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Among Us is the ultimate party game of the Covid era

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September 29, 2020 at 08:00AM

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Launched into obscurity in 2018 but now hugely popular, this online version of wink murder, with its focus on fabrication and blame-shifting, is scarily on point

There are 10 crew members trapped on a spacecraft, carrying out menial tasks to maintain vital systems, but at least one of them is an imposter who wants to sabotage their work and if possible, murder them. What sounds like the premise of a particularly bleak science-fiction movie is in fact the set-up of one of the most popular video games of the year. Developed by a three-person team at InnerSloth and launched to virtual obscurity in 2018, Among Us has suddenly become one of the biggest games on PC and mobile, attracting more than 85m players in the last six months. It’s so successful, InnerSloth recently abandoned plans to work on a sequel, instead piling their resources into the original. No one, it seems, is more surprised about the success of this game than its creators.

So why has this happened? Among Us is essentially an online multiplayer version of the party game wink murder, but set on a constantly malfunctioning spaceship. Up to 10 players take part, and at the beginning, you’re told whether you’re an innocent crew member or an imposter. While the former carry out jobs such as rebooting the communications systems or cleaning out the air ducts, the latter stalk the corridors breaking vital equipment or looking for victims to kill.

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