Among Us: the most popular app of quarantine

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InnerSloth

After a sudden leap in popularity, Among Us is topping the charts in multiplayer apps. It’s simple and colorful crewmate characters serve as the recognizable face of the game.

As he goes to empty the trash, Cabell Mercer (10) is stabbed and killed. The murderer seemingly gets away with it, as he crawls into a vent, escaping the crime scene. Frustrated, Mercer leaves the game and closes the app. Among Us, a simple new mobile game, has players reporting, accusing and killing in search of the imposter among their crew.

From developer InnerSloth, the game is free to play on the app store. Among Us is an interactive multiplayer experience set in outer space and it has rapidly grown in popularity since the summer.

“It’s simple but it’s really fun,” Mercer said. “It’s a good group game, unlike a lot of other games I play.”

Once the round begins, the player is assigned a role: crewmate or imposter. The imposter’s job is to kill all the crewmates while attempting to blend in. The crewmates’ job is to complete all their tasks and discover the imposter(s) onboard. 

“I like being imposter because you get to kill people,” Ava Blair (10) said. “I act innocent and then I lock people in a room and kill them.”

Although Among Us released in June 2018, it did not gain the immense popularity it has today until the summer of 2020. It has over 86 millions downloads on the app store. Twitch streamers initially popularized the game, but it has since spread to all major social media platforms, like TikTok and Youtube.

“I’m in a Discord server with all my friends who go to White Station and we just started playing after my friend told us about it,” Mercer said.

The multiplayer features in Among Us are another reason for it’s sudden spike in popularity. Players can create private rooms with friends, which allow control over whom they play with. Many people enjoy calling each other while playing, heightening the gameplay experience and bringing them closer. While the pandemic keeps everyone apart, a social game like Among Us gives friends the opportunity to connect in safe ways.

“We definitely get mad at each other a lot, but we also get closer,” Luigi Mayores (10) said.

Like many games before it, what goes up, must come down. Many students and social media users are already beginning to lose interest in the game due to its repetitive nature.

“I think it will [lose popularity], but maybe if they add more maps and characters it will get better,” Mercer said.

With this loss in interest, players are wishing for updates and new features to keep Among Us interesting. The developer team had planned on releasing a sequel to the game, but it has since been cancelled. The team announced that they plan on expanding upon the features in the original game by adding things like faster servers, a new map, colorblind support and the ability to add friends.

“They should add more features other than just do tasks and vote out other people,” Mayores said.

Despite this, Among Us remains at its top spot on the app store. It has left a big impact on social media, even striking the interest of US representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who streamed the game on Twitch to raise money for charity.

“Not being in school, we get to talk to each other more, and it’s one of the only chances that we do, playing games,” Mercer said.