The Hound's Bark
Healdsburg High School
By: Elise Thompson
Photo by: Harrison Threlfall
Among Us is by far one of the most well known and widely recognized games of 2020. For the few who may not know, this murder mystery game is basically a modified electronic version of the game Mafia. It is a multiplayer game that consists of a max of ten players: crewmates and 1, 2, or 3 imposters. The imposter’s ultimate goal is to kill all the crewmates in order to win the game. The crewmates on the other hand attempt to complete all their “tasks” before the imposter kills everyone, and at the same time narrow down who is the culprit and vote them out.
Inner Sloth, a three-person company, launched Among Us in 2018. This company is based in Washington and only has three developers: Forest Willard, Amy Liu, and Marcus Bromande. At first, it didn’t really draw much attention. In its first original 6 months, the game never saw more than 50 players. In 17 months, it still never saw more than 1000. It faced difficulties at the start partially due to its optimal 10 player format, and also due to poor marketing. Despite this, the game eventually started to become popular first in countries like Brazil and South Korea. Following these countries, it only recently took off in the U.S. As word of the game spread through various platforms such as Tik Tok, YouTube, Twitch, and more, the number of downloads soon increased exponentially. By September, there were 41.9 million downloads.
One of the things that set Among Us apart from other games is that it is not only popular within the gaming community but among pretty much anyone with smartphone download access. With recent spikes in Covid-19 cases, it also remains an interactive and fun way to socialize with friends while still remaining socially distanced. With the game’s private game feature, you can create your own game that only people who are given the code can access. If you choose to play publicly, the game offers a chat feature that allows players to communicate with each other as well, which connects people across the globe.
My personal experience playing this game has been for the most part very positive. I find it to be a very easy game to play and understand, but it is also complex enough to not get bored easily. I find that it also appeals to a large audience due to its lack of age restrictions. I easily could see myself playing with a younger cousin, or even with older friends. The only negative thing I would say is that I have encountered small glitches here and there. I have also been in games subject to extreme hacking. This includes spamming of the in-game chat as well as frozen and black screen malfunctions. These hacks and glitches I have found only to be occasional, and are in no way a large deterrent from playing the game. Due to small things like this, Inner Sloth has recently decided to postpone the release of Among Us 2, and instead focus their efforts on improving and perfecting the already existing format.