Netflix made Squid Game its biggest show ever with 1.85 billion hours of viewing in the first 28 days of release. The series revolves around Seong Gi-hun, a chauffeur who seeks custody of his daughter but in neck-deep debt. He gets invited to play a number of children games in order to bag a massive cash prize. After accepting the offer, he’s taken to an unknown location where he finds himself among 455 others who are also there to play the games. Everything felt fine till it gets revealed that it is a life or death situation and losing meant death. The series finished on a cliffhanger and each viewer is impatient for the second season with the continuing dark and twisted story.
But till the second season comes out, here’s a list of shows that follow very similar storyline to Squid Game and calm your nerves to at least some time.
Alice in Borderland (2020)
Cast: Kento Yamazaki, Tao Tsuchiya
Director: Shinsuke Sato
The series is very much similar to Squid Game with an aligning storyline which is set in abandoned Tokyo. A group of gamers is forced to participate in a set of life threatening games where surviving means a little longer to live. Surviving a game grants you a ‘visa’ for some days. That visa gets extended as long as one keeps competing, The visa expires – you’ll be shot dead by a laser from the sky.
Sweet Home (2020)
Cast: Song Kang, Lee Jin-wook, Lee Si-young and Lee Do-hyun
Director: Lee Eung-bok, Jang Young-woo, Park So-hyun
Sweet Home is a fantasy horror based in an apocalyptic setting. The entire world started turning into monsters, very much based on their inner demons. In the new chaotic world, Cha Hyun-soo has to protect himself and the other from his apartment building from the horrors while he gains the powers of the infected after merging with the beast inside him and becoming a superpowered being.
Darwin’s Game (2020)
Voiced by: Yūsuke Kobayashi, Reina Ueda, Nichika Ōmori
Director: Yoshinobu Tokumoto
Darwin’s Game is a anime series written and illustrated by FLIPFLOPs. The series centers around 17-year-old high school sophomore Kaname Sudō, who accepted an online invitation by a friend to play an app game called Darwin’s Game. Little did he know that it involves a fight between life and death and he just can’t quit. Every player gets a sigil, an ability that varies player to player and using his sigil, Sudō decides to play the game and eliminate the game master.
Liar Game (2007)
Cast: Erika Toda, Shota Matsuda, Soko Wada, Soichori Kitamura
Director: Hiroaki Matsuyama
Lair Game follows a young naïve nurse, Nao Kanzaki who finds herself in a game each player is given a sum of money and then encouraged to manipulate other players into handing over their money. A game of betrayal, manipulation, mind games and scheming, Lair Game gives a very much similar vine of Squid Game where winning and surviving messed with each and every one’s moral compasses.
Cast: Olivia Welch, Mike Faist, and Jessica Sula
Director: Lauren Oliver
Panic is set in a small town Carp in Texas, where high school seniors participate in the potentially dangerous competition of Panic to win a $50,000 prize in order to leave their town. The students participate in the games hoping for a better life for themselves just like the players of Squid Game. The motivations are the same with some present day teen drama added in Panic.
Cast: Yoo Ah-in, Kim Hyun-joo, Park Jeong-min, Won Jin-ah and Yang Ik-june
Director: Yeon Sang-ho (best known for Train to Busan)
Hellbound is a dystopian horror in based in 2022-27 timeline where an other worldly entity called the angel delivers prophecies regarding condemnation to hell. On the decided time, three hulk like monsters appear out of nowhere and hold a demonstration, mauling and incinerating the body of the condemned. And there starts a game of power between cults, based on people’s fears.