Many video games fall in and out of the spotlight within the gaming community. Some games that gain virality are great, while others are a bit silly.
Many games fall in and out of the spotlight of the gaming community over and over again. A decade ago, mobile games were all the rage, everyone would hop on the Temple Run and Flappy Bird bandwagon, playing those games and seeing how far they each got. But now, especially with the rising popularity of Twitch and game streamers all over the world, viral games seem to pack an extra hard punch.
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Players will immediately know what games are viral based on media. They'll see all their favorite streamers playing it, hear their friends talk about it, and may even see memes of the game floating around the internet. But just because a game goes viral, doesn't necessarily mean it's good. A lot of the time, a game's stupidity in concept and execution is exactly why they go viral in the first place.
Among Us is a great example of a successfully done viral game. This game is still trending even though it was initially released in 2018. It became a viral sensation during the COVID-19 quarantine and has remained extremely relevant to all. This game is like a Mafia or Werewolf type game.
There are one to three imposters in a crew of spacemen, and it is up to the players to figure out who the imposter is before getting killed. It is an excellent party game and extremely fun to play with friends. Not to mention, a ton of big-name streamers are still actively playing it and have collaborated with other streamers and celebrities to make it the ultimate viral game.
Fall Guys was easily one of the most popular games for a hot minute when quarantine was just starting out, but after its month in the sun, it seemed to fall from grace at a rapid descent. This game was another party game that had a number of people competing against each other to be the only jelly bean character standing at the end of the obstacle courses.
It was a super fun concept, and a lot of streamers still play it, but it definitely isn't viral any longer. Looking back, this game was kind of just a repeat of the Mario Party-style games and seemingly got old pretty quick.
Untitled Goose Game was immediately viral upon release due to its hilarious (and adorable) theme. Gamers play as a menacing goose who terrorizes a neighborhood filled with people. The goose steals items, peck villagers, and causes total chaos throughout the small town, all to take a bell from the miniature replica of the town that also acts as the villagers' prized possession.
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The player is given a daily to-do list for the goose with a list of puzzles. The player must figure out how to a menacing goose in order to solve each puzzle and advance to the next stage.
The first SCP game, SCP: Containment Breach, was a huge hit for horror fans all over the world. It had an extremely similar theme to the cult classic game, Slenderman, with a bit of a twist. SCPs are very similar to Creepypastas. They tell short stories about haunted artifacts located in a [redacted] facility. Containment Breach focuses on one of the most horrific SCPs there is one that you have to keep eye contact with in order to escape from.
But the game also features a wide number of other SCPs floating around, threatening to kill. In Secret Laboratory, one player gets chosen as a random SCP and is sent around the map to kill the other players. This game sounds amazing in its description, but its execution leaves more confusion than fun. It's an open world, so trolls can seemingly pop in at any time to create chaos, and players need a rather large group in order to make it actually fun without just getting lost.
Phasmophobia is a newer survival horror game that was released in September of this year under early access. The game is made for four players to act as ghost hunters and investigate haunted houses and facilities, using different ghost hunting equipment such as EMF readers and Spirit Boxes.
Phasmophobia is also made to be a VR game, giving VR players a different and deeper involvement in the game. This horror game is sometimes terrifying but always fun and has become a viral success in the gaming world.
Human: Fall Flat is a platform puzzle game where players walk around and maneuver as extremely noodly characters. This game became pretty trendy as it was incredibly popular to play with other people. Human: Fall Flat doesn't really work out as well in single-player mode, but the moment a friend joins it becomes incredibly silly and fun.
The main reason this game falls under "stupid" when looking back is due to the fact that its mechanics and gameplay are so silly and, well, stupid, but as mentioned, sometimes stupidity equals fun as well. This game, however, doesn't have the most replayability. Once you solve the puzzles, it gets old really fast.
Pokmon GO was one of the most viral games to create a massive uproar in the community. In fact, Pokmon GO probably was the last biggest game to come out with that kind of trend before Among Us hit the spotlight. This game's effect on the gaming (and non-gaming) community was pretty amazing.
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Pokmon GO drove people out of their houses and made people become way more active than they were before. Players would go on walks just to collect new pokmon or hit up some Pokstops or go to places with a great number of people. This game created a strange phenomenon for people around the world, as more and more players were getting up and out of their house, interacting and meeting new people based on their shared interest in the game, and even effecting local business who created deals based on the game and its success.
Jump King released in 2019 and became wildly popular due to the addictive nature of the game. The concept of Jump King is a little dumb but definitely feeds into the "self-torture" elements that many gamers seem to become obsessed with. The game is a climbing-platformer that is extremely difficult.
Players play as a King who has a set number of different jump lengths and heights based on how long the player holds the space button. The player must rise to the top of the tower, but there is not progression saves, so each jump could lead to the player falling all the way back down to the very beginning of the game. While addictive, this game definitely has a ton of room for some raging.
One of the most popular viral games in history was a game that still manages to be relevant even today, Minecraft. Some may argue that Minecraft isn't a viral game, but it is probably the most viral game in existence.
Everyone has heard of this game, and it seems like it still goes through massive phases where it is in the limelight of the gaming community once again. Minecraft can be single or multiplayer which leaves room for some pretty fun gameplay and wild creations.
Getting Over It was another trendy viral game that was and looked utterly stupid. However, it was also pretty hilarious. This platformer forces players to play a character named Diogenes who, like his namesake, resides in a giant metal cauldron. He wields a giant hammer in order to attach himself to different items in his environment as the players attempt to climb and move around the steep mountain.
This game even has really weird (and cringy) motivational quotes said by the creator of the game each time the player dies. This game tries to be philosophical as you play a man in a giant pot. It was definitely made to be stupid.
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Juliana Failde is a writer for CBR, Screen Rant, and the Sartorial Geek. She is a writer and podcaster and has been published in the Spring 2019 and Sumer 2020 editions of the Sartorial Geek Quarterly Magazine.
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