The Korean hit series Squid Game is the word on most lips these days since its release. All across the internet, you are likely to come across some memes, clips, and quotes about this Netflix series. Standing currently as Netflix’s biggest hit with over 100 million views within the first month of its release, Squid game has people talking about it everywhere. People are hashing out theories and also reliving some of their favorite childhood games.
The Squid series follows a group of 400+ people who are deep in debt and come to an agreement to participate in a deadly competition in which they may end up dead or filthy rich. However, they all get surprised when they realize that each round of the Squid Game, is a reproduction of children’s games only with life or death stakes.
So here, we are going to show the games in the order in which they are being presented. Here’s a breakdown.
The Recruiting Game
Even though this is not part of the Squid Game, but the first competition presented in the series is a game all 464 contestants are expected to play. This is what qualifies them to be accepted into the main event. Known as “ddakji” in Korean, this game is quite similar to playing pogs (where you have to throw a paper card on top of another in order to flip it over). If the card flips over, you win. In Squid Game, you can see that the first battle is rigged – the Recruiter (Gong Yoo) offers a load of cash if he loses and just slaps the opponent in the face if he wins. This is geared towards keeping potential contestants interested as well as luring them to a higher-stakes competition which is the Squid Game.
Red Light, Green Light
The first game in the Squid Game series is one that is commonly played by children all around the globe. With this game, the bigger the group, the better it gets. In Red Light, Green Light, a predetermined is set and while one player who is the leader stands in one end, with their back turned to the rest of the group all others are free to move. The lone player chants “red light, green light, one two three” and everyone can move. Once they get to three, everyone has to freeze. Anyone caught moving will either be out or have to go back to the starting line. It’s a simple game where you just have to move from point A to point B without being “seen”. However, the rules vary in most cases, and the ultimate goal is to get past the leader when their back is turned. In other instances, you have to touch the tree which the leader is leaning without being caught moving.
In Squid Game, the leader is made to be a giant doll that allows players move when her back is turned to a big tree. While she’s not looking, she chants “the Hibiscus flower has bloomed”, which is what Korean kids say in place red light, green light. While she chants, players are allowed to run towards her. Once she stops and turns, whoever moves is shot to death. Mind you, you can’t fool her because her eyes have motion detectors.
This should probably be one of the hardest games in Squid Game. Sugar Honeycombs is quite frustrating for players because you can’t rely on strength manipulation or taking advantage of other players. The key to making it past Round 2 is patience and just maybe quite an amount of saliva.
In the Sugar Honeycombs game, each player gets a circular tin that can be opened up to reveal a sugar honeycomb with one of four different shapes modeled into a circle, a triangle, a star, or an umbrella. Armed with nothing but a needle, a player is saddled with the responsibility of carving out the shapes without breaking their design. If the shape does not come out whole, the player is killed. You may think it’s simple, but understand that sugar honeycomb is extremely fragile and can break into pieces if you are not careful. In Squid Game, most players use the needles to make tiny incisions on the edges of each shape which takes quite a long time. Gi-hun (Lee Jung-Jae) on the other hand realizes that the best way to keep the sugar honeycomb from breaking is by making it wet. As they get softer, it gets easier to carve out the shapes without breaking them.
Tug of War
The tug of war game is easily one of the best rounds in Squid Game. Here each group of players is challenged into using all their strength as well as the best of their skills in making the other group fall to their death. Now, there’s only one rule, pulling on a thick rope to make the opposing team fall past the center mark. To make this happen, anything goes – psyching out the adversary group, pulling with all your strength, and other techniques.
According to II-nam (O Yeong-su), the tug of war game is not necessarily about which group is stronger. As he puts it, there are other techniques you can use to win even if you don’t have bulking members in your group. Like waiting for the opponents to get tired before you use all your strength, placing team members on different sides of the rope, as well as using your full body weight to your advantage. This as opposed to using just your upper body.
This round is used more as an episode to take a breather while getting to know some characters better in Squid Game than as a challenging entry in the competition. Here, each player is given a bag containing ten marbles and they are divided into pairs. The end goal here is to win every marble your opponent has. However, as they quickly figure out, that between themselves and the person they chose to pair up with (usually the person they have become closest to) one of them dies.
From the very first game, all players were aware that they were not going to make it to the end. However, this was the first time they were directly responsible for the death of someone they cared about in the competition since they were the ones who choose the pairs. In this game, players are at liberty to use any minigame to win. Ranging from throwing marbles on a hole to guessing how many marbles the other player is holding on their closed hands. But at the end of the day, the players don’t really care about which method they use once they realize they’ll have to kill a close friend in order to get to the next round.
For Round 5 there is the variation of one of the most popular children’s games hopscotch. For the original hopscotch, you have to jump from one square to another in order to avoid some of them along the way and make your way back. However, in Squid Game, there’s no going back. Players are to jump their way through a bridge that has two glass squares side by side. While one glass square is tempered and can hold up two players at a time, the square beside it is fragile and whoever jumps on it falls to their death. Now in this game, the “fun” part is figuring out which is which in sixteen minutes or less. In this game, each player does not have equal advantage. The first player has no prior knowledge of which side to take, while the last player has seen 15 players make the right or wrong decision and takes a cue from there. The only challenge the last player has is to simply get over the bridge in time.
This is the final round that features a popular child’s game, which according to The Front Man (Lee Byung – Hun), is one of the most violent games that Korean kids play. The is played by drawing a square, a triangle, and two circles on the ground. It has two teams trying to invade each other’s space. Now the tricky part is that you can’t touch any lines, and you must hop on one foot in most areas. As expected, players will try their best to make you fall along the way.
There you have the different Squid game games that have become a heated topic amongst the Squid Game lovers.
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