New Netflix reality series Squid Game: The Challenge will ask: how far would you go to win the largest fortune any game show has ever given away? Well, we’ll all soon find out exactly how an average contestant would fair in this life-changing situation when the series hits Netflix later this year.
Based upon the hugely popular South Korean horror series Squid Game, in which a batch of strangers are pitted against a series of simple-yet-deadly challenges to win a huge monetary reward, this new series turns nail-biting fiction into reality show fact.
Read more: New on Netflix in September 2023
Well, sort of. While losers in Squid Game: The Challenge won’t be killed like the unsuccessful players in the Squid Game series, they will miss out on the chance to bag a massive monetary prize.
What else does Squid Game: The Challenge have in store? Let’s take a look.
What reviews say about Squid Game: The Challenge
Reviews landed for the Netflix game show just days before its release, and the series received rave reviews from critics who said it was "actually good".
Entertainment Weekly said the reality show "manages to serve up palpable suspense and authentic human drama without murdering a single contestant."
In The Guardian's four star review, they said the spin-off "not only works, but may turn out to be the most gripping reality TV since The Traitors."
The Telegraph gave a balanced review of the series, saying: "With money at stake, rather than life itself, some of the cooped-up politicking in the middle episodes smacks wearily of Big Brother.
"Other passages of play lean too heavily on popularity contests. But by the final few episodes the tension, intrigue and antagonism are bubbling to the boil."
The show wasn't everyone's cup of tea, though, as The Evening Standard said the reality show paled in comparison to its original.
The review says that "without the fear of imminent execution or the powerful and engaging back stories of the original, The Challenge becomes just another reality show featuring personalities you feel might benefit from exposure to high calibre ballistics."
When will Squid Game: The Challenge be released?
Squid Game: The Challenge will run for 10 episodes which are due to air weekly from Wednesday, 22 November and lasting until Wednesday, 6 December. It is currently unclear how many episodes will be released each week.
The show was filmed at a former RAF base near Bedford earlier this year.
Is there a trailer for Squid Game: The Challenge?
The official trailer for Squid Game: The Challenge arrived in late October and gave us a proper look at the show's new contestants and the challenges that await them.
Many familiar motifs from the popular drama appear throughout, including the players' iconic green jumpsuits and the faceless guards that oversee the games.
Watch the trailer below:
A teaser trailer for the reality competition show was revealed during Netflix's TUDUM event in June, which showed the set being built and teased the contestants playing Red Light Green Light.
— Netflix (@netflix) June 17, 2023
A longer trailer was released in September, in which a masked Squid Game operative explained that players will compete for the biggest cash prize in reality show history.
What happens in Squid Game: The Challenge?
In addition to confirming a second series of director Hwang Dong-hyuk hugely popular viral series, Netflix also revealed plans to create a reality show spin-off back in June 2022.
Taking inspiration from the show’s task-filled plot, Squid Game: The Challenge will break records by inviting the largest number of players ever to compete for the largest pot of money ever to be given away on a reality TV show.
Some 456 hopefuls will battle it out to win $4.56m (£3.65m) – but it won’t come easy.
According to Netflix’s official press release, players will be “pushed to their limits and forced to ask themselves just how far they’ll go to win, with opportunistic alliances, cutthroat strategies and timely betrayals to follow.”
The streamer has teased that contestants will face a number of challenges inspired by those featured in the series which is good news for anyone who has been honing their sugar honeycomb task skills.
However, it has also been confirmed that there will be a few new surprises thrown in throughout for good measure.
Who will be starring in Squid Game: The Challenge?
Despite boasting hundreds of players, we don’t currently have any information about who these contestants are or where they’re from. However, with the prize money dished out in dollars, it’s perhaps safe to assume the series will feature contestants from all over the world.
We don’t yet know who will be hosting the show or if it will feature an appearance from the nefarious Front Man, the Squid Game baddie who was played by Lee Byung-hun in the TV series.
What happened on the set of Squid Game: The Challenge?
Since the show wrapped its UK-based production, a handful of anonymous participants have come forward to suggest that the show’s set and shooting techniques were “inhumane”. Netflix has issued a statement denying these claims.
Whilst commenting on suggestions that there was an injury on set and that contestants were allegedly forced to compete in sub-zero temperatures, the streamer reassured fans that it cares “deeply about the health of our cast and crew".
One report, detailed in Variety, revolved around the show’s now-iconic Red Light, Green Light task in which contestants are forced to freeze their movements whenever the show’s giant and all-seeing doll stops singing and faces their direction.
Read more: Everything we know about Squid Game season 2
Despite originally being told that they would only have to hold their chosen poses for no longer than two minutes, these extended freeze periods steadily grew longer, with one anonymous player claiming they had to stay frozen for 26 minutes.
Meanwhile, the shoot — which took place during England’s cold snap in early 2023 — was apparently faced with difficult temperatures, with another anonymous player saying: “If they had told us it was going to be that cold, no one would have gone through with it.”
The production team behind the show, Studio Lambert, responded to these reports by saying: “We care deeply about the health of our cast and crew, and the quality of this show. Any suggestion that the competition is rigged or claims of serious harm to players are simply untrue.
"We’ve taken all the appropriate safety precautions, including after care for contestants – and an independent adjudicator is overseeing each game to ensure it’s fair to everyone.”
Squid Game: The Challenge will be released on Netflix on Wednesday, 22 November.