Squid Game: What are the games and are they real?

Squid Game official trailer from Netflix

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Squid Game is the South Korean survival drama that was dropped on Netflix earlier this month. The show sees contestants accept an invitation to play various children’s games in a bid to get their hands on the cash prize. However, the stakes are deadly as each game comes with a risk of being killed off.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Squid Game.

What are the games?

In total, there are six games that are seen throughout Squid Game, many of which you will recognise from your own childhood.

The first is Red Light, Green Light, a game better known to many as What’s the Time Mr Wolf.

One child is usually tasked with turning away from the rest of their friends who are stood on the other side of the playground.

Their task is to get to the “Wolf” without being seen by them but if they turn around and witness someone moving, they are out of the game.

Unfortunately, the consequences of Red Light, Green Light are far more deadly.

Instead of a child being at the other end, it’s a ginormous creepy robot doll.

And if she spots you moving, then you are gunned down by those who stand beside her.

Game two is one UK fans may not be as familiar with as it involves cutting honeycomb pieces into various shapes.

If you break your treat though then you are out of the game and killed.

The third game is a tug of war where the remaining contestants are split into groups of 10.

Whoever they are grouped with are their team who will either win together or die together.

For game four, the contestants had to find a partner before they knew what it was they were playing, and are then tasked with a game of marbles where the loser is murdered.

Things get even tenser with the fifth game as they are told to choose a number between one and 16 and then instructed that they will cross a bridge in this order.

However, the contestants must each jump on one of two glass panels that make up the bridge with only one of them strong enough to hold their weight.

If they choose wrong then they will fall to their death.

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The sixth and final game is squid game which is, of course, what the series is named after.

At the beginning of the show, a narrator describing the final game says: “It’s played in a court shaped like a squid.

“Children are divided into two groups, the offence and the defence.

“Once the game starts, the defence can run around on two feet in bounds, while the offence outside the lines are only allowed to hop on one foot.

“But if an attacker cuts through the waist of the squid past the defence, they are given the freedom to use both feet.”

To win, the attacker would need to tap the squid’s head with their foot but if they are pushed out of the lines, then they are dead.

Are the games real?

As viewers will know, some of the games are very real, minus the lethal ending for losers.

Red Light, Green Light, Tug of War and Marbles are very common childhood games around the world.

The honeycomb round is a traditional children’s game in other parts of the world as well but it isn’t clear if the principle of the bridge game – minus the falling to your death part – is too

Then there is the squid game itself which is also true-to-life as director Hwang Dong-hyuk told the Korean Herald it was one of his favourites growing up.

The classic version of the gram was widely played in Korea during the 1970s and 1980s.

Squid Game is available to watch on Netflix.

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