“Eh, didn’t Squid Game happen, like, 2 years ago?” Yeah, it did. But the hype hasn’t really gone. In fact, there’s going to be a reality TV series based on the Koran series that’ll be launching on Netflix on 22nd November 2023. Squid Game: The Challenge follows 456 participants in the running for US$4.56 million (~S$6.26 million). I know what you’re thinking: WHAT THE.
So the contestants don’t get shot if they lose, but we hear the challenges, while similar to the ones in the show, aren’t easy. In fact, news reports stated that nearly half of the contestants dropped out in the first game alone. But what if the games were set in Singapore? Do you think you’d be able to win that $4.56 million prize? We reimagine a Squid Game: Singapore Edition below.
Same same but different.
Image adapted from: NT Foods, Netflix
Before we begin, any iconic game needs a mascot. For Squid Game SG, we propose the Wang Wang boy. You can’t deny its uncanny resemblance to the show’s Red Light Green Light doll, with his yellow ‘fit and equally unnerving eyes.
Would you trust yourself to win these games with Wang Wang looking over your shoulder?
Gameplay: In normal musical chairs, folks walk around a circle of chairs and scramble for seats when the music stops. In this version, the “Don Don Donki” soundtrack or chorus of The Road Ahead (EDM remix) will be played. The player who doesn’t get a seat when the music is paused will be eliminated – after 24 hours of non-stop Donki music.
How to survive: Don’t look at the chairs – look at the person stopping the music. Or, put a hovering hand over the chairs to chope them like how you do with tissue paper.
Image credit: Carousell
Gameplay: We all know 5 stones – except in this version, you’ll be playing with stones stuffed with lead, so they’re hard to toss. You’ll need super strength just to throw these babies into the air. Maybe you’ll be able to tahan a single game, but we don’t see how anyone could have that much endurance to play this for a long period of time.
How to survive: As any 5 stones prodigy will share, the key is in throwing your stones straight up so they’re easier to catch.
Gameplay: Remember how we played this on our desks in primary school? In this version, you are on stilts and tied to mega-sized erasers. Your objective is to “conquer” other countries – and players – by piling on top of them.
Oh yeah. The eraser size is proportional to the size of the country, so good luck, Singaporeans.
How to survive: Pretend you’re from the US or Soviet Union a few days before the game. Maybe they’ll let you pick a country that won’t crumble on the world stage.
Image credit: Carousell
Gameplay: Kick the feathered shuttlecock with your foot to keep it in the air for as long as possible. Only, instead of feathers, it’s artisanal Japanese knives loved by SG housewives that will cut you if you kick it the wrong way. If it drops before 100 kicks, you’re cut. Well, not literally, but close enough.
How to survive: Don’t geh kiang and whack the capteh high into the air. Kick it by lifting your legs parallel to the ground and use your instep.
Image credit: Shopee
Gameplay: Secure the rope underneath your spin top and yank it off as quickly as possible to make it spin.
If your top gets knocked down by another player’s or stops spinning before the time is up, you’ll be taken for a spin. Not in a car, but in Battlestar Galactica at Universal Studios Singapore on a full stomach. We suggest eating light before the match.
How to survive: Ask Leonardo DiCaprio for his spin top from Inception.
Gameplay: Pick-up sticks is often a wholesome, family-friendly game. But not here. This one involves a mega pile of sticks – think hundreds. Players will have to attempt to collect as many sticks as they can without moving the pile. Losers, however, get a free acupuncture treatment. The twist – you’re stuck with needles the same number as the leftover sticks.
How to survive: Don’t complain about a free treatment you’d have to pay for at a TCM clinic.
Gameplay: Hop to the rhythm of the jump rope and make sure you don’t miss a beat. The pace will pick up, so make sure you keep up! One touch and you’re fried by the skipping rope’s live wire that sports an electric current. It won’t be enough to kill you, but it’ll sting for sure.
How to survive: You might want to sing a song to stay on beat – we’d choose Stayin’ Alive or I Will Survive.
At first I was afraid, I was petrified….
Gameplay: Everybody knows how to play hopscotch. You hop, you jump, you know the drill. Oh, just try not to become Minesweeper IRL by stepping on the landmine. You’ll be thankful they’re not real bombs, but they are lumps of dog poo that’ll be stuck on your shoes for the remainder of the game. Stinky.
How to survive: Don’t hop on the landmine lor.
Gameplay: We call this variation of the card game Not So Happy Family. Collect as many complete family sets as possible. The person with the least number of Happy Families will have to endure nosy questions like “when you getting married, ah?” and “so long already, not pregnant?” from relatives every single day of the rest of their lives.
How to survive: Faster get married lah. Then faster have baby lor.
Image adapted from: TheSmartLocal via YouTube
Gameplay: The rules are simple – avoid getting stepped on or you’re out. Everyone stands in a circle and chants “Pepsi Cola 1, 2, 3” while jumping backwards as far as they can. If you can “hit” your opponent’s leg, goodbye to them.
Image adapted from: TheSmartLocal via YouTube
How to survive: No hacks from us for this one. Just hope your reflexes are cat-like enough to dodge incoming attacks.
This could be us.
Contestants can kill 2 birds with 1 stone after losing by becoming biodegradable waste on our beloved trash island itself.
“What on earth is Pulau Senang?” – you, probably. Never read our lesser-known Singapore islands article ah?
TL;DR: As part of a “social experiment” in 1960, criminals from Singapore were sent to Pulau Senang to roam freely. They were under the watch of one Superintendent Daniel Dutton that the detainees felt was draconian. To, erm, solve the problem, they ended up rioting and murdering Dutton.
Oh, and this place is also referred to as “Comfort Island” in English. We can’t think of a better location, tbh.
You didn’t think we’d let Pulau Tekong off the hook, did you? Good news for all our Singaporean Sons – they can officially share the burden of heading to Tekong with the entire country in the multiverse where Squid Game is a reality on our shores.
10/10 for bringing the nation together.
So there you have it – Singapore’s very own Squid Game where you can put your primary school shenanigans to good use, or die trying. We hope you walk away with a cash loot as high as our ministers’ salaries.
In the meantime, if you wanna do some game prep (Player 111 had the right idea, sorta), here are some reads to give yourself a head start:
For old school games that aren’t deadly:
Originally published on 22nd September 2021. Last updated by Raewyn Koh on 20th October 2023.
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