Due to the immense popularity of the Netflix series Squid Game, more people are showing interest in the games played by the participants and in a more general approach to the traditional Korean games.
Fortunately, all children’s games in South Korea are not as dangerous as what we saw in the show.
They are, however, pretty hilarious and all fun to play with your friends!
Whether you’re curious about these kids playing with their friends orlooking to Squid Game inspirations, here is a complete list of safe Korean games in Squid Game for you!
All 7 Korean Children Games in Squid Game
Here are all the games you can find in the first season.
For those more interested by the real Korean traditional games played by kids, we also made an article about some Korean traditional games to play with your friends.
The slap-match game is the first game in the Squid Game, with Gong Yoo and Seong Gi Hun betting for it.
Koreans of all ages have played this game since the Joseon Dynasty.
It uses two flat sheets of colorful paper folded together, known as ddakji.
Ddakjis are pretty thick, making it hard to flip over, which is the point of the game.
Each player leaves their ddakji on the ground as their opponent slaps it until it flips over or goes over the demarcation line.
While players succeed in flipping them over, they collect them.
Whoever has the most ddakjis at the end of the game wins!
Red Light, Green Light
In Squid Game, one of the first games introduced to the viewers was Red Light, Green Light.
But traditionally, South Koreans call it Hibiscus Has Bloomed.
As shown in the show, this game can be played with a group of people.
There will be a designated tagger whose back faces the other players starting at a reasonable distance from the tagger.
The goal is pretty simple: players have multiple waves to progress as far as possible while the tagger is not looking at them.
The players will then shout the phrase “the hibiscus flower has bloomed” as they slowly sneak behind the tagger.
Once the tagger faces the players, none of them must move, or they are disqualified and captured at the post where the tagger stands.
They will repeat these waves a few times until someone taps the tagger’s back, and the remaining players run to make it to the starting line.
The first player the tagger catches during the chase will become the next round’s tagger.
Pretty fun and straightforward compared to Squid Game’s version!
Marbles is a game played in every region of South Korea.
This game uses marbles made of ceramics or glass to play the game in different ways:
- to hit other players’ marbles
- to throw them into a hole
- guessing the exact number of marbles
- guessing if the number is an even number or an odd one
Boys in the 1970s usually played this game, as they used clay to form marbles and dry them under the summer shade or simply pick stones from creeks.
Nowadays, marbles can be bought in most stationery stores around the country.
Crossing the Bridge
Crossing the bridge, is a game that is played by jumping on small stones along the streams.
However, in Squid Game, the game master uses glass placed on a kind of invisible bridge where slabs can stay fixed or break depending on the character’s choice.
A good pick allows the player to continue, whereas a wrong choice results in a definitive player elimination.
For a more safe and family-friendly game, Crossing the bridge is all about jumping on platforms until you reach the other side.
The version of Tug-of-war must of us already know has the same rules that we can see in the show version.
The goal is relatively simple: both teams are positioned face to face and must pull the rope with will in their direction until one group reaches a certain point meaning the win.
In the show, the team of Seong Gi Hun provides us with a great strategy to win this game
Tug-of-war is not only about strength.
It is all about timing and cohesion.
Choosing the leader who will stand at the forefront and the last person is necessary to solidify the team’s foundation.
When the leader sees that the opponent is worn down already, the team must let go of the rope momentarily.
The team must then pull the rope while the opponent loses their balance with all their might.
Dalgona Candy Challenge
South Korean children often play the dalgona challenge in public spaces like parks and playgrounds.
This game is also straightforward.
Participants have to remove a chosen form from a kind of cookie named Dalgona candy or Honeycomb.
They have to peel the sides of the dalgona candy without breaking it.
The cookie has several shapes inside it, including:
- Circle (considered as the most easiest shape to remove)
- Umbrella (the most challenging form of all to pull out, which is by itself pretty unfair)
In South Korea, kids like pulling out the shapes first before eating the honeycomb shapes.
It was an inspiration for one of the most memorable scenes in the show where participants started to lick their dalgona candy.
The most emblematic game and the final one played in the first season is called squid because of the figure drawn by the players on the ground.
The squid game is a real traditional Korean game played by children but not exactly in the same form as what we see in the show.
This playground game is also known as the calmar game.
While the player’s movement is similar to hopscotch, the rules are very much different.
There are 2 teams: the defense and the offense team.
The defensive team moves inside the squid figure using both legs, but the offensive team can move outside the figure with only one leg.
The attacker must cross the center to move on two legs.
They will win once they can manage to return to their base or the head of the squid without the opponents pushing them out of the figure.
Is Squid Game a real Korean Game?
The Netflix Squid Game deadly version is not a real Korean game.
However, South Korea has a traditional and fun game called Ojingeo Nori, the original Korean game that inspires Netflix Squid Game show.
Rules are also different, making the original Korean traditional game way more challenging.
What Are the Most Popular Real Games from Squid Game in South Korea?
The most popular real games that you can watch on Netflix Squid Game are the Korean versions of tug-of-war, slap-match, and marbles games.
And this is it for our list about all Korean games in Squid Squid Game.
An interesting points is that they are all safe for your children and for you with no money engaged so no more debts!
So it could be fun to try them out!
And you, what do you think about it?
Which of these games do you want to check out?
Ping us on Discord, and let’s talk about your thoughts!