What is Among Us and Why is Everyone Crazy About It?
Unless you haven’t been online lately, chances are you’ve heard about the game Among Us. It has more than 1.5 million players, after all, and it seems to still be growing in popularity. But what is Among Us, anyway, and what makes it a hit?
Turning an IRL Party Game Into an Online Video Game
Among Us is a social deduction game – it’s something meant to be played with friends. While it’s possible to play with strangers, the game really shines when played with a closely-knit group. As a social deduction game, the players’ relationships, dynamics, and personalities heavily affect the game. You’d usually find streamers playing the game with voice chat on, as communication is very important in a game about cooperation and deception.
Among Us is heavily inspired by the real-life party games like Werewolf and Mafia. You either play as one of the Crewmates or one of the Impostors. As a Crewmate, you complete tasks to try to get a spacecraft to launch. As an Impostor, you try to sabotage the tasks and kill the Crewmates.
Everytime someone discovers a dead body, the game enters a voting phase, where the Crewmates vote on who to evict from the spacecraft. Sly Impostors can use this as an opportunity to put the blame on an innocent Crewmate. Meanwhile, this gives an opportunity for everyone to discuss what they’ve seen and what they’ve noticed. Ultimately, the Crewmates win if they finish all their tasks or have kicked out all Impostors. Meanwhile, once the number of Impostors have overtaken the Crewmates, then the Impostors win.
Rise to Fame
No one will fault you for thinking that Among Us has just been recently released. But the game’s developers InnerSloth actually released it on mobile way back in June 2018. Its small team of three developers never expected the game to blow up like it did – in fact the team claims that they never had any solid plans for Among Us at all. But they stuck with the game, updating it regularly for the several people who were actually playing it in the early days.
It wasn’t until the game was picked up by streamers around the world did it start becoming wildly popular. The craze can trace its roots in Korea, where it was popular within the local gaming community. Then it was picked up by a Youtuber in Brazil, who then helped spread the game through his fans. It became a mainstay for Twitch streamers when it was picked up by Chance “Sodapoppin” Morri last July, who then helped spread the game’s popularity to mainstream audiences.
Since then, the game has been picked up by countless Youtubers across the globe. It also has slowly taken over mainstays in the Twitch charts, even catching up with another party game sensation, Fall Guys. The game’s simple and approachable gameplay makes it easy for just anyone to pick up, and its appeal translates well across languages, making it very easy to spread. Its simple but engaging gameplay allows it to sustain its growth, and there seem to be no indications that the hype will die down anytime soon.
The Future of Among Us
InnerSloth have already decided to call it quits for the game in 2020 – they consider its current version to be “complete”. But they still are updating the game to add more quality of life features, as well as some functionalities that modern multiplayer games have.
However, the team is wary of adding new mechanics that might end up breaking the game. Instead, they are putting their energy and efforts into the development of a sequel. InnerSloth hasn’t stated when we can expect its release.
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As a viewer, you can now also use the brand new Among Us stickers