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Let’s Kill our Friends in Among Us: How a game from 2018 took the world by storm in 2020

If you’ve been to summer camp, you likely learned the game Mafia. The game involves people sitting in a circle, pretending to be citizens of a village. Every “night” when the city goes to sleep– everyone closes their eyes– two mafia members awake to wreak havoc on the town by killing off members one by one. In the morning, whoever is running the game (sometimes called “God” or the narrator) tells the players who has been killed, and everyone meets to discuss who the mafia members are. If they successfully vote out the mafia members before everyone is killed, the citizens win. That’s the gist of it.

Among Us
Courtesy of Innersloth Inc.

Innersloth Inc’s new title, Among Us, takes this concept and transforms it into an innovative and enjoyable video game experience. The village is now a spaceship, the citizens are crew members, and the mafia members are “imposters.” The crew runs about the ship performing various tasks in order to keep the ship running, while the imposter goes around killing people trying not to get caught. When, inevitably, players find their fallen comrades, an emergency meeting is called and players can vote on who the imposter is. If they vote correctly, they win. If they vote incorrectly or not at all, the next round begins as the imposter gets to murder their friends in gruesome and sometimes hilarous ways.

What stops this from being an all-around bloodbath is the art style. This isn’t some gritty 3-D apocalyptic ship like in Halo, it’s a fun cartoony game with characters that look like this:

Photo Courtesy of Innersloth Inc.

This game hit the market in July of 2018 on IOS and Android, and August 2018 on Steam, over a full two years ago. Why on earth would we be writing an article about it now?

Streaming.

It turns out this indie game with only three developers was perfect for streamers. It combines simple gameplay with somewhat complex strategy; it’s multiplayer, allowing for a lot of collabs; games can be completed in anywhere from 5-10 minutes, leading to more content; and in all seriousness, it’s a lot of fun to watch, whether a streamer is playing as an imposter or crew member. 

During 2020, when everyone is at home and craving human connection, it is also a great way to socialize. While Fall Guys is also multiplayer, Among Us requires interaction, since you can enable voice chat to debate and discuss in order to vote. The game’s popularity didn’t just grow, it exploded.

In 2 months, the game went from almost no streams to peaking at over 6 thousand with over 360k watching. Photo from Blake Robbin’s Twitter

In fact, at the time of this article, there are over 68 thousand people currently playing according to Stream Charts. I don’t mean people who have played the game, I mean at this moment in time there are that many people actively on the game.

So, whether you want to fix a spaceship or kill your friends because they didn’t invite you to a birthday party one time, there’s something for everyone. If you’d like to get it yourself, it’s currently available on steam.

Also be on the lookout, the writer’s room at Stropse can get pretty tense, and we may need to find a way to settle who the best writer is once and for all.

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