Review: Among Us Exciting, Easy To Play

Multiplayer game has become 2020’s global obsession


Photo by Zoie Carlile

Freshman Rikhil Katuri plays Among Us with his Biology class. After taking notes on cells, the in person students played together. “The game brings people together,” Katuri said.

Red’s lowkey sus, I saw them vent.

A few months ago words like these would’ve made no sense, but now they are being used in the viral game of manipulation, Among Us.

The basics of Among Us are pretty simple, which is probably one of the reasons why it’s so addictive. The pandemic environment that we all live in today has allowed for this game to thrive, as it’s perfect for online socializing and easy to pick up. You and your friends can join a game together without, of course, breaking social distancing rules, as this game allows you to play with people around the globe.

All around the world, Among Us has suddenly become a mega-hit, but it’s not the most recent of games. Despite only recently gaining popularity, the multiplayer game was launched by U.S. based developer, InnerSloth, in 2018. It came with a single map, and you could only play with those around you. When the game was first released, only about 30 people would play at a time. The game was small and unpopular, and employees at InnerSloth even began to wonder if it would ultimately fail. At one point, Innersloth added many more features and tasks to evolve the game as a gift for its small number of dedicated players.

Now in 2020, Among Us has become one of the most popular mobile and online video games of the year. In school, I’ve noticed students playing it, talking about it or even watching videos about it. Among Us is extremely well made and deserves all of its worldwide popularity.

I started playing Among Us about two months ago. After seeing references to it all over my TikTok, and kids playing it everywhere, I caved and installed Among Us for free on my phone. When I first joined, the game offered a quick summary and walkthrough of how to play. I

Biology teacher Meredith Townsend wins her first game of Among Us. She got imposter on her first round and was excited after winning. (Photo by Zoie Carlile)

was able to navigate through maps pretty fast, considering the game isn’t too complicated.

When a game starts, a player will randomly be assigned either crew mate or, my personal favorite, imposter. The goal of a crew mate is to finish tasks around the map and sniff out the imposters. The goal of the deceivers in the game, or the imposters, is to kill off the crew mates while sabotaging their missions. Someone is always lying or manipulating you in order to steal the win. Defense, sabotage, and the skill to sway a group of anonymous online players are all crucial things to master when it comes to this game.

There is also a free-play feature that allows you to practice navigating tasks and maps by yourself instead of playing with others. Among Us offers a mysterious mood, certainly a fitting one for the battle between crew mates and imposter.

My initial reaction when I opened the game was that it looked really cool. The graphics are simple but in a satisfying way. Avatars can be a variety of different colors with limited features. The simple characters aren’t a bad thing, though, and the game’s design fits the feel.

Not only are the graphics good, but the sound effects and music are also perfect for the experience. Small sound effects such as walking around and doing tasks are included, along with suspenseful music on the game’s opening screen.

The game features three different, beautifully designed maps. There is a spaceship, an icy planet base and a company headquarters, otherwise known as the Skeld, the Polus, and MIRA HQ. I most enjoy playing on the Skeld, AKA, the spaceship map. The Skeld is the first map I played in, so the design of the Skeld map is the most familiar to me.

The first time I played online, I was surprisingly assigned to be an imposter. The prospect of getting to deceive other players and play as a villain excited me. As I sat there in my room, I was transported to a spaceship far away with other players from all over North America. The game started, and I walked innocently around the spaceship using my map to get around. Then, I saw another player.

Without a second thought, I quickly smacked the kill button. Bam! I had completed my first kill in Among Us. Soon after this, however, I discovered the repercussions of my actions.

Another player had seen me kill and reported the body. When a body is reported, or an emergency meeting is held, players have a few minutes to discuss and vote on who they think the murderer is. Of course, I was nervous as the meeting began.

“I saw you kill,” one of the players said bluntly.

I had no choice but to admit to my actions. It was my first time playing, and there was no other option but to surrender to defeat. Or so I thought.

Now, I’ve learned there’s definitely some strategy in this game. I could have placed the blame on a completely innocent crew mate, and from there, maybe continued to victory. That’s what makes this game so exhilarating. You get to use your own individual strategy and persuasion to beat the odds.

So many times, I have found myself in a situation where other players turn on me and tell me I’m “sus” (suspicious). Despite putting up my best defense, I’ll end up getting booted from the ship. Yet I find that’s part of the fun of the game. You have to accept losses because maybe someone else has a better strategy than you.

Though I enjoy the game, there are a few flaws. If you want to play Among Us, make sure that you have at least some sort of internet connection, as the game will momentarily cut out or not let you on a server because of connectivity errors. Another small flaw that the game has is that it can get repetitive. If I’m playing as a crew mate, over and over again, I find myself getting a little bored.

These are all minor flaws in the grand scheme of things. Overall, Among Us is a fantastic game, and people across the globe seem to agree.

One of the main sources that aided in Among Us’ sudden popularity boost is Twitch streamers. Sometime in June, influencers in Brazil and South Korea began recording themselves playing the game and uploading it online, and soon after, the U.S. caught the obsession. Influencers and Youtubers such as Ninja and PewDiePie began playing the game, and soon there was a massive spark in player increase. All of this information about a simple game has been able to get out over every social media platform. Because of the nonstop attention, player numbers have gone insane. The game hit 1.5 million simultaneous players in September. At one point, 3.8 million people logged on to play at the same time, leading to the game’s servers crashing.

Even though the spark in Among Us obsession has leveled out a bit, I still play almost every day. Clearly, there are many exciting features to explore in the game, which is surprising because it seems like such a simple game.