The List
7 Deadly Games of Survival

by Lynzee Loveridge,

When Resident Evil was released for PlayStation in 1996, many video game fans caught their first taste of survival horror. The game, and the many that would follow, places players in deadly situations where they have to be fast on their feet to outmaneuver the monsters while solving puzzles essential their their survival. Resident Evil helped introduce survival horror into pop-culture, but many aspects of the "survival game" genre, where strangers are thrown into desperate circumstances and must kill one another to survive owe credit to Battle Royale and Richard Connell's The Most Dangerous Game. The villains setting the games in motion take note from these stories being either monolithic organizations/governments or wealthy individuals with no concern for those they consider beneath them.

7. Kaiji A thief and vandal, Kaiji's miserable life only gets worse when a man named Endō comes calling at his door. He comes to find that after co-signing a loan for a coworker, Kaiji is left footing the bill that has accumulated to 3,850,000 yen (about US$32,000). With an interest rate like that, Kaiji is squeezed between a rock and a hard place and the only solution is to board a gambling ship with other individuals suckered in by loan sharks. On board, Kaiji will play against other gamblers but it won't be easy, and those that fail will be working off their debt until they die.




6. Future Diary Yuki is just one of 12 participants in Deus ex Machina's battle royale to elect the next deity. The game itself requires each member vying to win to be the last one standing. Each member is armed with their own cunning and a "diary" on their phones that provides different strategic information for each user. Readers come to realize that Yuki and the rest of the cast are completely bonkers and any dimension they reside over would be better off not being supervised by homicidal teenagers.




5. Liar Game Nao Kanzaki is an earnest college student pulled into a manipulative debt game where she is tasked with outwitting her opponents to obtain their money. It all starts when she receives 100 million yen in a mysterious package and if she loses it, she'll be indebted to the Liar Game Tournament (LGT) Office for the amount she received. Nao is a natural at reading people, but decides that she will not only win the game, but also free the other players too.




4. Psyren Ageha Yoshina is sucked into the world of Psyren after he receives a mysterious phone card and calls the number written on it. The place was considered an urban legend but it turns out to be a psychic power enhancing wasteland crawling with altered humanoid monsters. Ageha and the other humans on the island have to complete quests handed down by the organizers if they want to return home, but exposure to Psyren is also harming the participants and they only have so much time left.




3. Doubt Yoshiki Tonogai's Doubt, Judge, and Secret all star casts with traumatic backgrounds stuck in a room together and wearing giant animal heads. Much in the same vein as Danganronpa, at least one character is a killer or behind the whole locked-room setup. The stakes in each is death. In Doubt, the group must discover which is the "wolf" where as the rest are "rabbits." The rabbits must kill the wolf first as it is picking off each of them one by one. However, if they kill the wrong person, all of the rabbits will die.




2. Btooom Btooom stars an angry NEET named Ryōta Sakamoto who is especially good at an online role-playing game. One day he wakes up to find he was abducted and placed on an island with a bunch of other people. The game he once enjoyed bombing players in is now a reality and Ryōta is trying to survive from being blown to smithereens. Every player has an IC chip, which works as a sonar device to locate other players (but using it also reveals your location). The only way off the island is to obtain eight chips, and the only way to get a chip is to take it from corpse.




1. As the Gods Will: The Second Series Originally, Akashi's only worry was whether he wanted to keep playing soccer or not and let down his best friend. Then a really angry daruma barrels into his classroom and demands a game of "red light, green light" and kills most of his classmates. It's just the first in a series of absurd trials set up by two competing, powerful beings. Students have to be quick-witted to survive, or at the very least lucky with same games being as simple as Rock-Paper-Scissors.






Japanese fans picked their favorite, so let us know which Black Butler character is your favorite?

The old poll: Last week we asked if you could be the captain of a One Piece ship, which you would choose. The results were:

  1. Thousand Sunny 26.8%
  2. Going Merry 18.8%
  3. Thriller Bark 7.4%
  4. Moby Dick 6.0%
  5. Sexy Foxy 6.0%
  6. Baratie 4.0%
  7. Oro Jackson 3.4%
  8. Flying Dutchman 3.4%
  9. Cooking George 1.3%
  10. New Witch's Tongue 1.3%
  11. Noah 1.3%


When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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