SQUID GAME: THE CHALLENGE on Netflix is not for everyone. Fans of the Korean mega-hit Squid Game series might enjoy it because we know the challenges. However, this is very much a game show. Read our Squid Game: The Challenge review here!

SQUID GAME: THE CHALLENGE is a new Netflix game show based on the extremely successful Netflix series Squid Game from South Korea. While we wait for season 2, many will probably want to check out this game show version. It’s based very directly on the games and challenges from the series, so it’s very familiar.

However, this is very much an American game show. We begin with 456 players and only one will remain to win 4.56 million dollars (10,000 US dollars per contestant). To review this game show version of Squid Game, we received the first five episodes which is what will come out on the premiere day. The finale comes December 6.

Continue reading our Squid Game: The Challenge series review below. Find the first 5 episodes on Netflix from November 22, 2023.

456 real players enter the world of Squid Game

I can absolutely understand the desire to win 4.56 million dollars. Especially in a game of both chance and skill. Of course, this being a game show and a reality show, there are some added elements to how it all plays out.

Personally, I would also really enjoy stepping into to world I’d seen on TV. I mean, that’s what Disneyland and Universal Studios are all about. Whether we’re talking Star Wars in Disneyland or The Walking Dead and Harry Potter in Universal Studios, I love it all!

So, getting to participate in the challenges from Squid Game and in the settings we know from the series would be cool. Especially with the added chance of winning a whole lot of money and zero risk of dying. After all, in the series, the winner not only gets the prize money but also survives.

We begin with “Red light, Green light” in Squid Game: The Challenge just like in the original series. This also means the 456 players that begin, will be drastically cut by the end of this first game. Just like in the series, alliances are made, but it happens in a classic reality TV sense, which means a whole lot of drama.

Squid Game: The Challenge – Review | Netflix Reality Series

The drama of reality

Anyone who has watched Masterchef or The Great British Bake Off will know that Europeans do game shows very differently. The US versions are always more full of personal drama than a focus on the actual task.

On the other hand, the European versions tend to be about each person doing their best to be the best. In fact, once they’ve got their own task covered, they often help their contestants. As opposed to hoping that another contestant will do worse – or even try to sabotage them.

Sure, I’m over-simplifying, but my point is that it’s about the task or challenge rather than the drama between contestants.

Having grown up with both US and European game shows, I definitely prefer the European and maybe that’s why Squid Game: The Challenge is often rubbing me the wrong way. The “I just want everyone else to fail”-attitude is not for me.

I much prefer it when people focus on being the best by showing what they can do rather than mouth off and wish the worst for everyone else. Others will surely love and revel in the drama, so I’m sure many will love this element of Squid Game: The Challenge.

Start watching Squid Game: The Challenge on Netflix!

I have to give kudos to how Squid Game: The Challenge has managed to transform the South Korean series into an actual game show. Or, as it’s also labeled “the biggest reality competition ever”. The “reality” element is definitely too much for me because I cannot stand the drama.

Oh well, to each their own, but I could do with much less drama!

This is how the episodes of Squid Game: The Challenge will premiere:

  • On November 22, we get episodes 1 to 5
  • One week later on November 29, episodes 6 to 9 (4 episodes) will be released
  • Finally, the following week, episode 10 (the finale) comes on December 6, 2023.

After watching episode 5, I have to see where this goes. Episode 5 does end on a crazy cliffhanger that we all know from the original series. As the contestants are also familiar with the series, they too know what’s about to happen.

Also, I just have to see what happens and who wins. Even if many of the contestants are driving me a little up the wall.

Squid Game: The Challenge premieres on Netflix on November 22, 2023.


Immersed in the world of “Squid Game,” 456 real players put their skills — and character — to the ultimate test for a life-changing $4.56 million prize.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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