Netflix Surprise Megahit Squid game has a lot of people who think what it would be like to participate in a game show where literal death is the punishment for failure. Of course, that’s most video games in a nutshell: you lose, you “die”. And to take it a step further, many games have even featured such game shows where people find entertainment by watching others fight for their lives.
What Makes a Good Deadly Game Show? Big crowds, big prizes and a lot of violence. For almost as long as video games themselves have been around, so have games based on a life and death game show or some other type of TV show. The next PlayStation exclusive Towards death will be just the most recent example of a long established gaming genre.
8 Deathverse: A Fun Backyard Death Jamboree (2022)
In the distant future, a reality TV show took the world by storm under the name “Death Jamboree”. In it, players are made to face each other to the death in a battle royale to earn lucrative cash prizes.
This game is a sequel to the free title rougelike Let him die from 2016. With a wide range of playable characters, this game looks like a promising new multiplayer experience. However, players shouldn’t expect to be thrown into the “Jamboree of Death” until 2022.
seven Madworld: The Most Goreous Title on Wii (2009)
The Wii is easily one of the most suitable systems for families. Nintendo rarely allows extremely violent games to enter the same space as Mario. Corn Crazy world bucks this trend as a black and white beat-em-up hack and slash on a town turned into a deadly death game called “DeathWatch”.
The player is tasked with killing as many other players as possible in an increasingly violent way. The game features a wide variety of kills including chainsaws, spiked walls, and subway trains. The bloodier and more complex the kill, the better the points.
6 Ben and Ed: is it still a game of death if the living dead play?
Ben and Ed is a charming 3D platformer game from 2015. In order to save his human friend Ben, Ed must participate in a deadly game show called “Rundead”. In it, Ed has to use good cardio and his undead abilities to dismember himself and get through this obstacle course.
But Ed is already dead. It certainly takes some of the pressure off the whole situation. If ragdoll physics and dark humor are the thing of the gamer, this is a platform game you should not miss.
5 Undead Arena VR: Multiplayer Zombie Game
VR arena of the living dead is an action-packed multiplayer VR experience. In the future (which these death games always seem to be) the zombie apocalypse has come and gone. Now zombie fight reality shows are happening.
For fame and fortune, players battle hordes of undead with the very real possibility that they will end up becoming one themselves. This is an experience, however, players can only enjoy it in real life in free roaming VR arenas.
4 Smash TV: The Game of Death that arcade kids of the ’80s and’ 90s played (1990)
Not to be confused with a Super Smash Bros. TV show, Shattering television is a classic arcade death game for one to two players. In this The running man-Inspirational game, players fight their way through multiple levels of villains to earn fame and cash.
The game was a huge hit in arcades when it was released in 1990 and still remains a classic standard among the likes of Pac-Man. It’s a pixelated life or death adventure, especially suited for those looking for retro charm without the extreme violence of some modern games.
3 Crab Game: Mandatory Squid Game Copier
Crabs are more fun than squid anyway. In this game recently released on Steam, players compete against each other in a series of games for deadly children, including the infamous Red Light, Green Light. It’s as close as it gets that gamers can live out their Squid Game fantasy, but with more cartoon violence.
The store page on Steam says it’s “Definitely not based on Korean pop culture TV shows streaming online, as that would get me in legal trouble, so we definitely won’t.“A quick glance at the screenshot above makes it a little hard to believe, but it is.
2 Trivia Murder Party (From Jackbox Party Pack 3): Murder with a Line of Questioning (2016)
Jackbox Party Pack The games are meant to bring friends and family of gamers together in a friendly board game. But in case players feel the need to get rid of a few of them and assuming said player is willing to bet their life on trivia, there is always Murder party from Jackbox Party Pack 3.
In this game, a serial killer has captured up to eight players in a death game. To survive, all they have to do is answer the trivia questions correctly. Fail, however, and they’ll be punished in a mini-game that will likely result in their untimely death (or dismemberment of limbs). So, unless the players feel confident in their knowledge, it might be best to stick with Trivial Pursuit.
1 Manhunt: The Game Show That Almost Sparked a Mutiny (2003)
manhunt is Rockstar Gomes’ most famous game, which says a lot considering how much controversy Rockstar Games stirs up after each new title. manhunt, however, hasn’t pushed the limits of any game before you even got a chance to think about it. The game was so disgusting and terrible to develop that it almost caused a mutiny in the company and several team members said working on the game made them “disgusting.”
With that in mind, what is Manhunt? Oh, make snuff movies for the rich. More brutality equals more points. The best part is the voice of legendary actor Brian Cox in your ear – literally, if you wear a helmet – tricks you into murdering people in horrific ways.
NEXT: 5 Games Rockstar Should Remaster Next (& 5 They Shouldn’t)
Spider-Man No Way Home: Every Cameo in Every Universe
About the Author