Despite being available since 2018 on mobile devices and PC, “Among Us” became a surprise hit in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. After an array of Twitch streamers showcased the game it quickly grew in popularity. Before long, “Among Us had become something of a pop culture phenomenon, inspiring memes, merchandise, and various copycat games. Ports were eventually made for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, and even virtual reality headsets, although much of the success came through its original platforms of Android, iOS, and PC.
Gameplay in “Among Us” centers around a group of between four and 15 players trying to complete tasks on a large open map. These can range from carrying out basic maintenance such as emptying garbage, rewiring electrical systems, or downloading information from a datapad. At the same time, a smaller team of randomly chosen imposters attempts to sabotage their efforts and murder the innocent workers.
This creates a sense of panic and suspicion that few games have ever been able to capture as everyone tries to work out who the imposters are. It requires gamers to not just play the game well but also engage in social deception and act as a detective all at once, experiences that are usually only available in board games such as “One Night Ultimate Werewolf.”