Photo by Andrew Lam: Among Us is a murder-mystery type game released in 2018 that has recently seen a surge in popularity due to exposure in live streams and gameplay videos. The goal is for the Crewmates to finish their tasks and sleuth out the Impostor, while the Impostor tries to eliminate everyone.

Review: ‘Among Us’ deserves sudden popularity

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Despite being released in 2018, “Among Us” has recently seen massive success in the limelight as gameplays and live streams of the game have surged in popularity. The game puts a spin on the murder-mystery genre by including secondary objectives, like completing tasks, as an alternative to winning the game. In “Among Us”, an Impostor tries to eliminate your group while the innocent Crewmates complete tasks and deliberate over who, among them, is the Impostor. It is free on mobile platforms and costs $4.99 on PC.

I was first introduced to “Among Us” by friends as a casual game we could play during weekends. I downloaded it on my phone for free, and the game quickly started up. The menu was simple and did not need much explanation to navigate. Extensive character customization was also integrated well, allowing you to pick your character’s color, head accessory, and for an extra fee, a pet and outfit. My first game was difficult and I was unclear about the objective, but after a couple more rounds, the game became more enjoyable.

My role was a Crewmate and I spent most of my first game aimlessly wandering around the map, trying to find the tasks I needed to accomplish. However, I did not get far into my to-do list when the Impostor eliminated me. The death animation was gruesome, but comically so because of its simplistic, comic-like art style and dramatized sound effects like the neck cracking. After many games, I eventually became the Impostor and had to pretend to complete a list of fake tasks. This time, however, I had some experience under my belt. I was able to eliminate two people and successfully feign innocence in the first emergency meeting. The stress from sneaking around the map and making up alibis weighed down too heavily on me, making the Impostor role seem less attractive. I ultimately cracked under pressure in the secondary emergency meeting, ending my short-lived career as the Impostor.

“Among Us” is an incredibly addictive game that strikes the perfect balance between strategy, adrenaline, and casual fun. I found the game to be much more entertaining with friends since it heavily emphasizes communication to sleuth out the Impostor. I also enjoyed being able to play even after I was eliminated, whereas in similar games, your role in the game is reduced to a passive spectator. After you die in a game, you become a ghost and can continue completing your tasks as a Crewmate. You can also sabotage the remaining players as an Impostor.

Like all games, “Among Us” has its fair share of imperfections. The objective of completing a maximum of ten tasks imposes a steep learning curve since you have to learn their locations and how to perform them for all three maps. Sometimes, these tasks can be tedious. “Swipe Card”, where you have to swipe an ID card at just the right speed, and “Fix Weather Node” are two of them. “Fix Weather Node” is particularly difficult on mobile since you have to navigate a tight maze with your finger.

Still, “Among Us” undoubtedly deserves the recent attention it has managed to receive. The individual uniqueness of every game gives the game its special and unmatched charm. Even watching gameplay from creators can be as engaging as playing a round yourself. “Among Us” is the perfect game to quickly pick up for free and can bring endless bouts of chaotic laughter and memories with friends.

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