“Among Us”: A murder mystery escape from the pandemic

Lischa Mears, Reporter

“Among Us” is a computer and mobile game that allows players to escape from the isolation of their home and delve into a murder mystery in space. 

Over the past several weeks, the indie game “Among Us” has reached immense popularity. Although the game was released in 2018, the total number of downloads has skyrocketed in correlation to notable Twitch streamers and Youtubers playing the game on their respective platforms. 

This rise in popularity is also due to the high accessibility of the game.  

The game is accessible on the video game digital distribution service of Steam and on mobile devices as an app. With accessibility on any modern computer, players can easily access the game. 

In addition to 18.4 million mobile downloads in August, according to Jenny Zheng from Gamespot, the game earned 41.9 million mobile downloads in September. 

Due to the influence of content creators and countless memes on Twitter, the recent draw of attention to this game has plagued potential players with one question. 

Is this game another fleeting trend, or is the gameplay worth the hype? 

Despite the fact that this game will make you lose your friends, as they discover your talent as a compelling liar, it is worth the hype. 

“Among Us” takes place in a spacecraft in outer space. In testing the limits of teamwork and betrayal, players are subjected to the role of either a crewmate or imposter. 

While the objective for a crewmate is to complete tasks on the ship and investigate the identity of the imposters, the goal of an imposter is to sabotage and kill the crew. After gathering sufficient information, crewmates hold meetings to discuss and identify the imposters. 

Once a majority vote is reached, whether innocent or not, the chosen player is ejected off the ship. The game continues until the crewmates complete their tasks, correctly identify the imposters or until the imposters kill enough players to win. 

While the storyline is not unique, the simplistic narrative and design of the game allows players to assimilate into the futuristic world of space without difficulty. 

With the ability to play with up to 10 individuals, players can play with strangers online or with friends in a private game. This flexibility allows players to have individual freedom in how they decide to play the game. 

In a time in which individuals are experiencing excessive deprivations of social interaction, the feature to play with friends allows individuals to virtually connect with loved ones and place conflicting thoughts about the pandemic to rest. 

“Among Us is a fantastic medium for spending quality time with friends (and strangers), as the entire experience [is] defined by its players’ interactions,” critic Andrew Penney wrote in his review on TheGamer. 

The generic storyline of the game is reprieved by the individuals that one decides to play with. This means that playing the game with friends, and individuals with unique personalities, defines the level of fun that a player will have.  

This level of fun can be increased by hosting a group call with friends, streaming with others on Twitch or utilizing the messaging function on the server to debate the identity of imposters with friends. 

Some may argue that the game is not worthy of its recent surge in popularity due to the repetitive tasks conducted by the player and lack of variety in the maps of the game. However, this game is worthy of its popularity and gameplay because it provides an outlet for individuals to seek solace away from the distressing worries of the pandemic. 

“Among Us” is a game that creates a safe haven for players to escape the conflicts of reality and embark on the ominous journey of a murder investigation in space. The various features of the game allow players to participate in lighthearted fun and indulge in the chaos of betrayal. 

Given these points, you may find that you no longer have friends after playing this game. This is due to the act of convincing others to trust you and simultaneously sabotaging your crew as an imposter. 

In tapping into this mystifying part of yourself, do not be afraid of your capabilities as an enthralling liar. In “Among Us”, learning to become one is an essential component in escaping into the world of a murder mystery and identifying others, for imposters in the real world are also among us.