The pandemic induced lockdown has had us scrambling to keep our head above water and mental health barely stable. While the category of avid gamers already knew where to turn to in the nightmarish scenario, the rest of us accidentally stumbled upon an endearing and engaging game called ‘Among Us’, to keep ourselves entertained.
In 2018, Launched to a lukewarm response by US-based game studio Innersloth, this multiplayer game can be best described as the online version of the old ‘wink and kill’. It has raked up almost 86 million downloads in the Play Store and App Store, a phenomenal increase since the lockdown. Ten crewmates are left to fend for themselves and complete mundane tasks in a frequently malfunctioning spaceship. And among the ten, there are one or two imposters whose mission is to sabotage the spaceship and kill everyone. What seems like an average concept ironically resonated with the players during the lockdown period. Innocent crewmates trying to barely survive by doing simple tasks while trying to not get killed? It seems like the developers manifested the year 2020 in Among Us.
After the dead body of one of the crewmates gets discovered, the rest call a meeting and do a vote to banish one person they think might be the imposter. If only we could throw out the ones sabotaging public welfare in real life. The voting process can be quite the affair, players of different colours-red, blue, cyan, green, pink+, black, white, brown, clamor to establish their innocence and deduce the hidden imposter’s identity. Instant allyship gets formed, camaraderie blossoms, as the unassuming crewmates try to look out for each other and win but the Imposters easily deceive and betray. The players have to be extremely cautious during the voting because of this. After getting killed or kicked out the players can continue to roam around as ghosts and sabotage or observe everything. Among Us may have come to the rescue of many bored souls in the past few months, but one cannot ignore how this simple game is the perfect metaphor for the year 2020.