Squid Game was a big phenomenon when it first came out – an original Korean production that managed to captivate viewers from dozens of countries around the world. It was spellbinding, nerve-racking, and must-watch TV that you simply couldn’t take your eyes off.
We all watched it, wondered how we would survive, and told our friends all of the clever strategies we’d employ. But what about the one ingredient we never got to experience from the comfort of the couch: pure, unadulterated fear. To give you a better idea of what it would really be like to play the games when your life itself is on the line, we’ve ranked all the games from scary to scariest.
The Recruiter’s Game — Ddakji — starts slow
What seems like a harmless game quickly escalates, but not so much so that you’re scared of going further. This is how they trap you into the loop and force you to play the real thing, so it’s no surprise that they save the scariest games for much later on. We think you could take care of yourself during a game of Ddakji…but we’re not so sure you’ll like what it opens you up to!
Dalgona requires nerves of steel and a steady hand
The ability to concentrate under intense pressure and ignore the carnage going on around you makes this one of the slowest paced yet stressful games. It’s all about being able to block everything else out so you can do what you need to do. The good thing, if you can say there’s anything good about being stuck in the Squid Game, is that you know what you’re supposed to do. It’s an age-old habit for kids in Korea, it sounds simple, and you don’t have to rely on anyone else. Dalgona is nerve-racking, but there’s many scarier games yet to come…
Tug Of War becomes easier if you use your brain
Anyone who’s watched this episode will tell you that it’s brains, not brawn, that actually wins a tug of war. Listen to the old man, follow his lead, and then put his years and years of experience into practice. It’s all about coming together as a team and understanding that if you all work as one, you should all end up surviving. This makes it a little different to some of the other zero-sum games that are to follow where for you to win, the one person you’re against has to die. At least here you have a team by your side to keep you going.
Marbles isn’t so innocent in Squid Game
This is where things start to ramp up and the fear factor really begins to grow. You see that if you’re going to win, your competitor must die. You felt like friends, you’ve grown close to them at this point, and you thought it was the two of you against the world. To have that narrative flipped on its head in the blink of an eye really does strike fear into your heart.
Glass Bridge left all of us in a shock
Memorable for giving the audience a first glance at the VIPs, whose desire to gamble can no longer be satisfied by playing classic casino games, episode 7 shows the twisted glass bridge game which forces players to choose between life and death. They’re working as a team to get across, with the added pressure of knowing that only some of them will make it. There’s simply no way to know whether a tile will break and send them falling helplessly to an untimely death. You don’t want to be first, no one will allow you to be last, and yet you have to make it across if you’re going to survive to play another day.
Red Light, Green Light, and constant fear
We’ve covered most of them, but if we had to pick the scariest, this has to be the one. The moment you see the first body hit the floor and you allow yourself to see that the blood and carnage are real, you’re going to panic. This is the moment when Squid Game becomes real and you know that your life really is on the line. Just make sure you don’t get seen as you creep towards the finishing line, or it’ll all have been for nothing.
Final thoughts on the final game…
Everything ends with the Squid Game itself, and by this point you’re a hardened player and a combatant who will do anything to survive. You’ve done things you never imagined you’d see with your own eyes, let alone be capable of actually doing yourself. Fear is completely put to one side at this point because you know what’s on the line. If you’ve made it this far, you’re clearly ice cool and able to perform under pressure when hundreds of your peers simply crumble. Good luck!