If you haven't had a chance to watch Squid Game, the Korean show on Netflix that has been taking the world by storm, the premise is fairly simple. A group of indebted and desperate people are brought to a secret location where they participate in a series of challenges in order to win a huge sum of money. The kicker? It's a battle to the death, and things get gruesome pretty quickly.
This got us thinking, what would the game be like if it took place in our backyard? It'd have different socioeconomic problems, be based on Australian schoolyard games and feature some decidedly more colourful dialogue. Here are a few things we reckon we'd see in an Australian Squid Game.
1. All the players are in debt either from ludicrous HECS fees or from the crippling cost of homeownership in our country.
2. While you wait for the train at Flinders or Central Station, a mysterious and extremely handsome man will approach you and ask you if you'd like to play a game of hot hands. If you win, you get a crisp $50 note. And if you lose, you get slapped silly. He's cunningly fast and your hands will feel blistered and swollen, but you'll keep going until your first win when the man hands you your money and that elusive business card.
3. For the first challenge, all contestants will be brought to a field that contains several animatronic octopi waving their long, snakey tentacles about. You'll hear a countdown over the intercom, at which point you must run across the field without being touched by the tentacles and eliminated in this giant game of Octopus.
4. Everyone is split into smaller groups to play several rounds of 'What's the Time Mr Wolf?' Whoever gets tagged next resumes the titular role, and the goal is not to be him when the buzzer goes off signalling the end of the game. You can probably guess what happens to all of the sad suckers stuck as Mr Wolf...
5. At the beginning of the games, you'll be fed a pretty decent diet of meat pies and snags served with a can of soft drink. But once you get into the thick of it, you'll have to subsist on a diet of dry, unsweetened Weetbix.
6. The honeycomb challenge, except instead of cutting a circle, triangle, umbrella or star out, you'll have to cut out a boomerang, a coffee mug, a koala head or the shape of Australia. Let's hope you get the boomerang.
7. Instead of tug-o-war, two teams at a time will compete in an over and under relay. The competition will take place on two platforms raised high above the ground. After the first team completes its relay, the platform under the second team will be pulled out. Try to stay out of the splash zone.
8. Next up is a no-holds-barred egg-and-spoon race. Decide whether you want to play it safe or if you want to use this as an opportunity to eliminate some of your competition by sticking a cheeky leg out or giving someone a shove.
9. When the game is finally down to just four players, there will be a single game of four square handball to determine the winner of the games. Will you achieve the highest rank on the court, or will you leave empty-handed and, well, dead.
10. With your hefty winnings, you can probably afford to buy a decrepit one-bedroom in Sydney. Just kidding! You'll probably find a mansion in Byron Bay where you can live out the rest of your days thinking about what you did to earn your beautiful home.