With the recent popularity of Among Us, it was inevitable that more games would try to emulate its gameplay in hopes of eking out their own multiplayer fan base. First Class Trouble seems to take gameplay elements from games like Murder Party, The Ship, and notably, Among Us, to bring an experience that isn’t quite an Among Us clone, but is pretty darn close.
First Class Trouble is a game that’s all about deception. It’s a 3D game played in a third person perspective—which is already a plus for those who rejected Among Us based on its graphics. You play as a group of residents on a space ship—clearly a pleasure cruise—when something goes awry. The AI is trying to kill you! You have to band together with the other residents to stave off the depletion of oxygen while making your way down a couple of decks to the AI mainframe. Shut off the AI, and you win. The only problem is, not everyone is trying to help you. Out of the six residents, two are actually synthetic people known as Personoids.
To get to the lower decks, you’ll have to find the keys to the elevator—and there are three keys per level. Finding keys is a matter of exploration, and removing obstacles. Do this by putting out fires, opening rooms, or going across walkways. There are a lot of trust exercises in First Class Trouble—a lot of the game requires you to partner up to complete tasks. Beware though: your partner could be a Personoid. You’re not assigned specific tasks, however—so it’s easier to sneak around as a Personoid and avoid detection, though there are certain objects that a Personoid can interact with that regular residents can’t—and there are certain actions only a Personoid can perform, too. Finding someone doing one of these actions is a way to determine who is an artificial person, and which of your teammates are the real deal. There’s not much time to determine that, though. The threat of oxygen depletion hangs over each round, and unless residents are constantly putting in new O2 reserves, you’ll be out of luck–and air.
You don’t only find keys though. There are lots of different items you can find, some of which can help you in your playthrough. For instance, the key card triangulator helps you find hidden keys so you can progress. The corpse scanner allows you to scan the dead to see if they’re human—or Personoids. Residents can’t fight against known Personoids alone—but you can throw bottles, or hit them with objects to slow them. Another resident can hold a Personoid, and murder them—or fellow residents, if you’re not careful. At the end of each floor, the residents (and Personoids) all get together to vote to see who is a Personoid or a robot. Those voted off are expelled via airlock—but be careful who you vote for. It’s easy to throw an innocent out into the vacuum of space.
I don’t necessarily foresee First Class Trouble gaining the same type of popularity as Among Us—though it’s certainly possible. It has all of the elements for a fun party game. However, it is a little difficult for newcomers to pick up, especially if you’re playing in public games. I find First Class Trouble is an experience best shared with friends—but without private lobbies, you’ll need a full party of six to make that happen.
First Class Trouble is in early access, and that means it’s not quite out of development yet. In its current state, it feels almost like a finished game. According to the Steam Early Access section for First Class Trouble, developer Invisible Walls lays out their development plans, which include four player maps and different weapons/traps. There is also a plan to implement player perks, though it’s not clear if this is part of a progression system.
First Class Trouble isn’t the most unique of ideas, but it has a great execution, even in its Early Access form. It didn’t hurt that I played with a group of close friends, and we shared in many laughs—and that’s probably one of the best ways to play a game like this. But if you don’t have a group of friends, getting a public game going only takes a few moments—it seems like the community for First Class Trouble is rather robust. I hope it stays that way, because First Class Trouble is turning out to be something special.
First Class Trouble is available now on Steam Early Access.
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