By Taylor Mascetta
Who would’ve thought backstabbing your friends would be so much fun?
The mobile gaming sensation “Among Us” has absolutely skyrocketed in popularity over the past few weeks, thanks to its generally enjoyable gameplay and meme-able content. The game, which was actually released by Innersloth back in 2018, reinvigorates the classic “whodunnit” trope, as crewmates and imposters battle to seize control of a spaceship. In simple terms, “Among Us” is “Mafia,” just in outer space.
The rules are simple: 10 players gather on a spaceship, where they complete a number of tasks to make sure the ship runs smoothly. The tasks consist of basic minigames across various rooms, including pressing buttons to set off a reactor, connecting wires, and swiping a card in admin. However, unbeknownst to the crewmates, all hell is about to break loose because “imposters” infiltrated the ship. Their plan? They want to murder everyone, sending the ship into chaos. It’s absolutely brutal, as the game shows animations of the imposters mercilessly murdering your characters. The crewmates win if they successfully oust all of the imposters, and the imposters win once they outnumber the crewmates. It becomes a bloodbath fairly quickly.
Crewmates spend a majority of the game completing tasks and trying to avoid the imposters at all costs. However, this proves to be quite tricky, as the imposters have the power to sabotage their opponents. They can shut doors, turn off lights, set off reactor explosions, and deplete oxygen levels, which sends the entire crew scrambling. Additionally, imposters can use vents on the floor to quickly transport from place to place.
Along with that, some of the tasks are INFURIATING. The admin card swipe always accuses the player of swiping too fast or too slow. Stepping into Electrical is essentially a death sentence. And, there’s nothing worse than waiting for a download to complete and someone calling an emergency meeting right before it finishes.
Speaking of these meetings, as fellow space-stud Anakin Skywalker says, “This is where the fun begins.” These meetings occur after someone discovers a dead body or when Orange ~apparently~ sees someone vent and immediately calls an emergency meeting. No one is safe as everyone accuses each other of being the murderer, often without valid proof, but that just makes everything funnier. Sometimes there is good detective work done, but the discussion typically consists of everyone screaming that someone (usually Red) is “sus.” It also includes every player, without fail, asking “where” the minute someone reports a body.
One of the biggest “Among Us” battles doesn’t involve discussion at all – it’s a battle for the best color in the waiting room. There are twelve colors available, including red (the “sus” one), blue (the rational one), yellow (the one everyone forgets about), orange (the “CaRrOt” button presser), lime (the jerk), green (the unsuspected imposter), cyan (the one that’s always acting sus, no matter what), purple (the wildcard), white (the silent “hero”), black (the smart-ass), pink (the innocent who never knows what’s going on), and brown (the last color everyone picks). The waiting room also includes a bunch of free hats for users to wear and pets that players can purchase. My personal favorite? Cyan with goggles, with pink wearing a flower as my backup. (Just because I’m always Cyan does not mean I’m sus. Usually.)
“Among Us” has additionally created an entirely new side of Tiktok that, quite honestly, rivals the “DracoTok” empire. Some Tiktoks add tragedy to the game, especially when users regularly post the pets’ traumatized reactions to their owners’ deaths. (They stay in the spot you died! The baby crewmate and the dog sit where you died silently! The stickman cries! It’s ridiculously sad!) Other users humorize the game, meme-ing the content with catchy songs and Twitch live streams. If you can’t sing along to “Imposter Imperceptible,” we can’t be friends.
Overall, “Among Us” came at a perfect time, giving all of us one more way to spend time with friends amid this quarantine. It may ruin friendships, but “Among Us” remains one of the bright spots of 2020.