This game copied Among Us so hard it became popular in almost exactly the same way

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Social deception game Among Us became a megahit during the 2020 lockdowns, but it actually released two years earlier in 2018, making it one of the most notable examples of delayed success in the videogame business. Weirdly, the creators of Goose Goose Duck, a free-to-play game which closely resembles Among Us, have managed to not only replicate its format, but also that delayed popularity. 

After spending a year in relative obscurity, Goose Goose Duck only started to blow up on Steam in the middle of November. Weirder still, Goose Goose Duck and Among Us became popular for similar reasons. Among Us took off back in 2020 in large part due to Korean streamers. What caused Goose Goose Duck to shoot from a few thousand concurrent Steam players at the start of November to over 150,000 in early December isn't hard to pinpoint: On November 14, Kim Tae-hyung of Korean boy band BTS streamed it. 

Take note, other social deception games: If you want to succeed you need to endure at least a year of so-so player counts and then receive a sudden explosion of popularity brought on by the might of South Korean influencers. If you can somehow build that into your plans, it's the way to go.

Goose Goose Duck introduces its own ideas to the Among Us formula—it's got loads of special roles, as one example—but the basic structure is the same and even its art style is similar, so I don't think it's unfair to say that it copied the pandemic phenomenon. We actually reported on its release in 2021, saying at the time that it's "just Among Us except you're a duck."

I jumped in and played one round, which unsurprisingly involved kids speaking too loudly into hot mics and some very bad lying. I was not a very good player myself. Early on, I was accused of being a saboteur because I failed to complete tasks in a sensible and efficient order, but that was just because I didn't know what I was doing. 

What made things especially hard for me is that, as the match began, I forgot which were the good guys, the Geese or the Ducks, and kept getting mixed up about which I was. That problem was not helped by my special role, the Mimic, whose description is: "The Ducks view you as one of their own."

I'm pretty sure I was a good guy, but after escaping death following the first accusation against me thanks to a tied vote, I was finally voted to death for reasons that only made sense to the server's loudest player. Even if I was a good guy, they were probably right to get me out of the picture so that the serious players could do their thing.

Goose Goose Duck is free-to-play on Steam (opens in new tab). It's in mobile stores, too.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the rise of personal computers, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early PCs his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.