Although the hit sleuthing multiplayer game, Among Us, launched in 2018, it didn’t pick up steam until 2020. In fact, after it won the Best Multiplayer award at The Game Awards 2020, it garnered even more attention.
Among Us became so popular for Innersloth, the developer canceled plans to make a sequel in favor of supporting the initial game — a decision that has proven to be lucrative for the company.
The great news is that Among Us is free on PC via the Epic Games Store right now until June 3, 2021. This means you can acquire it for free until this Thursday, so even if you don’t intend on playing it right away, it’s still worth grabbing. This is part of Epic’s free weekly game giveaway that entices players to use the Epic Games Store over other platforms like Steam.
However, even if you miss the deal, you can grab Among Us on PC for only $5, which is still a great price for a game with so much to do.
But why has the game caught on so feverishly with gamers two years after its launch?
When Among Us was initially released in 2018, it didn’t garner much attention. It wasn’t until 2020 during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic that its popularity exploded. Its initial success in 2020 was attributed to being played by well-known Twitch streamers such as Sodapoppin, and other content creators in South Korea and Brazil. This placed a lot of eyes on the game that wouldn’t have otherwise checked it out.
During a time when social interactions were temporarily placed on hold, the idea of being able to “hang out” virtually within a video game was mighty appealing — and thus, Among Us became one of the most talked-about games of 2020.
There are many things about this game that are enticing, but right off the bat, it helps that Among Us has such an easygoing and accessible art style. It’s almost crude with its presentation, but that’s part of its appeal. The idea of slaughtering your crewmates is a bit more digestible when the art is so quirky.
But beyond that, Among Us has a simple premise that somehow offers a great deal of variety that makes it easy to keep coming back to.
Each match, a set of crewmates are tasked with completing tasks aboard one of four ships. These tasks are all relatively simple but function like mini-games. You might have to match same-colored wires, or simply watching a progress bar fill up. The twist is that one or more of the crewmates are randomly assigned the role of an Imposter. It’s the job of this player(s) to kill the rest of the participants while interfering with the aforementioned tasks.
The other players are not aware of who’s friendly at first, and if you’re an Imposter, the idea is to keep it a secret. This means if you’re an Imposter, you must maneuver around the ship sneakily while making sure you aren’t doing anything deemed suspicious.
The maps are designed in such a way that Imposter players can utilize low-traffic corridors and rooms to stealthily take out their targets. When an Imposter secures a kill on another player, a wacky death animation plays. These scenes are often brutal but are typically presented in a comedic way, making the eliminations feel more light-hearted.
At the end of a round, the crew must vote on who the Imposters are, based on the actions that occurred in-game. The fun part is that, even if one player knows for a fact who the Imposter is, other players can lie during this portion of the match to avoid being voted out.
Here’s where players must keep their cool and come up with a strategy to avoid being voted off the ship. Because even if you’re not an Imposter, you still might have to convince the others of this, as the real Imposter might be lying to save themselves. So many matches end with players voting off a friendly crewmate, due to a clever Imposter who lied their way out of trouble.
As the crewmates, your goal is to vote off all the Imposters from the ship without getting rid of a friendly player. This is much easier said than done.
For an added personalized touch, players are also able to customize their characters with different costumes and the options are surprisingly intricate. For instance, there are a wide array of pants, hats, skins, and pets to equip, some of which are totally free (while others can be bought for a small fee). Want to dress your crewmate as a captain or astronaut? How about a prisoner? There are tons of options at your disposal, and it adds to the fun.
You might have heard the term “sus” being used recently. This was popularized in Among Us, and the term is used to describe a player who is acting suspiciously. Despite its controversial past, this is yet another example of just how popular Among Us has become, as the term was widely used, even outside of the video game ecosystem.
Whether you’re accusing a player of acting “sus,” or are being “sus” yourself, no two matches play out the same way. This is because you have to convince other players to believe you’re friendly, and that’s where the fun comes in. It’s way different than playing a game that only has AI. No, instead, you’re playing with real people who can adapt to the decisions of others on the fly. That social interaction is what makes this game so special — not just to play, but to watch!
Don’t forget to redeem your free copy of Among Us via the Epic Games Store by Thursday, June 3. You can still grab Among Us for free on mobile devices, and Nintendo Switch for $5. It’s also planned to launch for Xbox and PlayStation platforms this year.