Among Us is a multiplayer-only sci-fi social deduction game developed and released by Innersloth for Android and iOS devices on June 16, 2018 (as a free-to-play game), with later standalone digital releases for the PC on November 16, 2018 and for the Nintendo Switch on December 15, 2020). It will be released for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on December 14, 2021.
Each match of Among Us follows a 4-15 man crew as they navigate the space base in a top-down fashion and complete tasks (as simple mini-games) to keep the crew alive. However, some members of the crew are secretly given the role of "impostor", whose goal instead is to murder the other crewmates undetected (as they risk being voted off, similar to other social deduction games).
The game support cross-platform multiplayer between all platforms and was originally intended to be used as a multi-screen party game. While the game received limited attention on release, it received a sharp increase in popularity in 2020 following the studio's next release The Henry Stickmin Collection and the popularity of online multiplayer party games during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019, the game received additional bases as paid DLC ("MIRA HQ" and "Polus Outpost"), each introducing new cosmetic and gameplay changes. Both bases were made free on June 11, 2020, with some cosmetics available as separate DLC. A third base, "Airship", was released on March 31, 2021.
A sequel was announced in August 2020, but was quickly cancelled a month later. Further development was put into the original game in updates, adding new quality-of-life updates such as an updated text chat system using a series of pre-set phrases (intended for console players and younger audiences). It later received an official VR spin-off in 2022, known as Among Us VR.
The majority of the players are Crewmates, whose goal is to either vote out all Impostor players or to complete all assigned tasks scattered throughout the base.
While they cannot kill players directly, they can call a group meeting (either by discovering a dead body or by pressing a special "emergency" button somewhere in the map), where they discuss and perform a majority vote to determine who to jettison off the base to their death. While this is used to eliminate Impostor players, players can be deceived to eliminate Crewmate players instead.
Dead crewmates, as ghosts, cannot directly interact with the other players but can help complete tasks.
With the release of the November 2021 roles update, players can enable three additional "roles", which are given to Crewmates at random:
- Scientist - Can use the "Vitals" ability, which pulls up a tablet to check which players are dead regardless of location. This ability recharges by completing tasks.
- Engineer - Can use the "Vent" ability, which allows them to use same ventilation shafts as Impostors. This ability recharges after 30 seconds, by default.
- Guardian Angel - Only given to the first Crewmate that dies. Can use the "Protect" ability to shield a player from a Kill. This ability recharges after 60 seconds, by default.
The minority of the players are secretly Impostors, whose goal is to eliminate all Crewmate players (by either having them voted out or by murdering them directly).
Unlike Crewmates, Impostors have special abilities that can aid them in sabotaging other players. They are given a fake list of tasks that can be used as an alibi and can traverse the base quickly by using special ventilation shafts. They can also sabotage key systems of the base, either forcing Crewmates to manage them or locking out areas.
Dead impostors, as ghosts, cannot directly interact with the other players but can help sabotage.
With the release of the November 2021 roles update, players can enable an additional "role" given to Impostors at random:
- Shapeshifter - Can use the "Shift" ability, which allows them to temporarily change their appearance into another player. This ability lasts 60 seconds and recharges after 10 seconds, by default.