Squid Game: Every Game, Ranked By Difficulty

AbraxasNovember 5, 2021


The newest Netflix sensation, Squid Game has taken the world by storm with its combination of impressive twists and turns, relatable concepts, and emotional acting. In Squid Game, characters who are in debt are recruited to join a death game, competing for a grand prize of roughly thirty-eight million USD, all for the sick entertainment of its sponsors. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the staff in charge of the Squid Game have their own intricate plans and lives which add extra depth to the show.

RELATED: Squid Game: 10 Wild Fan Theories That Actually Make Sense

One of the most interesting things about Squid Game are the actual games the participants play. If other similar shows like Alice in Borderland make players join stages that are designed solely with death in mind, Squid Game draws its inspiration from children’s games. That doesn’t make the whole process any less dangerous. In fact, every single game in the show is deadly, though some are more difficult than others.


7 The Recruiter’s Game Isn’t Easy But It’s Less Dangerous

During the first episode of the series, protagonist Seong Gi-hun is unexpectedly intercepted at the subway by a man who offers him money in exchange for playing a game. The game in question is called ddakji, and players have to flip their opponent’s tile on the ground by striking it with their own.

It’s harder than it seems, particularly with a skilled opponent like the recruiter. Still, the difficulty level is significantly decreased because of the lower stakes. Whenever Gi-hun loses, the only unpleasant consequence is a slap. His win, on the other hand, gives him a prize of one hundred thousand won (roughly eighty-three USD). Of course, the game is highly deceptive, and it hints at the true nature of what Gi-hun will truly have to play later.

6 The Marbles Game Is Extra Difficult When Played With A Trusted Friend

Squid Game - Gganbu

The fourth game in the show, Marbles isn’t in itself demanding. Some players are naturally better at it than others, but the game isn’t hard to play per se. There are several different options, giving the participants far more freedom of choice than they had in the past. What makes this game tough is the way it is organized. Players are originally asked to settle on teams of two. Naturally, most participants gravitate toward individuals they’ve grown close to.

RELATED: Squid Game: 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments, Ranked

The twist comes after, as the game bids the two members of the team against each other. No matter how one looks at it, it’s hard to play to win while knowing that your trusted friend will die as a consequence of your victory. Player 067, Kang Sae-byeok, loses her unlikely friend Ji-yeong, while Abdul Ali is tricked by Cho Sang-woo into handing over his marbles.

5 Tug Of War Relies Heavily On Physical Strength

Squid Game - Stick To The Team

Many of the challenges in Squid Game involve physical strength, and Tug of War is perhaps the best example. Players are divided into teams and fight opposing participants by pulling on a rope as hard as they can. The challenge takes place on a bridge, and failure drags the losing team over the edge, making them fall to their deaths.

Gi-hun’s team passes this particular trial through a combination of Oh Il-nam’s experience and an idea Sang-woo has at the last moment. Without these two elements, their physically weaker group would have easily lost the game.

4 Dalgona Is Far More Difficult For Some Players Than For Others

Squid Game - The Man With The Umbrella

Dalgona – or the honeycomb game – takes place during the second stage of the competition. Players choose a symbol and have to cut that particular shape out of a sheet of honeycomb candy. Certain players have a tougher time than others, as they have to cut out difficult shapes. The umbrella proves to be a particularly difficult challenge, and protagonist Gi-hun almost fails to pass it.

It doesn’t help that the players are extra anxious after just realizing the monstrosity of the game. Having to tackle something that relies so much patience and utmost caution is a truly devilish choice.

3 Squid Game Is The Most Violent Childhood Game

The final game in the show, Squid Game is chosen as the name of the overall competition because it is the most violent childhood game. The game involves two teams – offense and defense – playing on a field drawn in the sand. The offense team has to reach a certain space at the other end of the field, and the defense team must stop them. The offense team also receives a handicap, which they must overcome before moving forward. The defense team must push the attacker out of the field to win.

RELATED: Squid Game: 10 Characters That Changed The Most Between The First & Last Episode

There are no other real rules and any kind of violence is allowed. This makes Squid Game perfect during the final confrontation between Gi-hun and Sang-woo. The brutality the players must inflict on each other to win makes it a true challenge, if not the most difficult game in the show.

2 Red Light, Green Light Is Made Far More Difficult By The Fact That It’s The First Game

Squid Game - Red Light Green Light

When participants first arrive at the secret island that is the setting of Squid Game, they aren’t told about the consequences of failure in the game. They find out what it will entail in the worst way, by witnessing the first death. Players participate in the game Red Light, Green Light, during which they have to make their way to the other side of a field without being spotted by a motion sensor doll. If they move at the wrong moment, they are killed on the spot.

The game itself isn’t that hard, but its difficulty heavily increases as it’s the first game. Unaware of the danger, participants don’t take the game as seriously as they should have. The first death sends them all into a frenzied panic, making them attempt to flee. As a result, over half of the players die.

1 The Glass Bridge Game Emphasizes Just How Unfair The Competition Is

The second to last game is the only one that doesn’t have a real equivalent in childhood games. It seems to draw inspiration from games like hopscotch, but is far more difficult. In Squid Game, players have to cross a bridge made purely out of glass. Half of the tiles are secured glass and can sustain up to two people. The others break as soon as players step on them, sending them falling to their deaths. The only way to cross is by relying on the fatal failure of others.

This particular game emphasizes how biased the whole competition is. While the Front Man claims the Squid Game creates a fair world, that couldn’t be further from the truth. When the contestant who has experience working in a glass factory is able to determine the difference between the two types of glass, the Front Man turns off the lights, making him unable to see. The only fairness in the world of Squid Game is the one that its sponsors allow.

NEXT: 5 Anime Characters Who Would Survive Squid Game (& 5 Who Won’t)


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