Impostor games are so hot right now. Or, actually, they were hot a few years ago, and still are - despite hitting viral success during last year's pandemic, Among Us actually came out in 2018, and Gnosia - which launches on Switch today - was originally released on the PlayStation Vita in 2019. Likewise, similar board games like Mafia and Werewolf have been around since at least the '80s, but have more recently received official game variants and inspired spinoffs like Secret Hitler.
In an impostor game, the stakes are simple, but high: at least one of your party is an alien/werewolf/assassin/Hitler, and the rest of the group has to figure out who they are before they are all killed or sabotaged in some way. Despite the simplicity of the setup, the game itself is anything but, as players must negotiate, lie, accuse each other, and generally use all the tools in their human psychology toolbox to get out of trouble and find the culprit.
Gnosia does things differently to most of these impostor games, because it is specifically not a game to be played in a group - instead, it handles things more like the Zero Escape series series, or Danganronpa, by presenting the impostor story as a single-player visual novel.
What's more, players are trapped in a timeloop - another popular mechanic that we're very fond of - and they have to figure out why, alongside trying to identify the Gnosia, a mysterious and deadly threat, and deflecting suspicion away from themselves. The vibrant and varied cast of characters includes more than one non-binary character, as well as a beluga whale that can speak, and a weird alien person that doesn't wear any clothes.
"Each round of Gnosia takes roughly 5 to 15 minutes," the developers explain, "with each playthrough comprising rounds or ‘Loops’ of time. To experience the full story, players can expect to play between 20 and 25 hours." Players can even add up to 14 characters to make the story "more intense".
Back when the game released on Vita in 2019, the response was pretty quiet - the Vita was at the end of its lifecycle, and it was an exclusive, too. But when Famitsu gave the game 36/40 and IGN Japan awarded it a full 10/10, it gained cult popularity - and now it's finally on the Switch, it might receive even more.
Gnosia is out now on the Nintendo Switch eShop, for $24.99/£22.49.
Are you a Danganronpa, VLR, or Among Us fan that's interested in Gnosia? Same. Tell us about your thoughts in the comments below.