This article contains spoilers for Squid Game: The Challenge through episode 5.

Squid Game became a global hit for many reasons: its bloody violence, its scathing criticism of late-stage capitalism, its Jung Ho-yeon, and so on. But perhaps the most underrated reason is the most obvious: it’s games.

Never before has the survival horror genre depicted lovingly-crafted high stakes versions of children’s games quite like Squid Game. When it came time for Netflix to adapt the show into reality competition Squid Game: The Challenge, it obviously couldn’t include murder, capitalistic critique, or Jung Ho-yeon. It could, however, include those games. So it did.

Squid Game: The Challenge is full of contests that should be familiar to dedicated Squid Game fans. It also tosses in a few new curveballs to keep the players on their toes. Here you can find every game that Netflix’s Squid Game reality series has staged so far, new and old. For organizational purposes, we’ve categorized each contest as either a “Main Game” or a smaller “Side Game” that takes place within the players’ barracks.

Main Game 1 – Red Light, Green Light

Squid Game: The Challenge opens the same way the original drama does: with the massive culling that is “Red Light, Green Light.” The competition even gets a close approximation of the creepy robotic girl who has what appears to be incredibly sensitive motion sensors in her eyes.

As was certainly intended, “Red Light, Green Light” wipes out roughly half the crowd before they even get to choose a bunk bed. This challenge also sees the elimination of our favorite contestant: 385 who muses “why did I squat?” upon freezing and immediately tumbles over, accepting her fate.

Side Game 1 – Chopping Carrots

Squid Game: The Challenge makes it clear early on that there will be opportunities for players to be eliminated outside of the main games. With that in mind, we’ve decided to refer to all of these events as “Side Games.” It’s a little confusing since not all of them are “games” per se but it’s the best we can do.

The first “Side Game” occurs when players 101 (Kyle) and 134 (Dani) head to the kitchen to chop carrots for dinner. A voice over the PA gives them the opportunity to either eliminate a player or grant a player an advantage in an upcoming challenge. They choose to eliminate player 200 (Mothi.)

Main Game 2 – Ppopgi 

The second main game “Ppopgi,” reveals just how much these players have learned from the original Squid Game. Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) developed the strategy of licking the back of the cookies to extract the shape within late in this particular contest. Here, everyone knows to lick from the get-go. It creates what it surely one of the grossest scenes in Netflix history as all players quickly become coated with a brownish concoction of sugar and spit.

Shout out to player 299 (Mormon software engineer Spencer) here who experiences so much stress that it seems like he thinks Netflix is really going to kill him if he can’t get the umbrella out. Perhaps caving and condemning his team to umbrellas is a fate worse than death anyway.

Side Game 2 – The Ringing Phone

When some Squid Game goons roll out a rotary phone onto the barracks floor, the players don’t know what’s up but assume it’s something bad. Imagine their surprise when 198 (Husnain) answers the phone and is rewarded with a cheeseburger. Unfortunately, 198 falls for the bait when he answers the phone a second time. The voice on the other end informs him that he needs to find something else to answer the phone or he will be eliminated. He is unable to do so and is sent away.

Main Game 3 – Warships

Here is where the players’ existing knowledge of Squid Game really works against them. Everyone who watched the show knows that the “Tug of War” rope pull is next. So they all seek out the strongest among them to form teams. Instead, however, The Challenge hits them with the more cerebral “Warships” competition. Better know by the Milton Bradley brand name “Battleships,” this game finds players arranging battleships on a grid and guessing the position of their opponents ships to sink.

The twist here, of course, is that the players are also the battleships. If one team sinks two other ships, they win the game and those players on the ships are eliminated. If they lose, their own “captain” and “admiral” are eliminated. A little bit more complicated than the usual Squid Game trial but still compelling nonetheless. This challenge also introduces two of our new favorite players – game expert 018 (Bee) and former NBA player 182 (T.J.).

Side Game 3 – Elimination Test 1 (The Vote)

By episode 4, Squid Game: The Challenge takes an extended break from the “Main Games” in favor of some elimination cullings. The first so-called “Elimination Test” is simple. All of the remaining players gather to cast out three of their own via a simple popularity vote. The unlucky three are 374 (whose strategy of appearing disinterested and wanting to go home backfired), 161 (for being annoying), 330 (also for being annoying).

Side Game 4- Ddakji

We debated on whether to include this one since no one actually gets eliminated but hey, it’s a game at the end of the day. Players 232 (Rick) and 243 (Stephen) are invited to the kitchen to perform a chore that really ends up being the Korean paper game of ddakji. 232 is good at it. 243 is not. When a Squid Game goon arrives it seems as though 243 is about to be eliminated. Instead, 232 is just given some chocolate.

Side Game 5 – Elimination Test 2 (The Jack-in-the-Boxes)

“Elimination Test 2” is pretty brutal as far as in-between game eliminations go. Five players must volunteer to open Jack-in-the-Boxes that have the power to eliminate or gift advantages. 141 chooses to eliminate 183. 375 is eliminated by his Jack-in-the-Box. 087 eliminates 176. 130 is gifted an advantage but is subsequently eliminated by 229 along with 232 and 243.

Side Game 6 – Juicing Oranges

This is one of three “side games” that is introduced as a “chore.” It’s also not clear if it’s really anything at all since there are no eliminations and the contestants have no problems juicing those oranges.

Main Game 4 – Marbles

Our players have no problems juicing those oranges likely because The Challenge needed juice for its picnic that introduces the fourth Main Game: Marbles. We’ll have to wait until episode 6 premieres to see how it all goes down.

Squid Game: The Challenge episodes one through five are available to stream on Netflix now. Episodes six through nine premiere on Wednesday, Nov. 29. The 10th and final episode premieres Wednesday, Dec. 6.

The post Squid Game: The Challenge – All the Games (New and Old) So Far appeared first on Den of Geek.

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