Why is Tug of War Not in Squid Game The Challenge?

Image Credit: Noh Juhan/Netflix

Given how much emphasis Netflix’s ‘Squid Game The Challenge‘ puts on being similar to ‘Squid Game,’ any changes made by the reality show stand out very much. Hence, when a new game entirely replaced the highly anticipated game of Tug of War from the original show, viewers could not but ponder why this might have been done. After all, this particular challenge in the drama series paved the way for many new alliances and betrayals. So, what might have motivated the minds behind the spinoff series to take this route? This is something we are sure every fan of the show is eager to explore.

Tug of War is Replaced by Warship in Squid Game: The Challenge

The revelation of Tug of War not being the third game in ‘Squid Game The Challenge’ blindsided many people, especially the participants. In fact, many of the contestants had formed teams prior to the third challenge so as to be in a more advantageous position when it comes to physical strength. Hence, the revelation that the actual challenge the participants had to face was a game of Warship, AKA a massive version of Battleship, came as a shock. While the obvious bafflement on the faces of the players was certainly entertaining to some level, the reasons behind this change have also been making the fans curious.

Tug of War in ‘Squid Game’

A likely reason why the showrunners might have decided to go for a more strategically inclined game rather than one in which physical strength is essential is perhaps to even the playing field. In ‘Squid Game,’ it is made very clear that Tug of War is highly dependent on physical strength, and any countering tactics that one might use in case of a physical advantage are already discussed in the show, making the game once again about physical strength. After all, when everyone knows the trade secrets, no one knows the trade secrets.

Had the showmakers kept the Tug of War a part of the show, chances are that the results of the challenge would have been evident from the beginning. Since the players had indeed been trying to make teams prior to what they thought was a game of Tug of War, the results would have been predictable. While our favorites from ‘Squid Game’ had the advantage of plot protection and the hand of creator Oh Il-nam over them, such a phenomenon would have likely not helped the contestants of the reality show.

Warship in ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’

Furthermore, it is evident that ‘Squid Game The Challenge’ is not intended to test one’s physical prowess. Does it take a toll on one’s endurance, patience, spontaneity, diplomacy, among many other traits? Sure. But sheer strength is apparently not one of the traits that the showmakers wanted their players to flex. So, instead of a test of physical powers, they had to prove their worth as strategists, which can stump many on their best days.

If Tug of War had indeed been kept in the reality show, the game would have heavily favored people who are younger in age, especially men. By changing perhaps the only game from ‘Squid Game’ that was to test one’s sheer strength, the showrunners not only evened out the playing field but also made sure to let the public know that one can never predict what might happen in the show where stakes are higher than anyone is used to.

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