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Five games that have gone viral this year

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From running your own island with cute animals, to killing others and trying not to get caught.

Stuck at home for our work or studies, many of us turned to video games to curb our boredom or bond with friends. Some of these games are still popular now, while some have fizzled out. 

In case you already forgot them, let's look back at some of the games that have gone viral over the past year. 

1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released on Mar 20, and the circuit breaker started on Apr 7. With everyone scrambling to get their hands on a Nintendo Switch to pass the time at home, the consoles were sold online for exorbitantly higher prices. 

It's no surprise that New Horizons was the first game to go viral during the pandemic – it is the perfect 'escapism' game. What better way to forget about the troubles of the real world than running around your own island, catching bugs and talking to sparkly-eyed animal villagers? 

We could not leave our homes back in March, but we could visit our friends' in-game islands. Some youths got creative with that mechanic – from turning their island into Sentosa, to holding their graduation ceremony in the game. 

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Some creative Singaporeans even celebrated National Day in the game.
PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTUBE/KEVIN SIYUAN 

2. House Party 

House Party has been around since 2017, but it received 50 million sign-ups in Mar 2020 alone. While it is not exactly a game, the application allows up to eight participants to video call while playing a selection of games including Heads Up, Trivia and Quick Draw (think Pictionary). 

A unique feature of House Party is that there is no need for the hassle of sharing links and waiting rooms – anyone can 'jump' into a call, as long as they are already friends with just one person in the call. 

With a group of mutual friends playing the same games, House Party allowed people to connect and make new friends without even leaving the house. 

3. Psych! 

If House Party can help you make new friends, then Psych! can help you strengthen your bonds with your friends. Released by television host Ellen DeGeneres in 2015, it got so popular during the circuit breaker that its servers started crashing. 

Best played over a Zoom call with friends, the game is basically Trivia – except you can submit your own answers, and one player has to pick which answer is correct. This leads to a lot of ridiculous or absurd answers, and a LOT of fun. 

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With so much potential for inside jokes and laughter, Psych! great for de-stressing.
PHOTO CREDIT: APP STORE 

4. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout 

Within just 24 hours of its release on Aug 4, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout had over 1.5 million players. At the end of the month, it sold 7 million copies on Steam. 

The previous games all boasted some kind of multiplayer aspect, but the appeal of Fall Guys is that no one knows each other. With 60 jellybean-shaped players running around the Wipeout-esque obstacle course and completing mini-games, it is pure chaos. 

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Fall Guys is a wholesome game that does not require much, if any, strategy.
PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTUBE/VIDEOGAMEDUNKEY 

5. Among Us 

Like Fall Guys, Among Us features colourful customisable characters running around… but that's where the similarities end. The characters in Among Us run around a spaceship completing various tasks, all while trying to avoid getting killed by an imposter. 

Released in 2018, the game only went viral when a few streamers played it on Twitch this year. In Sept 2020, the game was downloaded over 100 million times. 

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Every round, the crewmates need to discuss who they are voting out of the game.
PHOTO CREDIT: TWITTER/NOCONTEXTAUSS 

Whether you are playing as a crewmate, imposter or even a ghost, Among Us is fun. You can join a public game, but most people enjoy playing with up to ten friends while on a Discord call with them. 

BANNER AND TEASER PHOTO CREDIT: AMONG US, ANIMAL CROSSING, FALL GUYS

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