Well, at least Innersloth tried to make a fun game. Among Us could be a funny game if you have friends. And I'm not surprised how a casual mobile game becomed popular. I already saw hype of such small casual games like Helltaker and Angry Birds, which are created by small indie studios.
What maded Among Us popular? We could identify these important factors: * Firstly, pandemy. People are in social isolation and want to have fun with other people. Among Us is social game. * Second, innersloth are the publishers of Henry Stickmin collection. Henry Stickmin himself is a popular character of internet culture. * Obviously, streamers hyped it. * And finally, game's aesthetics resemble artstyle of 2000s flash games. Then, the game itself is black comedy, and this is what makes it a source of many meme content.
On the concept, Among Us is having so much big potential, but the game itself is decent, especially when you are playing with random people. If you are introvert and don't have many friends, then, I apologize you. Among Us could be a brilliant multiplayer game if it has more content, cosmetics, good game economy, modding community and eSport things. But for a small studio it's very hard to support a game for long time. And the worst thing Among Us don't have anti cheat system. Cheaters are everywhere.
The game itself is having very repetive game design. It has simple mechanics that you can easily to learn if you never played videogames. But the problem is that this game is very repetive and don't have much of content. After about a couple of days of playing this game you just get bored because 95% of matches are the same. You don't have much instruments of making this game more diverse.
Does this game have psychological factor? Yes, but in minimal level. Mostly players use the same strategy and actions. Discussing in this game is feeling more like a «guess who» game and you don't need detective talent. In most cases winning conditions are set only on about your luck. Among Us doesn't have much of instruments for cooperating work. Playing as crewmate you just running on the map and make tasks.
I should to mention that playing Mafia card game is much different experience because winning less depends on luck. You can look at players' faces, look at their emotions, talk with them, pretend to be innocent and etc. This is what makes this tabletop game brilliant because it has much more psychological factor. In Among Us, unfortunately, you are just running on spaceship with some teenage kids.
I think Among Us is just more like a meme than a game. And like many memes, they are temporary. I mean, look at Helltaker. It's just a generic sokoban game for 20 minutes, which is hyped because people had fetish on demonic anime girls on office costumes. This game doesn't maded game industry more innovative as indie games should do. And without demon girl this game never become popular. And, of course, most of Helltaker fandom are having fun only with fan art and fanfics than just playing a game. The same thing is about Among Us. People prefer to make fun with Among Us memes and cartoons than just playing a game itself. And I think Among Us would be better as cartoon series than a game. I liked Among Us cartoons, but the game is just decent. I wouldn't say about it's cringy community which consists of Fortnite kids.
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