New Gaming Craze: Among Us

Among Us was initially released in 2018, yet only recently came to the forefront of gaming.

Amaia Garay and Elizabeth Wang

Among Us was initially released in 2018, yet only recently came to the forefront of gaming. With the resurgence of players overnight, Among Us has gained traction on all platforms and attracted the attention of some of the most notable streamers of media today: Pewdiepie, Jacksepticeye, Pokimane, Disguised Toast, and Corpse Husband. 

Among Us is a take on the classic social deception game where a group of players tries to identify the ‘traitor’ amongst them. Players are dressed as astronaut crewmates whose objective is to complete various tasks before the imposter can kill them off. 

The Imposter has several abilities to help them in their objective. For one they are able to sabotage key systems in the spaceship: Oxygen and Reactor. If neither are handled within a 30-second countdown, the crewmates automatically lose. Imposters can also sabotage lights or communications to delay crewmates and sneak in the opportunity for a kill. In the case of lights, imposters have a wider range of sight compared to the crewmates’ small vision around them. And for a quick getaway? There is aseries of vents within the map that only Imposters can use to quickly transport from room to room to create an alibi.
When crewmates stumble upon a body, a meeting is called where players discuss and suspect who could have committed the deed. Common strategies include sticking in groups, as well as “proving” oneself through visual tasks that only crewmates can complete: completing a scan in Medbay, emptying the trash chute, activating the light on shields, and shooting meteoroids through weapons. For the imposter, the goal is to lie, pretend, accuse—anything that will prevent suspicion from landing on you and getting voted out. 

As we played many games of the mobile version of Among Us, there were a few key things that we noticed. For one, the game itself, as well as the characters are quite customizable, while in the ‘waiting room’ before beginning the game, players can customize their character with different suits and hats, and the host of the game can change and customize different aspects of gameplay. After starting, you enter the spaceship and use a virtual joystick to guide your character, the joystick is very easy to control making it easy to move your player around the ship. The most appealing part of the game, to us, was the fact that we were able to communicate with people all over the world and run around the ship with them feeling like we were sitting right next to each other.

As stated previously, ‘crewmates’ must complete all their tasks to win the game before being killed by the ‘imposter’, and each task is a different mini-game. Each task takes, on average, ten seconds to complete and can range between small matching puzzles to memorization games. The most difficult of the tasks is that of the ‘imposter’ who must kill ‘crewmates’ and sabotage the ship discreetly and quickly; it becomes difficult to get just one player alone and to prove your innocence to other players. Overall, the gameplay itself is rather simple and easy to understand, only becoming difficult when settings are changed or more experienced players are playing; there is no real purpose to the game except fun and socialization online, which, nowadays, is not only ideal but needed.

Among Us is available on both mobile and PC platforms, and the creators promise new updates ahead. There is currently a beta edition with new features such as anonymous voting and a hidden taskbar that increase the difficulty for crewmates to identify the imposter. These new additions could help in luring more experienced gamers to the platform, and make gameplay more exciting for everyone. With the social climate and pandemic heavily looming upon young people today, Among Us offers a small escape from reality to a futuristic, fantasy world. Many young people are lacking the social aspect of their elementary, highschool, or college lives, and playing a lighthearted colorful game online with real live people is one way that they can regain a sense of normalcy in their lives. 

Video games have always been a way to connect people of different backgrounds and in different locations, but now Among Us can even offer itself to those who know nothing about online games and simply want to have a fun time.