Among Us: Killing the Competition


Among Us Art

Jessica Bui

“Among Us” has become one of the most popular games, with 40 million downloads acting as a dead giveaway.

“Among Us” is an American science-fiction, murder-mystery multiplayer game, created by the indie game company, InnerSloth. InnerSloth also designed the “Henry Stickman Collection,” which gained attention with its new release earlier in August.

Although it was released in June of 2018, its fame has skyrocketed in recent days, after popular Twitch streamers Ninja, Gaules and xQcOW, as well as others, started playing it. The game is currently available on Steam, iOS, Android and Microsoft Windows.

“It’s great to lie with and to your friends,” junior Mariella Chavarria said. “It’s either nerve-wracking trying to figure out who’s [the] imposter or being very skillful as the imposter.”

The gameplay of “Among Us” follows a group of four to ten crewmates in space. Among the crewmates, there is an imposter, whose goal is to kill enough crewmates to win the game. Crewmates want to finish their tasks before the imposter wins, also trying to vote the imposter out before they lose their chance of winning. An important factor is having a strategy, as there are many ways to fail, get caught or be killed, not forgetting the addition of a kill cool down and majority rule in voting people off. 

In it, there are tasks, maps, customization and more. Tasks are activities crewmates do to help succeed, but imposters can’t do them. This makes it harder for imposters to prove what they were doing if they can’t tell what task they’ve completed. There are four types of task: visual, short, long and common.

How do players know where to go? Each place will have a map of the area. There are exclamation marks for each assignment crewmates must complete, and each room has a different task that needs to be done. Yet, there are two systems in the game that allow you to see if people are in a room or a specific area, which are admin and cameras. Although, imposters can sneak around using vents to go from one place to another, pop out, kill and run. However, it’s a grave mistake if you get caught.

“You want to drive people away from the body, or bodies, as much as possible,” junior Arlene Grajeda said. “There are vents, cameras … you’re able to sabotage. It’s just a matter of if you get caught.”

Dead bodies, killed by an imposter, are reported by another crewmate or an imposter. Another way to call everyone and have a discussion time is to start an emergency meeting, which are usually located in the cafeteria. An imposter can stall this by sabotaging and creating a problem, such as breaking the lights, turning off oxygen or destroying communications. All of these can be fixed, but emergency meetings can’t be called unless a body is reported. 

“You have to see who is being suspicious and who is lying about being in certain places at certain times,” Chavarria said.

Voting during meetings is simple to understand. Players argue amongst themselves and decide who to eject. They may skip voting if there isn’t enough conclusive evidence to pick a person.

“I feel like it’s an easy game to learn, so eventually I think anyone can get the hang of it,” junior Alyssa Wilson said.

It’s typical for new players to become lost in maps and become confused about what to do. There’s no tutorial or easy way to grasp the game other than playing it out for a few rounds. This may be a turn off for new players who feel as though they aren’t good enough. Those who aren’t good at strategy might have a hard time learning how to suspect people or make a judgment, which also includes how to accuse people with evidence and understand how parts of it work.

“It’s important to know how to lie without sounding suspicious,” Wilson said. “It’s also important to know how to get people on your side when voting.”

These are vital skills in the game, skills not everyone can have or be good at. Players need to be able to strategize to catch the imposter, though too many pointing fingers can lead to suspicion and may evidently lead to you being voted off. 

“‘Among Us’ is … unlike other murder mystery games,” Wilson said. “‘Among Us’ gives normal players tasks that they can complete … rather than having a killer and a detective. It gives every player a chance to have an important role in the game.”

Including its high reviews, a 9/10 on Steam and a ‘Very Popular’ rank, it’s fair to say that most people enjoy the game. What makes “Among Us” unique is that it’s supposed to be a mute game, where you can’t talk to anyone –– not even your teammates. This creates both advantages and disadvantages, but compared to the parts of the game, it balances out. Whereas other games allow you to talk to everyone on the team, in “Among Us,” the option to chat isn’t available until a discussion is called. Even if players are in a call, the game is meant to be played silently, so players must mute and resist the urge to type to each other.

“The colors and accessories that people use and call their main gives them a kind of personal tie to the game,” Chavarria said.

Looking at the culture “Among Us” has created, it’s becoming more prevalent, through jokes and how your character somehow becomes the embodiment of who you are. The artwork made for the game is spectacular, and “Among Us” has become one of those games everyone knows and enjoys playing.

“Don’t try and ruin friendships over this game,” Grajeda said.