If you ever wanted to test your metal and see if you would survive in Netflix’s Squid Game, there is a safe way to do it! Introducing Squid Game The Board Game, where you can test your luck with up to 6 friends to see if you can win 45.6 billion Won and outlive your friends.
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Based on the Korean survival thriller that took the world by storm in 2021, where “Hundreds of cash-strapped contestants accept an invitation to compete in children’s games for a tempting prize, but the stakes are deadly,” the board game emulates the many stages of the game that contestants went through in their attempt to survive and win the prize.
There are six different “stages” to the game, but don’t be intimidated. The game is relatively quick to play and also relatively quick to learn and understand, so whether you are a board game expert or new to the tabletop gaming scene, you will grasp this game quickly.
You don’t have to have seen the series to enjoy the game either, but if you have watched it, it really helps get you in the headspace to enjoy the game. Without further ado, let’s get into Squid Game The Board Game.
What’s in the box?
Inside the box, you get two double-sided boards with four different “rounds” or games to play, mimicking the games that the contestants played in Netflix’s Squid Game season 1.
You also get 72 team tokens, all numbered and split into six teams, including white, pink, red, yellow, green and blue, letting you play with up to six players.
Along with team-coloured tokens, you also have 36 team-coloured player cards split up by the same colours, giving each player 6 cards to use throughout the various games.
You also get different cards for a few games that don’t work with just the player cards, including 7 “Doll” cards, 11 “Dalgona” cards and 24 cards used for the final and most iconic part of the Squid Game The Board Game.
For some other games, there are 8 “Glass Bridge” tiles, 4 “Mannequin” that are double-sided to show “Wall” tiles on the other side, and finally, a speed token, a “timer” tiles (displaying from 15 to 00) that help to count down rounds, 4 die-cuts “Marbles” tokens which construct marbles to play with, and of course a booklet to help with the rules.
The box has a “Piggy Bank”, where the discarded or “eliminated” team tokens are pooled together for the winner. Still, all these parts and pieces will be explained with each game round.
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How do you play Squid Game The Board Game?
As in the Netflix series, the object of Squid Game The Board Game is to lead your team through six deadly games with at least one surviving member to win the game.
Each player gets to choose a colour between green, white, red, pink, blue and yellow, and that is the colour of the player cards that they will use, the team tokens that they start with in the beginning and gain throughout the game, and the “Squid” cards that they will get in the last round of the game, but more on this later.
Red Light Green Light
Like in the series, our first game is Red Light Green Light. You start off the game by setting up your players. You will need one of the boards, specifically the one with the terrifying and now iconic robotic Doll whose head turns around for the game.
Each player starts with seven tokens (leave the other five to the side and “in the wings”) and their respective colour player cards. You will also need the seven “doll” cards and the timer tiles for this game. For this game, you set the timer to 10:00.
To start the game, each player places one token behind the starting line and prepares to “dash” and get as many of their tokens across the board as possible. Shuffle the “Doll” cards and place them on the table next to the board.
Players play one of their six cards each round on the table face down. Once everyone has revealed their cards, you draw the top Doll card to see when it would turn around and eliminate players.
If the Doll card shows Green Light, everyone gets to run the number of rows shown on their card, so if you played a 4, you could run four spaces up the board. If the Doll card shows Red Light, it will display a number below, and whoever played that number will be eliminated, so if the Doll card shows a 4, your player token will be eliminated.
At the end of that round, reclaim the card you have played to your hand and prepare for the next. Suppose you have successfully gotten a token past the starting line. In that case, at the start of the next round, you put another token behind the starting line. If you are successful, you move all your tokens forward equal to the number on your card. If you play the same number the Doll card shows, the token closest to the Doll is eliminated.
You don’t move that turn if you play the 0 Push card. Instead, you get to push another player token in your lane or a lane ahead of them, causing that token to be eliminated.
When the Doll runs out of cards, the timer counts down to 05:00, and the cards are shuffled and played again. Once the timer runs out, any tokens still on the board that haven’t made it safely to the other side are eliminated. When a token of yours is eliminated, turn it upside down and place it in the piggy bank as part of the prize money the winner gets.
Each player takes all the tokens they got across the finish line to the next round. If you were particularly unlucky and didn’t get any tokens across the board, don’t worry; Squid Game has you covered.
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Here we play the children’s game where players had to break one of four shapes, a circle, a triangle, a star and an umbrella, to break out of a honeycomb cookie without breaking the actual shape, using only a needle. Luckily, the board game version isn’t as finicky and is all up to strategy and the cards.
To set up this game, flip your board over to the other side to reveal the Dalgona board, set your timer to 15:00, and get your Dalgona cards ready. The player with the most surviving tokens left goes first, placing all of their tokens among the four shapes in the shaded sections any way they want. From there, each player turns clockwise from player one, placing their tokens on the board.
In the same order, Dalgona will be played. Each round starts with player one, and the player to their right shuffles the Dalgona cards for them, and the player gets to pick their cards. Each round, a player with a surviving token on the board needs to draw at least one card but can choose to draw as many as they want, and if they are lucky, they will stop before the “Crack!” card. If they have a token on a shape corresponding to the drawn card, they progress to the next unshaded tile of that shape.
If the first card you draw is the “Crack!” you get to eliminate any opponent’s token instead of one of your own. Still, if you don’t decide to stop drawing before you draw the “Crack!” card, one of your tokens (of your choice) is eliminated. Once your token has returned to the shaded part of the shape, they are safe.
If a player draws a card for a shape they don’t have a token on, they “Kick the Lighter” and must push another player’s token in that shape, so there is an element of cooperation in this stage.
Once the cards make their way back to player one, the timer starts to count down, and once the timer reaches zero, all tokens left on the board are eliminated.
Tug of War
For Tug of War, grab the other board and display the side with ropes. There you will see 24 spots to place tokens on and create teams. Each player gets to add one token “from the wings” to their team.
Again, starting with the player who has the most surviving tokens, each player (going clockwise) takes a turn to place one token on the board at a time until they have either run out of tokens or no more spaces are left on the board. Any tokens that don’t make it onto the board are immediately eliminated.
Once the board is filled or each player has placed all their tokens on the board, players take turns placing a card face down for each token they have on the board. If a player has more tokens than cards, they must think wisely about where they place their cards.
Once the cards are all placed, the cards are revealed for one Tug of War “battle” at a time. Calculate the total for the cards on each side. If there are no 0 cards that have been played, the highest total wins, pulling the other team of tokens into the gap, and all tokens on the winning side survive the stage.
The rules change a bit if there are any 0 cards in play. If there is an odd number of 0 cards (one, three, five etc.), the team with the lowest total wins because they make the other team “trip”, but an even number of cards cancels each other out.
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Taking it back to a much more simple game, the fourth stage of Squid Game The Board Game is a seemingly simple game of marbles. For this stage, you will need the four tiles depicting a brick wall with a sand patch at the bottom, your surviving team tokens, and the two die-cuts you put together to make two marbles.
Once again, add a new team token from the wings to your team, and take turns going around the table, placing a token one at a time to put them in pairs. You can pair your token or leave it on its own, but if there is another single token, those two will be paired at the end. If you have one token left with no one to pair it with, that team token makes it through to the next round without playing the stage. Similarly, suppose you have a pair of tokens and both of yours. In that case, you choose one to save, and the other is automatically eliminated.
To play the game, the player with the most surviving tokens starts first, going clockwise around the table and choosing a pair of opponents with one of their tokens. From there, they can decide whether to play “Odd Even” or “Closest to the Wall”.
To play “Odd Even”, the player who chose the pair hides one or two marbles in their hand, and the opponent has to guess if they are holding an odd or even number. If you hold one marble and your opponent correctly guesses ” Odd, ” their token survives, and yours is eliminated. If you hold one marble and your opponent guesses “Even” incorrectly, your token survives, and theirs is eliminated.
Suppose a player decides to get smart and doesn’t hide any marbles. In that case, their token is automatically eliminated for not following the rules.
To play “Closest to the Wall”, lay the wall tiles flat on the table, and you and your opponent need to roll the marbles as close to the red line on the tiles as possible, starting with your opponent. If your marble rolls off the table, your token is immediately eliminated.
Each token that wins its “battle” survives and progresses to the next stage.
When you start or enter the stage, you get to add a token from the wings to your team. This is a great way of making sure that each player gets to participate in each stage with at least one token.
As with the stage in the series, the object of this one is to get across the glass bridge, finding which side is broken and which is solid, before the timer runs out.
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For this game stage, you will need the “Mannequin Strips” (so turn your Marble wall over), the glass bridges tiles, the timer set to 15:00, your available team tokens, and your corresponding player cards.
To start, count how many surviving tokens there are and set up some mannequin strips based on how many there are left. If there are 6 or fewer team tokens left, only use one strip; if 7-12, use two strips; for 13-18, use three; and for 19-24, use four. Place them in a line.
Now, starting with the player with the most surviving tokens, take turns going around the table clockwise, placing tokens above a mannequin to claim that position in the line. Remember that you have yet to learn which side is the beginning or the end of the line, so choose carefully!
Once all the tokens are placed, each player plays a card, and the total will determine which end is the start of the bridge. If the total is odd, you will build the Glass Bridge in a row to the left of the tokens, and if it is even, you will do so from the right of the tokens and then retrieve your cards from the table.
When building the Glass Bridge, make sure that the broken side is facing down and that the bridge tiles are shuffled so that no one knows which side of the strip is broken and which is solid. Once you have built the bridge, remove the mannequin strips and close any gaps in the line. Once your line is made, the timer is set to 15:00, and you are ready to begin.
At the start of each round, everyone plays a card face down on the table. Once everyone has played their cards, they are revealed simultaneously. Whoever played the highest card gets to move first, and from there, the round continues around the table clockwise.
If two players have played the same number, the player token closest to the end of the bridge goes first. If the two tokens are still tied, check the number on the player tokens, and whichever is higher moves first. Once everyone around the table has taken a turn, the cards are left on the table or discarded, and the player can only use what is left in their hand. Once their hand is emptied, players retrieve their cards, and the timer counts down.
As tokens move across the bridge, they will reveal which side is broken and which is solid so the tokens behind it can follow the correct path.
There will be times when two tokens are on one tile, which causes a chain reaction. The rules about chain reaction are a little complicated, so let’s see this through an example. If you play a four, but the tile ahead of you is already occupied by two tokens, you must stop and decide which token you will push.
Pushing rules work differently based on the cards that were played. Suppose a token is pushed because of a chain reaction. In that case, the player the token belongs to gets to decide which side of the bridge they will jump to, allowing them to either reveal a tile or jump to safety. If a token is pushed because another player played a 0 Push card, the one who played it gets to push an opponent’s token, deciding where they land.
That token is immediately eliminated if you reveal a tile and the spot where you jumped is broken. If the side is not broken, you continue the moves you played on your card. Once the last card in your
Be careful of revealing the bridge too quickly. Suppose the timer still reads 15:00 or 10:00 when the final tile of the Glass Bridge is revealed. In that case, you have angered the VIPs watching the Squid Game. They immediately reduce the timer to 05:00, and the final round begins.
Any tokens still on the glass bridge or behind the starting line when the timer counts down to 00:00 is immediately eliminated, but any who safely made it across continue to the next round.
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Well done, you’ve made it to the game’s final stage, the one named after the Netflix show and the game’s final moment. For this game, you get to retrieve your last extra token, and you will need the side of the board that shows the squid game, the Squid cards, and the dash token.
To win the game, your token must be the first to reach the Squid Head or have only one team standing. The player with the least surviving tokens to start with gets the Speed Token. Luckily, for this game, there is no timer.
To start the game, players place one of their tokens in the Square and the rest of their surviving tokens in the safe zone (the bubble at the bottom of the board). While tokens are in the safe zone, they can’t be pushed or stabbed but will eventually have to move into the Square where it is no longer safe.
At the start of each round, all players play one of their four cards face down on the table, and once everyone has placed theirs, the cards are revealed. Each of the four cards is numbered from 1 to 4, and they have to be played in that order, so whoever has played a 1 goes first, and so on. If two or more players have played the same card, the player with the speed token goes first, and the others (with the same card) will go in clockwise order.
- If you played a 1 this round, your tokens have blocked any stabs this round but can still be pushed.
- If you played a 2 this round, your tokens would stab another token that is in the same zone as your token (so if you are in the triangle zone, you will stab a token in the triangle, if you are in the Square, your token stabs another in the Square). If the only other token in your zone has been blocked, your token is eliminated instead.
- If you played a 3 this round, your token pushes a token who played block in your zone and eliminates it because it “fell out of the Squid court”.
- If you played a 4 this round, you can move your tokens (if they haven’t been stabbed already). If your token is in the safe zone, it moves into the Square. If your token is in the Square, it moves to the triangle and starts on the place marked 1. If your token is already in the triangle, it moves forward, following the numbers. If you have a token in each zone, you choose between them and only move one token.
If you have multiple tokens on the board, they all take the same action, so one player’s token who plays block would be blocking, whether they are in the Square or the triangle zone.
At the end of the round, all surviving tokens in the Triangle advance to the next numbered position, including those that had just moved into the triangle that round. All players can retrieve their cards from the table, and the Speed Token is passed to the next player going clockwise, and the next round begins.
There are two conditions for winning. If your team is the only one left alive at any moment in the game, you win the game. Alternatively, suppose your token is the first to reach the circle (meaning it has moved from the 8th numbered position on the board into the circle). In that case, you win, and all the other tokens on the board are eliminated.
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What did we think of Squid Game The Board Game?
Squid Game The Board Game was enjoyable to play, and the thought that each token you lose is eliminated is a bit thrilling.
When we first opened the game, saw all the components, and tried reading the instructions, it was intimidating. We found ourselves needing to understand the rules and having to check them regularly. Still, once we got into the swing of things, it was easy to get into the motions and really start enjoying the game. This board game is an excellent adaptation of the Netflix series, with some tense moments and others of relief; at times, we really felt like we were in the game.
As some of us had worse luck than others, it was nice to know that we could continue through the rounds, even if we only had one team token, and that we would experience all the rounds regardless of how well or badly we were doing.
Ultimately, it was an enjoyable experience, and we will play it again. If you want to test your metal against your friends and see who would survive Squid Game The Board Game, head over to Solarpop to get your own copy.
Squid Game The Board Game
- Lots of fun to play
- It can be played with up to 6 players
- Once you understand the rules, it's a breeze
- The instructions and setup can be intimidating
- The rules can be confusing
Complexity vs Depth