Why is Among Us so popular?

If you haven't connected with the ever-changing trend of multiplayer gaming, you might be wondering what the fuss is all about.

It has become one of the most played online games in the world, seemingly overnight… which is more remarkable, as it actually launched more than two years ago.

In short: Among Us is basically a video game version of The Thing, with up to nine players working to find a cheater who's killing the rest.  If you've ever played the party game Mafia or Werewolf, it has a lot in common.

Ours has seen a rapid rise in popularity due to a combination of many factors.  This is a unique game with an interesting contrasting multiplayer, easy to learn thanks to a simple premise

It is available (almost) for free on various popular platforms including PC and mobile.  But above all, it is a game that explores new territory: communication and cooperation versus sabotage and deception.

In our midst, a spacecraft's 10 crew members attempt to fix its various issues and stabilize it.  He's basically one of the guys running behind Scotty in the engineering department of the enterprise.

Fixing the issues is a series of basic mini-games - revamping a panel, sliding an access key card, all the simple stuff.  Fix enough issues, and the ship is stabilized.  you win.

This is where the twist comes.  One player is a traitor, an alien monster disguised as a crew member.  The rookie brutally murders the crew one by one (in a stylized, adorable cartoon way), and sabotages the ship's systems to return repairs.

Only the traitor has any offensive abilities - the rest of the crew is helpless.  But that doesn't mean they don't have options.  Crew members can call an emergency meeting at any time.

When this happens, all players can communicate via text and try to figure out who the cheater is.  Players vote after each meeting, and the one with the most votes is ejected from the airlock.