf – and probably many people’s first experience with the social deduction genre, One Night Ultimate Werewolf can only be described as a bona fide classic. By day, villagers must investigate and agree on which players are secretly werewolves, and cooperate to vote them out of the community – all the while knowing that more innocents will be slain each night until either the beasts are caught, or there’s nothing left but piles of bones and some extremely well-fed lycanthropes. .
Half the joy comes from dissecting what happened and laughing with friends
With its fast pace and variety of roles and character abilities, the game is just stupendously good fun every time, and always leaves players eager for one more round. It also consistently triggers discussions that devolve into fits of hysterics, even after the game ends (detailed experimentation by Wargamer staff has found that alcohol consumption amplifies this effect).
Half the joy comes from dissecting what happened and laughing with friends about the events of the last round. Equally brilliant for play among a close group, or as the perfect party icebreaker, it is easy to see why One Night Ultimate Werewolf is still a favourite today.
Most social deduction titles need a relatively large group, making it tricky (and sometimes a downright chore) to herd all your friends together for a good game session.
The 1v1 game SpyParty, by contrast, is a deduction game without the scheduling nightmare. This early access title sets you up either as a sniper with a single bullet, or as the marksman’s would-be target, a spy at a cocktail party who must complete a list of objectives without.
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Trying to move like NPCs as the spy, or picking out your friend’s strange behaviours as the sniper, makes for a fantastic battle of wits.
Although the game is quite pricey, especially for an early access title, we reckon its clever concept and addictive gameplay loop make it worthwhile, especially considering its somewhat rare and exotic status as a purpose-built one-on-one social deduction game.
Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
Especially if you’re a fan of the hit noughties series (or the decidedly worse 1970s original) but even just for sci-fi-lovers in general, Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game is an atmospheric tabletop joy, placing you in a tense cat-and-mouse scenario against the backdrop of a fully realised futuristic world.
Just like in the show, some of your crew are secretly cylons
Players take the roles of human crew members aboard the Galactica, a spacefaring warship fleeing from its home planet, after a mechanical race called Cylons destroyed almost all of humanity in a single, devastating surprise attack.
Just as in the show, however, some of the crew are Cylons in disguise, working to sabotage the Galactica, meaning the unfortunate human players must simultaneously manage the ship’s resources and track down the traitors before it’s too late.
With the inclusion of enemy ships and the potential for some really tough in-game decisions – all of it played out on one of the prettiest game boards we’ve seen, this truly is a fine way to live out your space fantasy while staring into the eyes of your best friends and trying to spot which one of them is actually a machine bent on your murder.
The game is always challenging for the squishy humans
Unfortunately, the game is almost always super-challenging for the squishy humans, who (let’s be honest), never stood much chance in a one-on-one contest with their cruel, chrome-plated counterparts. However, it’s having the courage to try to survive in the face of insurmountable odds that gives this heavily asymmetric board game heart – neatly mirroring one the key dramatic themes of the show.
And besides, you get to say ‘frak’ instead of real swearing and accuse all your friends of being ‘toasters’. Why are you still reading this and not playing this game?
A small groups of players finds itself stranded on an unforgiving snowy mountain, trying to complete tasks and call for a rescue – but, with two players secretly working against the group, trusting each other at all – let alone enough to ensure your survival – is no mean feat.
With strong co-operative gameplay, crafting and survival mechanics, Project Winter is a well-engineered spin on the social deduction genre. The emphasis on co-operative tasks, the mind games encouraged through weapon drops, poisoning food and the introduction of a team feature for the traitors all combine deliciously to make sure suspicion runs rampant.
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Like Among Us, the basic gameplay loop can become quite stale, and, for the best experience, it’s better to play with friends instead of joining a random game.
But with its striking minimalist art style and different setting, it’s earned its spot on our list as a very playable alternative – and a welcome change of scene, especially for a smaller group that might not have the numbers to squeeze the best out of Among Us.