16 things to watch if you loved ‘Squid Game’ on Netflix

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s practically no chance you haven’t heard about Squid Game, the k-drama currently taking the world by storm.

The show has a simple premise; lure those in dire need of money into a deadly tournament of children’s games in the hope of emerging triumphant with around £28 million.

With the enduring success of The Hunger Games franchise and the ever-growing popularity of this new k-drama, the world definitely has an appetite for these gruesome games.

➡️ If you’re looking to fill a Squid Game-shaped void in your life after binge-watching the show, read on for our run down of killer competitions on screen!

1. Alice in Borderland (2020) (Series)

If you’ve been following Squid Game, you’ll likely have heard of Alice in Borderland. Securing a second season just days after its initial release, the show proved a big hit in 2020 and saw another spike in streaming following Squid Game. Alice in Borderland follows Arisu and his friends when they unwittingly become sucked into a dangerous game arena in a parallel universe in Tokyo, with no choice but to compete to survive.

Unlike Squid Game, the tasks in Alice in Borderland are certainly not child’s play, and are a true showcase of the sadistic nature of the mysterious game maker. With no incentive other than keeping their lives, Arisu and his friends set out to find who’s behind the arena of torment and put an end to it.

Where to watch: Netflix

2. The Running Man (1987) (Film)

Despite its 80s release date, this Arnie film is set in 2017, during the reign of a totalitarian police state in the US following a worldwide economic collapse. The government butters up the population it rules with The Running Man, a TV game show where criminals compete as “runners” in a life-or-death attempt to earn a state pardon. Arnie’s character, Ben Richards, is framed for a crime he didn’t commit, and ultimately ends up drawn into the deadly game show.

Where to watch: YouTube

3. High Rise Invasion (2021) (Anime series)

High schooler Yuri wakes up high up in the sky in a strange world made up of skyscrapers, and soon learns that the area is patrolled by masked assassins hell-bent on causing death and despair.

Where to watch: Netflix

4. Darwin’s Game (2020) (Anime series)

Another high school student unwittingly caught up in a dangerous new world, Kaname Sudo receives an invitation to play a mysterious mobile game called Darwin’s Game. Unbeknownst to Kaname, accepting the invite draws him into a contest that layers real-life and virtual reality – though the consequences are anything but virtual. Each player has a Sigil, which differs from player to player and grants the user a special, often deadly, skill. Angered at being tricked into competing with no safe way out, Kaname sets out to find the game’s master and shut it down for good.

Where to watch: Netflix

5. Battle Royale (2000) (Film)

This Japanese movie from 2000 came back into the spotlight when The Hunger Games ruled the silver screen, with many accusing Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins of plagiarism. 

Battle Royale is based on the 1999 novel of the same name by Koushun Takami, and is set in a near-future reality where the Japanese government has passed an unusual law to curb juvenile delinquency. Shuya’s class are taken on a field trip, and after being gassed, they wake up on a mysterious island where they are told they must compete in the annual Battle Royale as part of the law that was passed. The rules? Fight to the death for three days until a victor emerges. Shackled with explosive collars, each student has no choice but to compete, and is given supplies, a random weapon, and one choice: kill or be killed.

Where to watch: Netflix

6. The Hunger Games (2012) (Film)

It’s unlikely this will be the first time you’re hearing about The Hunger Games, but it deserves a place in this list nonetheless.

For the unacquainted, the film series is set in a dystopian North American country called Panem, which is divided into districts and ruled by the Capitol. As punishment for an uprising against the Capitol years before, one boy and one girl aged between 12 and 18 from each district is forced to compete in the Hunger Games, an annual contest which sees the children fight to death in hopes of survival and riches if they emerge triumphant.

Where to watch: Netflix

7. 3% (2016) (Series)

Set in a near-future, most of the world’s population lives in poverty in an area called the Inland. However, there is an elite group that lives elsewhere in a paradise known as the Offshore. The only way to get there is by competing in an annual series of tests, which only 3% succeed at.

Where to watch: Netflix

8. As The God’s Will (2014) (Film)

You may have seen this title crop up recently, as Squid Game creator Hwang Dong-hyuk came under fire for the similarities between his show and the movie that came out seven years prior. 

As The Gods Will follows yet another high school student (they can’t catch a break), Shun Takahata, who passes his time playing video games. After complaining about how boring his life is, he finds himself pulled into a game Daruma-san ga koronda (otherwise known as Red Light, Green Light or Grandmother’s Footsteps, which is also the first game played in Squid Game), Shun soon realises this isn’t like any kids’ games he’s played before – in fact, the penalty for losing is death. With no idea who is behind it, why it’s happening or how to stop it, the students are forced to keep competing in sinister games with their lives on the line.

Where to watch: Vudu, Funimation or Amazon

9. Deadman Wonderland (2011) (Anime series)

Deadman Wonderland follows Ganta, who is framed for the murder of his friends and sent to prison. However, it’s not just a normal prison – it’s Deadman Wonderland, a prison that doubles as an amusement park where inmates are forced to compete in killer games for the public’s entertainment in exchange for an antidote that neutralises the deadly poison injected by a collar round their necks.

Where to watch: Netflix

10. Death Parade (2015) Anime series

After dying, humans go to heaven or hell. But for some, they are sent to a third place – the Quindecim, a bar led by the mysterious Decim who draws pairs of the recently deceased into a random game which wagers reincarnation against being cast into an eternal void. The competitors’ memories are erased, but no matter the game, their true nature will surface as Decim attempts to pass judgement on their souls and ultimately, their fate.

Where to watch: Funimation

11. Saw (2004) (Film)

Two strangers wake up in a room together, each with tapes telling them what to do to survive. They soon realise they are trapped in the clutches of a sadistic serial killer, who has them jump over terrifying and lethal hurdles in a bid to stay alive.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

12. Nerve (2016) (Film)

Studious high schooler Vee is tired of living life by the books. She decides to join Nerve, a popular online game involving dares. But of course, the dares become increasingly perilous and Vee has no choice but to head toward an all-or-nothing finale.

Where to watch: YouTube

13. Escape Room (2019) (Film)

Six strangers find themselves in an escape room with a $10,000 prize. It’s not long before they realise the puzzles they have to solve have deadly consequences, and that the real prize on offer is escaping with their lives.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

14. Danganronpa (2013) (Anime series)

At an elite high school where graduates are set for life, 15 classmates find out that their graduation is dependent on killing a classmate – and getting away with it. If the classmates discover the killer, the killer is executed and the rest of the class graduate. If they don’t identify the killer, the killer graduates and everyone else is killed. So, how do you get away with murder? Pretty sure that wasn’t covered in the syllabus…

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

15. Panic (2021) (Series)

Based on the book by Lauren Oliver, Panic sees graduating students in a small town in Texas compete in “Panic”, an annual competition which grants the winner $50,000 and a ticket to escape their boring little corner of the world. With her best friends planning to skip town and her fate veering towards being stuck in a trailer with her alcoholic mother for the rest of her days, Heather decides to enter Panic. But there’s a catch – it’s not just any competition; it’s a circus of the players’ darkest fears and only one person can win.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

16. Cube (1997) (Film)

Six strangers from different backgrounds wake up in a maze of cube-shaped cells with no idea how they got there. With dangerous traps waiting for them in each cube, they soon realise their particular skill sets are the key to survival, and they must work together to survive.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime / YouTube

As you can see, Squid Game isn’t the first to take on the deadly games format.

With shows and movies spanning back decades, we’re sure this particular genre’s enduring popularity will only continue to grow.

What will you watch next?

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