“Among Us” Offers a Modern Take on Whodunnit Mystery Games

“Red’s kinda sus.”

Initially released over two years ago, on June 15th, 2018, by Developer and Publisher InnerSloth, the chart-topping video game “Among Us” has only recently exploded in popularity, making it one of 2020’s hottest games.

Running on the Unity Engine, a common video game production platform, “Among Us” is a 2D online multiplayer game of social deduction. Taking place in a space-like setting, the player is shown as a small, humanoid character dressed in a spacesuit with a backpack on its back and no arms. Not all players look the same: each player has the ability to customize their character to their liking. The game provides players a wide assortment of customization options, such as the ability to choose between a dozen different suit colors, a wide variety of hats and a couple options for outfits, which are free to all players. For those willing to pay $3.00, players are given a selection of pets and mini crewmates to run alongside them. Players are also able to choose their own nickname before joining a game.

Servers are also customizable, allowing the host to alter everything from the number of Imposters to the player’s movement speed. Servers can hold up to ten players or as few as four players, though it is considered optimal to have at least six players.
Players are divided into two roles: The Crewmate and The Imposter. There is a pre-determined number of imposters selected at the beginning of the round. In each game, there is always a higher ratio of Crewmates to Imposters. Once the round has begun, a black screen will appear informing players of their role, followed by some suspenseful music. All players are given a series of objectives to complete.

Crewmates are given tasks such as fixing wiring in the Electrical room and swiping a card in the Admin room. All Crewmates have different tasks from one another, and may also differ depending on which of the three maps the host has chosen for the game. Imposters, however, do not have tasks: instead, their objectives are to sabotage and kill the crewmates.

When it comes to in-game communication, Among Us runs a little differently from most. There is no communication between players until a body, left behind by an Imposter, is reported, or an emergency meeting is called by a Crewmate. During this time, players will either chat in a text box or communicate outside the game with the audio communication platform Discord. Players use this communication time to discuss who they think could be the Imposter or report any suspicious activity. Most will refer to those they consider suspicious as “Sus.” Players have only a limited amount of time to share and report before voting opens, allowing players to either vote out a player or skip voting altogether.

If a player is voted out, they will be ejected and become a ghost. If a ghost was a Crewmate, they can finish their tasks to win the game. If the ejected player is an Imposter, they will no longer be able to kill, but instead only sabotage, turning off the lights or causing a reactor meltdown that forces other players to take a break from completing their objectives or face losing outright. This process will continue until all tasks are completed or all crewmates are dead.

As someone who has frequently played the game, both on PC and mobile platforms, I would rate the game a solid 8/10. The game is easy to play thanks to its cross-platform accessibility, simple tasks and customizable options. Plus, the characters are simply adorable. I often play with my friends on Discord in a private game, but occasionally I participate in public lobbies if not enough people are around to play.
I love this game. It is a great time “killer” and a fun game to play, especially with friends. While the game is simple, the whodunnit mystery really gives it its edge. Overall, I find it to be perhaps the most adorable murder mystery game available right now- and its unexpected success this year shows.

For those who are interested in playing the game, the PC version is available on Steam for $5 and is free-to-play on mobile.

Maryann Dunmire
Maryann Dunmire is freshman Nursing and Pre-Medicine Major from South Amboy, NJ. She is currently a staff writer. "In a time of universal deceit--telling the truth is a revolutionary act." -George Orwell.

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