An explainer on the world’s latest gaming obsession by Ananya S Rao, Strategy Associate
Over the past few days, I often found myself explaining to people why I’m suddenly hooked onto an online game called ‘Among Us’. Let me tell you, I have never, ever played anything close to an online game before with an exception of Club Penguin, of course. But this one particular online game got the world sus‐ing everyone around them. Sus? What’s sus? Don’t know what that means? If you were playing the game right now, you’d be the sus aka the suspect.
Before I go on and on about the game itself and its lingo, let me give you a brief idea of what the game is all about.
‘Among Us,’ developed by a US-based company called InnerSloth, is an online multiplayer game that beat PUBG in the most downloads race of 2020.
Launched in 2018, it merely had an average player count of 8.2 people, but is now the 3rd highest played game, the most viewed game on Twitch, and is taking over YouTube. Initially popularized by Korean and Brazillian YouTube streams, this game as the kids say it is ‘everything’.
In the Play Store, it’s currently rated 4.5 stars, with over 34 lakh reviews, and 100 million+ downloads. It’s not surprising that in India, especially with the ban of PUBG and Fortnite, Among Us rose up the ranks pretty quickly and is currently the World’s No.1 Online Game.
How does the game work?
It’s a simple social deduction game. You are either an imposter or a crewmate. With your identity being anonymous, if you’re an imposter, you aim to eliminate as many crew members as possible without allowing anyone to suspect you. You being an imposter receive special perks such as using the vents to hide and escape or to even pretend to be an innocent crewmate.
But if you’re a crewmate, your objective is to complete your allotted tasks without getting killed. If you come across a murder, you can immediately report which leads to an ‘emergency meeting’, you and the rest of the crew along with the imposters are given discussion time where you can either defend your honor or point a finger at a sus.
The game uses three servers namely: Asia, Europe, and North America, for individuals to get access to games world over, making it the number one meme bait of not just the month, but probably even the year. Groups of friends can be on a call or use Discord to send each other the room code and all play the same game. This has gained immense popularity leading to Discord’s mobile app downloads hitting new heights. As Apptopia’s Adam Blacker recently observed: “Discord has been hitting a new lifetime high for mobile app downloads every day since September 5th.” That’s around 800,000 installs a day.
What makes this game hilarious and addictive is the fact that every participant is completely anonymous in terms of their name, age, and location. The game allows you to customize and personalize your character with colors and cool hats.
People have taken it to social media to talk about some of the hilarious names they’ve encountered while playing the game. There’s even an article on it!
Among Us, is now a sensation. A community of sorts? With the social media boom, talking to strangers around the world has never been easier. It’s not new that we hear about gaming pals, being real-life buds, similarly, some participants formed such strong bonds on the game that they decided to connect in real-life as well. Ah, the beauty of the internet!
But this game isn’t the first of its kind.
Mafia and Wolf are amongst the most popular games of our time, come to think of it, ‘Among Us’ and ‘Wolf’ are pretty similar.
How, you ask? Let’s compare the two.
In Wolf, the werewolves are equivalent to the Imposters in Among Us, and the villagers are equivalent to the crewmates. Similar to how the imposter must kill its fellow crew, at night, the werewolves must affirm to sacrifice one villager. Unaware of who the villagers decided to kill, a cop can request to know the identity of any player.
During the day, a doctor has the perk to save one villager. If both the werewolf and the doctor choose the same person, no one is eliminated, else, one villager is killed.
And now the discussion begins. (See what I mean? They’re pretty similar!)
Villagers and disguised wolves as villagers get into finding the suspect aka the wolf aka the imposter. The accused may defend themselves or see the same day of light has the villager who was just sacrificed. (Variants include having a ‘Rogue’ that is a wolf that goes out as a villager when voted out in day-time, ‘Priest’ that is a priest can use their power once in the entire game only, but regardless of who the wolves had chosen to kill, they’re saved)
If you’re wondering why I wrote this
The widespread fame of Among Us made me think about how we live in a day and age where trends, interests, and almost everything around us is nothing more than a mere phase. Take, for example, the app Houseparty. Though this feels like a lifetime ago, Houseparty was in the middle of memes, conversation, and much more on social media. Pretty similar to how Among Us is right now, but now, like every other trend, it looks back at its days of glory.
And, as the saying goes ‘If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.’, after spending countless hours of my sleep time, and attempting to explain what the whole deal of ‘Among Us’ was all about, the idea hit me.
Why waste my precious time presenting my case when I can just send them this article instead? While I utilize my few spare minutes to ‘sabotage’ the comms room, rather than ‘venting’ from one conversion to another.
If you’re still curious about the game, I suggest you not try it out. It’s highly addictive and will rob you of your sanity when you’re ‘one amongst the crew’. But then again, you’d be one out of the 3.8 million concurrent users and be one ‘Among Us’.