There is a reporter “Among Us”

WSS staffer Carter McLaughlin ’23 shares his thoughts on the 2-year-old game “Among Us.”

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Cassandra Michaels

Among Us has been used to help people connect when they can’t meet in-person.

“Among Us,” after being released two years ago on June 15, 2018, has gained immense popularity in the last few months. One main cause of the surge in popularity can be attributed to a large number of famous YouTubers and streamers playing the game, which caused many others to follow the trend. 

A wall decoration inspired by famous YouTubers’ Among Us characters. (Cameron Reimers)

Some of these famous YouTubers include PewDiePie, Pokimane and Corpse Husband. Some voice actors have also played “Among Us,” and even some Iowa politicians have streamed the game on Twitch, like Iowa State Senator Zach Wahls. The large number of well-known people playing “Among Us” has caused collaborations people may have never expected before.

The popularity itself encouraged the developers of the game, InnerSloth to announce in August 2020 that a sequel was in the works. The main reason the developers planned this sequel was the outdated codebase of the original game. However, by the following month, the sequel was canceled, with InnerSloth instead opting to improve upon the original game because of fan enjoyment. One improvement recently added was colorblind support, and a friend system is said to be on the way.

“Among Us” follows mafia-style gameplay. With four to ten players, people are split into two groups. Some players are designated as crewmates while a smaller number play as imposters. The identity of the imposter is not revealed to other players. The number of imposters can scale from one to three depending on the total number of players or based on the rules set by the host of a game.

The crewmates’ job is to either finish all of their assigned tasks or to find the imposter(s) on board and vote them off before they kill everyone. These tasks can range from connecting the same colored wires together to playing a matching game that the community has named “Simon Says.”

The imposters, parasitic shapeshifters who replace the missing crewmates, try to stop the crewmates from reaching home. The imposters do so by killing the crewmates, using vents to travel around more quickly and using sabotages to distract the crewmates. Sabotages cause crewmates to leave what they’re doing to fix the problem. For example, when the lights are cut out, the crewmates have to fix them or suffer with decreased vision.

My first win as an imposter by tricking another crewmate into trusting me. (Carter McLaughlin)

Everyone has their preference; whether they like playing the role of a crewmate and having to solve the crime or playing as an imposter who commits it. Although the majority normally say they prefer being impostors, some do prefer playing a detective role. To me, nothing beats the exhilaration of playing the imposter role and getting to trick other players into giving me an advantage.

Currently, there are three playable maps with different strengths and weaknesses for the crewmates and imposters. There’s the Skeld, a spaceship, and the original map when the game was first released. Then there’s MIRA HQ, a massive building without security cameras like the other maps in place for Doorlogs. Lastly there’s Polus, a base on the planet of the same name and the largest map in the game.

“Among Us” is a good way to communicate with people when you can’t see them in person. Whether you’re playing with strangers or with friends, you’re in for a good time.

Playing with friends is usually the more ideal way to play since you can use outside software, such as Discord, to talk about who the imposters are during voting rather than having to type out your claims.

Talking with friends can also allow people to play the game in different ways that would be difficult to coordinate with strangers. One example of these ways to play is turning the game into hide-and-seek, where one imposter with low vision tries to find the crewmates before the crewmates finish their tasks.

Using outside software, however, does bring issues when you or others use it to go against rules in the game. When a crewmate is killed, they become a ghost and cannot say anything to the living players. Some players may be on calls with one another so they can spoil who the imposter is after their death.

The game has also had issues with a large number of hackers that can range from instantly killing and ending games to spamming in-game chats to the annoyance of many players. Fortunately, InnerSloth has been working on waves of anti-hacking measures to ensure problems like these won’t happen in the future.

I would recommend everyone to at least try the game once before you form an opinion. “Among Us” is available free on mobile devices and only $5 on PC. Someone who may not be interested in games too much may still find enjoyment in this. The simple mechanics of the game help it be playable to people of vastly different skill levels since it doesn’t require fast reaction time.

Fixing the weather node on mobile causes trouble to players when their finger hides the correct path. (Carter )

The difference between the free mobile version and the PC version is that the PC version comes with additional hats to customize your character with as well as no ads. On mobile, you’ll have to pay to remove ads and get the hats the PC players have at the start.

Some may find different tasks in the game harder depending on the version. Most would say that the card swipe is much more difficult on PC compared to mobile and vice versa when comparing the maze to fix the weather node.

Some of the most recent games to gain large popularity in such a short time, “Among Us” and “Fall Guys,” have taught us that a game doesn’t need to have super high-quality graphics to be considered good. A game only needs to be fun and entertaining for its audience to enjoy its contents.