Among Us is an awesome game now widely played game app in Philippines. In 2018, ‘Among Us’ saw less than 1,000 concurrent players. In Sept. 2020, this number peaked at 3.5 million. Among Us is an online multiplayer social deduction game developed and published by American game studio InnerSloth and released on June 15, 2018. The game takes place in a space-themed setting, in which players each take on one of two roles, most being Crewmates, and a predetermined number being Impostors.
The goal of the Crewmates is to identify the Impostors, eliminate them, and complete tasks around the map; the Impostors’ goal is to covertly sabotage and kill the Crewmates before they complete all their tasks. Through a plurality vote, players believed to be Impostors may be removed from the game. If all Impostors are eliminated or all tasks are completed, the Crewmates win; if there is an equal number of Impostors and Crewmates, or if a critical sabotage goes unresolved, the Impostors win.
Among US game app received an influx of popularity in 2020 due to many well-known Twitch streamers and YouTubers playing it. In response to the game’s popularity, a sequel, Among Us 2, was announced in August 2020. However, a month later in September, the planned sequel was canceled, as the team instead shifted focus to improving the original game. Among Us has inspired internet memes and achieved a large following online.
About the gameplay
Among Us is a multiplayer game, supporting four to ten players. One to three of these players are randomly selected each game to be Impostors, while the rest are Crewmates. The game can take place on one of three maps: a spaceship (The Skeld), a headquarters building (Mira HQ), or a planet base (Polus). Players can join on a local or online server. They can play with people they know by sharing a code or can join games with strangers.
The ultimate goal of the Crewmate is to figure out who the Imposter is. Every time a dead body is reported, everybody votes on who the Imposter is. Meanwhile, the Imposter’s goal is to try to take out the whole Crew, pretending he is part of the Crew the whole time.
Crewmates are given “tasks” to complete around the map in the form of minigames, consisting of maintenance work on vital systems, such as electrical rewiring and fueling engines. Impostors are given a fake list of tasks to blend in with Crewmates, although they are unable to complete any task. They can sabotage the map’s systems, traverse vents to get around the playing space quickly, work with and identify any other Impostors, and kill Crewmates. If a player dies, they become a ghost; ghosts can pass through walls, but can only interact with the world in limited ways and are invisible to everyone except other ghosts. However, they must still complete their tasks.
All players, aside from ghosts, have a limited cone of vision, only allowing them to see other players within a certain unblocked distance around them, despite the game’s top-down perspective.
The Crewmates win by completing all tasks or by finding and eliminating all the Impostors. For the Impostors to win, they must either have a sabotage countdown run out or kill enough Crewmates such that the number of Impostors is equal to the number of Crewmates. Ghosts help their living teammates by completing tasks (as a Crewmate) or performing sabotages (as an Impostor). When an Impostor performs a sabotage, either there is an immediate consequence (such as all the lights being turned off or doors being closed) or a countdown begins. In the latter case, if the sabotage is not resolved before the countdown finishes, the Impostors win.
Sabotages can be resolved by living players in varying ways depending on which sabotage is performed. Games can also end by players quitting the match if doing so fulfills any win condition; a player quitting is equivalent to them being eliminated, and a Crewmate quitting leads to their tasks being considered completed for the total.
Any living player who finds a dead body can report it, which halts all other gameplay and calls a group meeting. In the meeting, players discuss who they believe is an Impostor based on the evidence surrounding the killing. To help determine the identity of Impostors, there are various tracking systems in each map, such as a security camera system in the Skeld, a doorlog in Mira HQ, and a vitals indicator in Polus. If a plurality vote is reached, the chosen person is ejected from the map and dies. Living players may also call an “emergency meeting” by pressing a button in the map at any time, except when a sabotage is in progress. Players can communicate in a text chat, but can only speak during meetings, and only if they are alive, although ghosts can speak with one another at any time.
While the game does not have a built-in voice chat system, it is common for players to use external programs such as Discord while playing. In each game’s lobby, various options can be adjusted to customize aspects of gameplay, such as the vision range of the Crewmates and the Impostors, and the number of emergency meetings. There are also many cosmetic options, including spacesuit colors, skins, hats, and pets, some of which are paid downloadable content.
How popular is Among Us?
Associated Press noted the game was the most downloaded app on the iOS App Store for both iPhones and iPads in October 2020. Craig Pearson of Rock, Paper, Shotgun found playing as an Impostor “a lot more fun” than playing as a Crewmate, which he called “exhausting”. In reference to the game’s popularity among streamers, Evelyn Lau of The National said: “Watching the reactions of people trying to guess who the imposter is (and sometimes getting it very wrong) or lying terribly about not being the imposter is all quite entertaining.” Alice O’Conner of Rock, Paper, Shotgun described the game as “Mafia or Werewolf but with minigames”. Andrew Penney of TheGamer said the game was “worth it for the price” and that “who you play with dictates how fun the game is.”
Among Us has been frequently compared to Fall Guys, as both became popular as party games during the COVID-19 pandemic; the developers of the games have both positively acknowledged each other on Twitter. Comparisons have also been drawn between the two games’ avatars, which have been said to look like jelly beans. Among Us has also been compared to The Thing, Town of Salem, Werewolves Within and Secret Hitler.
In its first year, the game never saw more than 1,000 concurrent players. This month, it was reported by Screenrant that Among Us saw 388,000 concurrent players on Steam, surpassing PUBG. This doesn’t even take into account the players who are on their phones, as Among Us is downloadable on both iOS and Android. On all devices, it is estimated that the game peaked at 3.5 million concurrent players in late September.
The delayed popularity of the game has been linked to the attention the game has gotten by popular streamers on Twitch and YouTube, including PewDiePie.
The popularity of Among Us thus means people seek out other people, create connections, and want to be social.