“Death’s Game” is based on a webtoon of the same name. This Korean drama series was released in in two (2) parts. Part 1 has 4 episodes and was released in 2023. Part 2 has 4 episodes released in 2024. The K-drama is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
“Death’s Game” can be categorized as Supernatural or Fantasy, but it addresses the very serious problem of suicide. According to statistics, South Korea still has the highest suicide rate among member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
♦ You Have No Power Over Life
“Death’s Game” introduces Choi Yee-Jae, a young man who is on his way to a job interview. He was confident, excited, and hoped once he got the job he would be able to marry the woman he loved. But on his way to the interview, he sees a man get hit by a car and die. By the time he got to the interview the shock of witnessing that tragedy had turned him into a nervous wreck. Needless to say the interview did not go well and he did not get the job.
To add insult to injury, shortly after that the COVID-19 pandemic placed people on lockdown and made jobs scarce.. He worked part-time jobs until the pandemic restrictions had been lifted. Seven (7) years passed which meant that his resume could only reflect his part-time job experience. He thought the interview went well but they sent him a letter of rejection.
On his way home he sees his girlfriend get out of a car looking happy. Another man had driven her home. Without asking her anything he abruptly tells her they should break up. After all, because he can’t get a job they can’t have a future together.
Life for Choi Yee-Jae had never been easy. His father died when he was young. His single mother struggled to raise him. No matter how hard he tried he never got his dream job. On top of that, his girlfriend is getting out of a car driven by another man and smiling. Why should she stay with him? He’s a loser!
Choi Yee-Jae thinks it’s obvious he has no power over his life. If he did he would not be so miserable. But he decides that he has power over his death. He walks away from his girlfriend and then goes up to the roof of a building and jumps to his death. Before jumping he had written a suicide note that said the only way to escape the painful hell that he was living in was to die.
♦ You Have No Power Over Death
Choi Yee-Jae died. When he woke up he was facing Death, in the form of a woman, who is very angry with him. Death had read his suicide note and asked him why he thought he had the power to control death. In the note, he said that his life was hell. Death opened a door and showed him what Hell was really like.
Choi Yee-Jae was then told that he would punished for thinking that what he had experienced in his life on earth was anything like the real hell. Because he treated death so flippantly and believed that he was the one in control, he had to be taught a lesson.
As punishment for committing suicide, he was going to die twelve (12) times. Each time he woke up he would still be himself but he would be in a different body living as a different person. It was up to him to figure out how to stop that person from dying.
By living as another person, with their memories and experiences plus his memories and experiences, he could compare lives. Perhaps the life he lived that he thought was hell was nothing by comparison to others. Also, he would see the impact that his suicide had on the people he left behind; mainly his girlfriend and his mother. They continued to live but with great pain and sorrow.
Choi Yee-Jae scoffs and says it’s a like a “game”. He asks what’s the point of playing Death’s game if he is just going to die twelve (12) more times and still get sent to Hell. Of course, Death holds out a “carrot” by telling him if he learns how to survive, he could avoid going to Hell.
Choi Yee-Jae does not know who he will be each time he wakes up but if there is a chance he won’t go to Hell, he’s willing to play Death’s game.
- Choi Yee-Jae (played by Seo In-Guk, “Cafe Minamdang”, “Doom at Your Service”
- Death (played by Park So-Dam, “Special Delivery”)
Viewership and Rating:
- IMDb: 9.1 out of 10 stars
- My Drama List: 8.9 out of 10 stars
- A Good Movie to Watch: 7.9 out of 10 stars
- Dramabeans: 8 out of 10 stars
- Amazon Customer Reviews: 5 out of 5 stars
My personal rating is 9 out of 10 stars. This series is about suicide. The scriptwriters approached a serious topic in a very creative way that made you think. The message of “Death’s Game” was clear. Life can be difficult. It can feel like you’re living in a hell. You might lose hope and want to give up. But don’t give up!
LINKS OF INTEREST:
- Everything you need to know about new K-drama ‘Death’s Game’ | Times of India
- “Death’s Game” Part 1 Review- Excelling Beyond The High Expectations | JazmineMedia
- Death’s Game Review: With its relentless thrills and fear games, Seo In Guk-starrer is sure to hold your attention | Newsroom Post
Prime Video Singapore. “Death’s Game | Official Trailer | Amazon Prime.” YouTube Video. YouTube, November 27, 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBrgWouBob8.