A surprise new hit series is taking Netflix by storm, with its bizarre premise being described as like a battle royale video game transplanted into a TV series.
It’s currently trending high on the streaming service, and setting social media ablaze with fans asking questions about the mysterious show, and hoping for a second season.
But how can you watch Squid Game, and will there indeed be another series?
Here is everything you need to know about it.
What is Squid Game about?
Squid Game is a South Korean survival drama, in which a mysterious invitation to join a game is sent to people at risk who are in dire need of money.
456 participants from all walks of life are locked into a secret location where they play games in order to win 45.6 billion won.
Every game is a Korean traditional children’s game with a deadly twist - such as ‘Red Light, Green Light’ - but the consequence of losing is death.
In the series’ first episode, Seong Gi-hun is down on his luck and has enormous debts with loan sharks.
While at a train station, he's asked by a well-dressed man to play a game of ddakji - a South Korean variation of Pogs or milk caps - where if he wins a round he'll get 100,000 won, but if he loses then the man will slap him in the face.
After playing, the man gives Gi-hun a card, inviting him to play games with higher stakes.
Gi-hun accepts and is taken, while unconscious, to a mysterious location managed by masked staff, and overseen by the Front Man, also masked.
He awakes with 455 other players in a dorm who are identified by numbers on their clothes; who will be the winner, and what is the purpose behind the game?
Who stars in it?
The show stars South Korean actor Lee Jung-jae as Seong Gi-hun, the gambling addict at the centre of the show; the character is voiced by American actor Greg Chun in the English dubbed version of the show.
Heo Sung-tae plays Jang Deok-su, a gangster who enters the Game to settle his massive gambling debts; the character is voiced by Overwatch voice actor Paul Nakauchi in the English version.
Other members of the Korean cast include Park Hae-soo as Cho Sang-woo, Wi Ha-joon as Hwang Jun-ho, Oh Young-soo as Oh Il-nam, Jung Ho-yeon as Kang Sae-byeok, Kim Joo-ryoung as Han Mi-nyeo, Yoo Sung-joo as Byeong-gi, and Lee Yoo-mi as Ji-yeong.
Is it any good?
The game currently holds a 92% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
Paul Tassi from Forbes called the show a “strange, violent, disturbing adventure”, but said “if that sounds like something you’d like, I can’t recommend Squid Game enough.”
Den of Geek’s Kaytl Burt awarded Squid Game 4.5 out of 5, and said the show “doesn’t offer an escape from the horrors of the real world; within its limitations as a fictional drama, it gives us something far rarer: an affirmation that they exist, and that we’re not alone in finding them nightmarish.”
Hidzir Junaini from NME said that, thanks to Squid Games’ “visceral competition element”, it’s a “white-knuckle watch”, while Ready Steady Cut’s Jonathon Wilson said the show “deserves all the praise it’s going to get.”
How can I watch it?
The nine-part series is available to stream on Netflix UK now.
Will there be a Season 2?
At the time of writing, there doesn’t seem to be any definitive word on whether there will be a second season of Squid Game.
But seeing as the first run ends with a finale that is open to interpretation and arguably asks more questions than it answers, we’d say it’s something Netflix will certainly be looking in to.
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