Flyby Tries: Among Us
You’re probably running into the TikTok trends and Among Us memes all over your timeline these days. We felt similarly and decided to review this multiplayer game, available as a phone app.
Sakshi: I had heard about Among Us constantly for a couple weeks before I actually played my first game. Curious about all the hype, I got my (more experienced) friends to organize a game. I remember wondering, what exactly are these creatures? Are they astronauts? Aliens? Whatever they are, after seeing everyone ignore their p-sets due at midnight just to run around a spaceship, I knew I had to check it out for myself.
Akila: I remember being unwittingly roped into my first game of Among Us, confused why everyone was talking about imposters: was this a Harvard simulation, but people actually wanted to have imposter syndrome? Why were people so eager to do chores? I wish my roommates wanted to empty the garbage this much in the middle of midterm season.
Sakshi: I started off my first game getting killed within the first minute, learning that you should never be alone in a room with a stranger (an applicable life lesson!). As a ghost, I discovered that not only could no one communicate with you, you could also just float around in space beyond the ship — very existential. I did, however, find joy in haunting my murderer, and even though I didn’t get much practical experience as a ghost, it definitely fueled my desire to seek vengeance on the other players in the next game.
Akila: My favorite part of the game was still picking cute outfits: if we can’t have a real Halloween I will settle for a knife hat or strangely career-specific accessories: goggles and sailor caps are the closest student researchers and the sailing team are going to get to having a real semester. I’m still frightened by the graphic kills — why were the innocent beings suddenly stabbing others with unusually long tongues and literally tearing your flesh apart? What happened to everyone sketching the same five words on skribbl.io at the beginning of quarantine?
Games 3 - 6:
Sakshi: I finally became an imposter! It was eerily similar to how my first couple months in college have gone: faking tasks while my peers complete them all for me and venting out of breakout rooms as soon as they open. But I quickly discovered it did not live up to all the hype—when the other players inevitably found out I was creepily following them around the spaceship and just standing there awkwardly, I opened the chat to find several messages saying the same two words: “red sus.” While this was disappointing, I was pleasantly surprised by everyone’s enthusiasm to exercise their democratic right to vote (no Harvard Votes Challenge needed)!
Akila: At this point, I seriously contemplated dropping some serious bucks to have an Among Us child. I started to enjoy the imposter power trip: I could do things that would never fly in real life: I locked myself into rooms with one other person and sabotaged every part of the ship just to see who was a *real* team player I can pick for my next group project. Of course, I dreaded being a crewmate myself, running around desperately finishing a checklist until my inevitable demise reminds me of school a little too much.
Sakshi: By this point, I was fully committed to the universe of strange aliens either dutifully doing chores or violently stabbing one another (there’s no in between!). I convinced myself that even if my essays weren’t writing themselves while I played Among Us, at least I would be on track to be the next AOC! And we don’t even get 15 second cooldowns between Zoom calls, so I’m not sure why the imposter has to rest between kills? Between making my crewmates recite tasks to test their authenticity and randomly calling emergency meetings to frame other people with no evidence, you could throw me into a game with no vision and I’d still come out on top.
Akila: I’m officially indoctrinating new players to the game and perusing strategy guides. My professors should be proud of me for solving the most complex application of the Traveling Salesman problem: how can I find the shortest path to complete all my tasks? I still get lost between Sherman-Fairchild and Northwest, but I know each of the Among Us maps like the back of my hand. I have my next Among Us themed start-up: a Cams station at Harvard-Yale to spot your friends when your Find My Friends app is failing you.
All in all, we recommend you immediately start playing Among Us. The longer you play, the more you’ll realize the game is eerily similar to life at Harvard. Also, we’ve long passed the banana bread and Tiger King phases of quarantine: if we’re descending into a spiral of murdering one another right now, what does this mean for the rest of quarantine?