(Pocket-lint) - 2020 has been a year for gaming crazes, it's fair to say. Take the explosive launches of titles like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Call of Duty: Warzone and Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, to name just a few. It hasn't been limited by genre, but instead by the fun factor.
The latest in this line of hits is the smallest and most modest yet, though - in fact, it's not even a newly launched game. Among Us has been out for a good while, and at times fell to almost no players at all. This year, though, it's been rediscovered and its social gameplay has become a huge hit, prompting copycats and loads of interest. If you want to know more about just what the game actually is, though, and how you can play it yourself, read on.
What is Among Us?
Among Us is a party-style game of deception that's actually extremely simple, which is why it works so beautifully. Every player takes on the role of a cartoon spaceperson aboard a ship that needs some pretty urgent repairs. The player pool has a long list of tasks that they have to complete over the course of a series of short, timed rounds.
The twist, though, is that one or more of the players are actually impostors, secretly murderous aliens taking on the guise of a crewmember. Their objective is to blend in with the activity and task-completion, while taking any covert opportunities to instantly kill crew members until no one's left.
The crew wins if they complete all their tasks without being murdered, while the impostors win if they kill all the crew members first. However, players can only communicate with each other through voice chat between rounds, which means that you're only in contact in order to state your case for why you're definitely not a secret alien killer.
Plus, the top-down viewpoint means that restricted viewpoints and perspectives force players to stick together if they really want to make sure of what they're doing, which can also lead to amusing circumstances.
It's a brilliant, simple concept that powers endless fun as every round plays out differently and people use different strategies to deceive and mislead each other, or to catch out aliens as they do dirty deeds.
How can I play Among Us?
Among Us can be bought and downloaded to your PC through Steam, for what is an extremely reasonable price - and because of the game's super-simple graphics and art, it'll run on basically any machine you want it to.
However, the real pro tip is this - Among Us is free on mobile! Just head to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to grab it for the low price of absolutely nothing, and you'll be able to play it in full without spending a dime. Plus, you might find that playing on mobile makes it easier to organise hopping onto a Discord chat or group call with any friends who want to try it out, too, for a move friendly, less silent atmosphere.
Are there other games like Among Us?
Gaming has a bit of a history when it comes to new genres or smash hits immediately spawning imitators, so it's no surprise that it's already started where Among Us is concerned. The first big copycat version has appeared in the form of a map in Fortnite's creative mode, cunningly named Amidst Us.
It plays with exactly the same rules as Among Us, except the obvious change is that you're on the ground with a third-person perspective instead of the top-down view from the original. This changes a bit of the game's feel and indeed how you might be advised to go about playing strategically, but all the other rules apply, and it looks like a similarly fun time.
You can see everything you need to access the map in the Tweet above, so if you fancy getting some Among Us fun in Fortnite, you're only a few clicks away from doing so.
For now, that's the most mainstream imitator out there, but we'd keep an eye out - where one comes, more are likely to follow.