10 Drama Shows Like Squid Games That Tackle Societal Issues You Should Watch Out For

The human race is a complex one. The coexistence of humans comes with its baggage. Putting into audiovisuals how depraved and distinctively selfish human relations have become, is one of the unique ways to educate and perhaps, create a way to balance depravity with human morality. In recent times, there are TV shows which have succinctly shown this. One of these shows making the waves on Netflix is – Squid Game. A Korean drama series that catches the attention with expert visuals and dark survival tactics. While, the show is currently doing the numbers in several countries around the world, there are other shows like Squid Game on Netflix you may want to pay attention to.

shows like squid game on Netflix
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In Squid Game, there are striking dystopian visuals of a desolate island where people are to play games to survive. As childish as these games were, losing means one thing – elimination. The show is touted to become Korea’s biggest drama series yet. CNET in its review describes it as the “biggest non-English language show in the world.” While this may come off as an exaggeration, considering the influence and magnitude of shows like La Casa de Papel (Money Heist), it is well becoming a widely accepted dystopian drama. However, there are shows like Squid Game on Netflix that address human morality and relations. 

Let’s dive right onto them. 

#1. Kaiji: The Ultimate Survivor 

Though an anime series is similar to Squid Game in that there is a protagonist who is neck-deep in debt and must pay off to stay alive. In his quest to find solutions to solve his indebtedness, he finds out about an underground gambling casino. He thinks hope comes, but his involvement sends him down the hole. If I say Kaiji: The Ultimate Survivor is an anime version of Squid Game, it won’t be far-fetched. There are similar themes and plots used. Each episode shows the protagonists trying to choose between survival and sanity. The show depicts a constant battle of morals, just like Squid Game. 

#2. The Purge (2018-2019)

Mythopoetic at best, but still it shows the length to which humans will go to survive. The fast-paced film underscores throwing morals out the window for survival. Again, it is a “hardcore” mirror of the mantra “survival of the fittest.” 

#3. Alice in Borderland

Another movie that is very similar to Squid Game. The game setup is set as such that the main characters have no special powers, hence, their adventures become relatable. The characters must play games where they must use any tactic possible to survive. With humorous chips, the show is one to watch if you are particularly interested in exploring the extent to which humans can go to survive.

#4. 3%

This Brazilian series takes a look at the different classes of humans. It exposes the gulf between the wealthy and the poor and the gripping experiences the poor are made to have to survive. It is basically a game where the poor are tested to survive. The reward for survival is a place among the elites. The show revolves around a female protagonist who despite everything thrown at her, holds on to her beliefs. 3% is filled with suspense and social commentaries. The twists in the plot make for a compelling watch. 

#5. Sweet Home

You can’t watch this poignantly crafted show without getting attached to several strong characterizations. It is a show that highlights the constant battle between evil and good. It is an in-depth chronicle of what it means to live as humans. Though only ten episodes, the equal development of the characters makes the show one to enjoy. There is no underdevelopment of characters leading to a total usurpation of the plot with decent storytelling. 

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#6. Lost

Arguably one of the foremost movies that depicts human survival in its bare form. Lost needs no introduction if we are being honest. While there are no battle-royale games, it is very similar to Squid Game. The constant battles to outdo each other to survive is expressly characterized in Lost. With several challenges, the characters in Lost were made to question their morality. With more than 100 episodes, Lost takes a deep dive into the nature of the human compass of morality and virtues. The several twists and turns make for a throbbing watch. 

#7. Liar Game

Deceit in full regalia. This show focuses on one of the oldest human banes– deceit. Contestants must lie in different dimensions to win a hundred million yen or lose this same amount in debt. Liar Game is one of many shows like Squid Game on Netflix in that there are competitions. However, this show’s characters employ logic and reasoning instead of muscles and brain like in Squid Game. Again, a slight difference is that the contestants’ lives aren’t on the line but they must find a way to win the huge prize. It is a story that exploits the deceitful nature of humans. Liar Game brings up the discussion on if mind games are better than action scenes as seen in Squid Game. 

#8. Battle Royale

This is a show that centres around Japanese schoolchildren forced to fight for their survival on an island. It is a classic that spurred other movies like Hunger Games, Squid Game and many more. It also borders on the human instinctive nature to survive even among friends. 

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#9. Dangaronpa 

An anime series that revolves around a school with some of the country’s best talents set against themselves to battle till death. It is a less psychological drama like Squid Game, but all the action scenes are quite similar to some of the shows like Squid Game on Netflix. 

#10. Snowpiercer

This show is reminiscent of gory warfare within a train. The world outside is rendered inhabitable due to the effects of climate change. One way it bears some semblance to Squid Game is the survival action scenes, however, the socio-economic underbelly of the film makes the series even more enjoyable. 

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These are some of the shows like Squid Game on Netflix and other networks. If you want to see the dystopian nature of man, then these are the shows and movies you should consider. 

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