Among UsAmong Us is the online multiplayer indie installment, offering punters to fit on 1 of 2 roles, either a good or bad guy. While this oeuvre’s often being referred to the names of the characters themselves, it is actually a misconception: players don’t possess names per se but those, which they select for themselves as they log into the round (but they’re visually differentiated by colors).
The game was released in 2018. It has the principle of gaming in rounds, every one of which has a limited running time & is playable on one of 4 maps, destined for 4-10 players at a time. Players are randomly assigned with one of two roles: a Crewmate (CM) or Impostor (I.). A gamer is incapable of choosing, which role they are to fulfill in each round.
Being an I. means surreptitiously killing CWs, sabotaging the processes, systems & objects on the map & imposing as if you’re one of the CWs, blending with them by doing the fake assignments.
The goal is to bring one of the teams to victory. The I. completes this goal by either making some critical sabotage, which isn’t fixed on time by CWs, or by killing so many CWs so as to make the number of players in both teams even (originally, there are fewer I’s in their number). The crew is winning when all tasks are fulfilled or when they find & expel all I’s.
The game under consideration is based on the principles of Mafia & ‘The Thing’ sci-fi horror film of 1982 (and, presumably, its remake of 2011). Since its origination in 2018, multiple improvements & changes have been done by its developers to evolve the game & eliminate its downsides.
Colors & skins of the players in this Internet game
Currently, there are 12 colors available to pick for free by gamers before the game’s round begins (alphabetically):
The other two colors were previously available but not anymore: tan & forte green. To make the gameplay more diverse visually, players can buy & download additional content like skins, minions & bonnets. The paid content is only for mobile versions of the game, whilst it is all immediately available for players of PC & gaming consoles, who buy the game for their platform (since for those, there is only a paid version). As of mid-2021, nearly 3% are paid players, the rest are free.
Skins, minions & bonnets in this Internet game
Skins became available the next year after the game’s release, in 2019. Currently, as of May 2021, there are 19 of them. The skins alter the color and/or clothing of players from regular full-body colors to one of available clothing, like the captain, military guy, police officer, white bonnet, cold clothing, mineworker, chemist, security guard & others. Some skins are map-specific (like in Polus & Mira maps), some are available in all maps.
The bonnets became advancements in October 2018. Currently, there are 119 bonnets, caps & masks, which alter the appearance of heroes, including these:
• devil horns
• hockey mask
• bat wings
• balloon bonnet
• double top
• mysterious vagabond
• cheese bonnet
• chef bonnet
• chocolate ice cream
• ratchet ears
• party bonnet
• military mask & others.
Minions were introduced in the summer of 2019 & there are 11 minions as of the time being, 2 years later. The feature of a minion is to follow a master, being around them, depriving him or her of the sensation of loneliness while roaming a map (especially when a map is large, like Polus).
The alphabetical names of the minions are:
• Mini CW
It has to be said that the Mini CW minion is the only minion, which’s able to change colors & it has incorporated all the colors that the Among Us characters currently have. It automatically takes the color of its host. Buying the minions is available in bundles, each consisting of 2 minions at once, all except the Glitch – it is sold alone in a bundle. In some bundles, it is also possible to obtain a bonnet within the cost of the same purchase.
To avoid confusion of other players, viewing the map, the minions are not displayed on it (only players do). If a player dies, then his or her ghost appears, which is not seen by other players. They also do not see a minion of a dead player but other ghosts can see the minion sitting in the place of the player’s death. If a player with a minion is ejected after the voting, then the minion is seen on the spawn location (initial point of appearance of this player) but it is only seen by ghosts, not players. If they exit the game, the minion vanishes, too. Also, if a player uses the ladder, the minion is also not seen – not to CWs, not to ghosts.
In addition to the described, every minion has another amusing peculiarity – the reaction to the death of the host. It is shown upon death. All 11 minions have their own reactions.
Maps of in this Internet game
The Among Us free online game has 4 maps, where 500 million players currently play.
1. The Skeld or simply Skeld. The map’s name is translated like the ‘shield’ or ‘shelter’ from the Scandinavian & Scottish. It was the first original map in the game & was intended like the only one. However, as the developers of the game seen its huge popularity spurring, they have released 3 additional maps with time. All the further released maps were or are paid (the second & third on the list were paid initially & then became free; the fourth still stays paid as of the time being). The premise of this map is a turtle-shaped spaceship & the assigned tasks are derived from its nature: maintain the systems of life support, communication, energy provision (main nuclear reactor), ventilation… This is the most playable & popular map.
2. Mira HQ. The premise is the Headquarters of the corporation named Mira. The location is sky base.
3. Polus. The translation of the word is, presumably, the pole. Polus is a rocky planet of a purple color. The location of the map is a research scientific base located on this planet. This is the biggest & most open map so far from all four. The biggest peculiarity of the map is that there is no ventilation system per se since Polus is a terrestrial planet with breathable air. So the I. moves not through ventilation shafts but through the system of holes & channels in the ground. Thus, the task of supporting the ventilation system is out of the scope of CWs on this map.
4. The Airship or simply Airship. The release was in March 2021 & it is currently the latest map so far. The map was added after the official sequel of the game was canceled. The map is based on another creation of the company-developer of Among Us, Innersloth Company, called ‘Infiltrating the Airship’. It features some principally new elements of the gameplay, which are not present in other maps, like platforms that move & ladders.
Currently, there is no information about the plans of the company to add new maps. While the biggest part of gamers is satisfied with the four maps, as it is possible to remember the map well (which is helpful for the game’s course), some part of the gamers laments about the lack of diversity exactly due to only 4 kinds of premises for the game, finding this fact to be boring.
Platforms, languages & controls of this Internet game
In 2021, the game supports all popular gaming platforms in the world:
• Xbox 1/X/S
• PS 4/5
The basic game is free for mobile platforms & paid for the rest. The basic cost of an in-game purchase in 2021 is $2. The cost of the game itself differs from region to region.
The supported languages are English (default), Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Italian, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese & Filipino. It must be mentioned that these are the languages of the interface but not dub/sub.
Depending on the platform, the controls are made through the default controllers. For PCs, it is a mouse & keyboard. For gaming consoles, it is a joystick & keyboard (if present) & for mobile phones & tablets, it is swiping & touching the screen, while texting is made through an appearing keyboard.
Online games featuring the characters of this online game
The popularity of the characters has spawned many other simple games (so-called arcades) in addition to the original game. These games are themed variously & today include such instances:
• bubble shooters (where one of the Among Us characters shoots bubbles from the cannon to other bubbles to eliminate them)
• runners (in various ambiances, the Among Us character runs on his own or with other guys). The purpose of running can vary. Most often, it is reaching a goal per se or finishing on some prize place. Usually, various obstacles are put in the way of the runner(s)
• simplified version of finding I., where many rules were driven out of the game for the sake of its simplicity. Also, such games are rarely multiplayer
• color-up. In these games, players colors-up characters & the ambiance around, using the palette at their discretion
• escape. In such free online games, a gamer has to find an exit, as in many other classical dungeon escape games of this kind. The side kind of this type of game is a rescue game, where you have to make a hero pass from point A to point B to complete the level. Such games are significantly simpler than dungeon escape, as they do not have as sophisticated & long-played levels
• various sports games, like mini-golf, ping pong, or racing, where all the characters or some of them are from the Among Us game
• shooting with rifles & knives. Basically, this type of game is to test a gamer’s accuracy & precision
• hide-and-seek. The goal of such games is to get out from the labyrinth avoiding being seen.
Although it is naturally designed as a part of the original Among Us game to allow gamers to choose their appearance (including skins) before the round of the game begins, it is not true for the biggest part of simple online games since they are rigidly programmed. The only exclusion can be seen in those simple games, which specifically feature the selection of a character, which will be a CW or an I.
It is not excluded & even foreseen that new simple games based on the characters of Among Us will appear in the future. Currently, there are user-made mods of the original game, which alter the number of initial roles (expanding them from just two, a CW & I.), the skins & other options of appearance of characters & the principles of gaming itself, like assignments, maps & other things. These are unofficial fan-made mods, which are played on separate servers.
Other notable instances connected to Among Us include the impostor odds calculator (online & downloadable versions), where people can guesstimate the chances that some player is an impostor (based on several parameters).
Merch inspired by this Internet game
It is natural for popular games & other showbiz instances to generate merch. The same, this online game under consideration has spawned official & unofficial merch: T-shirts, mugs, bonnets, posters, plush toys, 3D art tiles, bags, totes, stickers, socks & officially acknowledged by the company’s representatives fan-created merch. The latter includes regular & enameled pins, sticker sheets, branded cubes for table games, key chains, sliding pins & facial masks.
The unofficial pieces include (in addition to the rest of the mentioned) plastic toys, branded paper cups, printable paper DIY figurines, small lamps, shopping bags, neon lights, wallpaper, cookie forms, air balloons, patches, bookmarks, multipurpose silicone molds, hoodies, DIY design packs, small belts & others.