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Lethal Company is the morbidly hilarious game taking Twitch by storm

We will make quota. We will make quota. We will make quota.

An image from the video game Lethal Company with a rudimentary avatar of a space explorer typing at a computer console in an orange suit with other similarly adorned avatars nearby.
You and three friends can attempt to make quota together.
Image: Zeekerss
Clayton Ashley , senior video editor, has been producing and editing videos for Polygon since 2016. He is the lead producer of the tabletop gaming series Overboard.

The first time I played Lethal Company, I had barely walked 50 feet from our spaceship when I sank into some quicksand and died. The next time, I was obliterated by an automated turret, not because I walked in its way, but because one of my colleagues bashed it with a stop sign in a failed attempt to break it. In another mission, I was unceremoniously dragged away from our group by something before any of them knew what was happening.

I should have been frustrated when this game punished me yet again, but instead I was laughing my ass off. Lethal Company is frightening, but it uses the power of communal terror and slapstick animations to create the most morbidly hilarious game in years. Lethal Company was released in late October, but the game really exploded on Twitch in the middle of November. Just look at this wild Steam players chart:

A chart of players playing Lethal Company on Steam, starting well under 30K at the start of November and rising to nearly 180K by the end of the month.
Look at all those players making quota.
Image: Steambase

Lethal Company is especially charming/horrifying when players get the chance to discover just what the game is all about on their own. I say that if you’ve read this far and find your curiosity is already piqued, just give the budget-priced game a try. You can also tune in to see us stream the game on Twitch this week, Tuesday at 3:00 PM EST and Thursday 3:00 PM EST. You can also check out our first stream here.

At the heart of Lethal Company is a terrifying monstrosity that drives everything else about the game: “capitalism.” Your mission is to scour planets for junk (bits of technology, coffee mugs, metal bells, etc.) and haul it back to the ship before it departs automatically. It will leave without you, so keep track of the time! Of course, you don’t have a watch — why would you need a watch? By the way, you’ll also be exploring lots of dark and rundown bases, which would be a lot easier with a flashlight, which you can get from your employer for a small fee (naturally). Oh, and don’t forget to manually recharge its batteries!

Communicating with your teammates is critical, but the game is designed to be played using a well-designed proximity voice-chat that realistically changes the audio tone depending on your location. Truly, nothing is more terrifying than someone’s voice just cutting out mid sentence: Did they get snatched by an alien or simply wander off too far? No worries, though, you can get some long range walkie-talkies (for a price, of course).

Whatever you do, don’t fail to make quota. You may have to leave your companions’ corpses behind (though you do get 5 credits for returning them to the ship) and take big risks to collect enough junk. Believe me, you don’t want to get fired.

Lethal Company is available on PC via Steam.

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