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The Devil’s Plan Review and Episode Recap (Spoilers)

Netflix The Devil's Plan Poster

About the The Devil’s Plan

12 contestants participate in a series of games spanning over 7 days to win a cash prize.

Total Cash Prize Possible for the Devil’s Plan: 500 Million Won ($369,194.45 USD)

Game Structure of the Devil’s Plan

Each day there is a main game and a prize game.

Main Game

The main game usually allows players to earn Pieces and determines who is allowed to participate in the prize game. Main game also has a high possibility of getting eliminated or going to jail due to Piece mechanics. 

Jail

Players doing really bad in the main game are also in danger of getting sent to jail if they survive with enough pieces left. The 2 players with the lowest Piece count at the end of the main game are immediately sent to jail. In jail, players are not allowed to participate in the prize game. Players will be stuck until the next main game. 

Prize Game

The prize game allows players to increase the overall pot of prize money that is awarded to the winner at the end of the final game. Players need to work together in order to increase the total cash otherwise this round will end immediately with no increase.

All players are encouraged to lie. No violence. No stealing pieces.

Piece Mechanics

Pieces are like life points essentially. Do good in games, get more. Do bad in games, lose them. Have 0 pieces at the end of the game and you’re out. 

Pieces also act as currency. If players have more than 1 piece, they can give them to other players. Good way to build alliances between players. Pieces are also used to gain advantages within games, usually to purchase perks that help them in the game.

The Players

Cho Yeon-woo – Professional Go Player

Ha Seok-jin – Actor

Kim Dong Jae – Very smart college kid. Poker player.

Guillaume Patry – Starcraft player, poker player.

Kwak Joonbin (Kwaktube) – Travel and Food Youtuber. Over 1 million subscribers.

Lee Hye-sung –  Television personality/announcer

Lee See-won – Actress

Orbit (Gue-do) – Science Youtuber with over 900k subscribers. His goal in the Devil’s Plan is to try and save everyone and have everyone survive to the end of the game.

Park Kyeong-rim – Comedian, entertainer

Seungkwan – Kpop artist from kpop group called Seventeen

Suh Dong-joo – Lawyer, MIT graduate. Fluent English

Suh Yu-min – Orthopedic doctor

Review & Overall Impression of The Devil’s Plan

Game Mechanics

Mechanics are interesting. The combination of the main game and the prize game make it so that you need to be a really good individual player but you need to also be able to work well as a team to increase the prize pool.

The Piece mechanic having multiple uses was very interesting. It has the power to keep players alive, acts as currency during games, as well as provides a secret message to gain an advantage. This item is so important that I don’t think the players actually realized it. 

Orbit, the Pacifist

Orbit is a very interesting character. He plays very unconventionally compared to other players in these types of game shows. His pacifist style of trying to save everyone builds a lot of alliances around him, and makes it more difficult for aggressive players to eliminate everyone.

The alliances formed by Orbit allowed many of the weaker players to survive for a very long time. This resulted in strong players getting knocked out early because they got overwhelmed by the bigger alliances.

The strong players like Seok-Jin and Kwaktube might complain about these alliances but it is within the bounds of the game and they probably should’ve found a way around this disadvantage or attempt to break apart the alliance. It is a betrayal game after all. 

He was both a mastermind as well as a very dangerous opponent, demonstrated in the Poker elimination game where he was literally 1 play away from being eliminated and somehow climbed his way out of his grave, and survived to play the next round.

He displayed his prowess in the final games as well but due to Seukjin’s overbearing Piece advantage, he succumbed to the pressure and his wits, making many mistakes which finally lead to his loss.

Seok-jin the Lone Wolf

Seok-jin was not as vocal and controlling as Orbit but he did make a lot of very intelligent plays that helped him reach the final rounds. He was both mathematically intelligent and was also able to tactically dissect and survive each round, despite facing Orbit and his team of underdogs.

Later on in the show, Seok-jin seems to be more aggressive about taking out the weaker players such as Yeon-woo. He just happened to have everything work out and give a good excuse for eliminating her.

The team he originally formed was full of powerhouses which included Guillaume, Dong Jae and See-won. As a team, the clues that they found were passed to each other, which allowed Seok-jin to enter the jail and beat the Blind 5 In a Row game. This allows him to go from near elimination to being at the top of the food chain again.

Seok-jin remained calm for a lot of key moments, which allowed him to push forward. The timing of his prison breakthrough essentially gave him an overbearing advantage in the Poker game, allowing him to reach the finals.

The Game Explanations

Game explanations can be very confusing. There are a lot of layers and rules to most of the games and you will probably need to go back and watch it a few times to fully understand it. Even then, you might not understand it until the actual game is played. I’m curious about how the behind the scenes are because I feel like many of the players will be just as confused as I am.

Pacing of the Games

Pacing of the games is also pretty hard to follow. The show jumps scenes a lot. I had difficulty trying to comprehend the game while reading the subtitles. For example, the Go game. There is an aerial view of the game board where all the players are putting their pieces. And it jumps before I can figure out where and what the players are doing on the board which creates frustration. I had to keep pausing to look at the board before moving forward.

As a whole, I thought the show was intelligent, had a unique cast, and was entertaining. Orbit and Seokjin both had interesting motives for playing the game other than just eliminating the competition and we were able to see a different style of play because of this.

Player Emotions

All 12 players became very emotionally attached with each other. The living quarters caused everyone to build close relationships with each other. It was a competition but they also became friends. This significantly affected the dynamics of the flow of the games. Rather than being cutthroat and eliminating multiple players every round, the bare minimum was getting eliminated because players were sharing pieces with each other. The Pieces being shared were basically favors being paid for the alliances. If all players were greedy, the outcome of the games would have been very different.

Another outcome of the relationships is that they became so friendly with each other, every time a player was eliminated, there was at least one person crying and feeling bad for eliminating them. 

The Devil’s Plan Episode Recaps

Episode 1 

  • Introduction to the players and instructions on how to play the game.
  • Main Match #1: Virus Game – Game of Civilians vs Terrorists. Terrorists trying to spread a virus. Civilians try to kill the Terrorists and stop the virus. Terrorists win.
  • Sent to Jail: Kyeong-rim, Yu-min

Episode 2

  • Kyeong-rim solves the puzzle inside of jail and earns herself a Piece.
  • Dongjae receives a Piece from both See-Won and Seokjin for helping them and strengthening their alliance and pulling ahead in Pieces.
  • Prize Match #1: Cooperative Puzzle (Tangrams): Everyone stands around a carousel and are assigned numbers taking turns solving a puzzle. If they can solve all 10 puzzles, they will increase the prize amount.

Episode 3

  • Main Match #2: Rules Race Board Game – Players roll dice with the goal of reaching the end of the board. There are lots of go to jail rolls which hinder the players. Each player has personal rules that can trigger to their advantage. There are also group rules that can be changed that can affect everyone. 
  • The game basically splits into two alliances, making it a 4 vs 8 game. Basically the winners of the first match vs everyone else, the underdogs. 
  • The 8 Man alliance focuses on gaining tickets to escape jail. The 4 man alliance focuses on moving quickly through the board thinking they can leverage their Piece advantage. The majority group is led by Orbit. 
  • Yeon-woo had really bad luck rolling and kept going to jail and was not able to move through the board. Lots of back and forth changing the group rules to benefit each team. Eventually, the last place players are the 4 man alliance which results in one of their elimination.
  • Guillaume is the first player to be eliminated.
  • Sent to Jail by Seok-Jin: Yeon-Woo, Seungkwan
  • Seungkwan digs through the jail and finds a combination pad inside. Seungkwan complains about the crappy bread.

Episode 4

  • Prize Match #2: Fragments of Memory (Memorization Game) – Players are provided a large picture and need to memorize as many things from the picture as possible. Before the game begins, everyone is sent to a room in the back. Then one by one, they will be asked up to 10 questions about the details of the picture. See-won skips the first question and ends her turn because she didn’t clearly understand the rules. Dong Joo comes in and then destroys the game all by herself, answering all 10. A lot of people who openly discussed the board helped her remember all the different details. There were some questions where you had to do some calculations before you would actually get the correct answer, such as the date.

Episode 5

  • Main Match #3: Secret Numbers Game – Players are assigned a number that they don’t know and need to use addition, multiplication and division cards to calculate what their number is. There’s a lot of distrust on Dongjae and Yu-min makes a mistake, revealing his number to Orbit and many players, which gets him eliminated.
  • DongJae and Hye-Sung are eliminated. Seok-jin complains about ace players getting eliminated to save the weak players, making the game no fun when all the weak players are left.
  • Sent to Jail: Yeon-Woo, Joonbin

Episode 6

  • Prize Match #3: Word Tower – Players are given blocks and a main word. They all need to come up with words using all the blocks related to the main word to add 100 million won to the prize.
  • Seokjin and See-won spend all night trying to figure out how to put the Piece puzzle together. They eventually figure out how the pieces go together.

Episode 7

  • Main Match # 4: Zoo Game – Players are given 3 blocks of animals where they only reveal one of them to other players. During the match, they need to create combinations on the board to match their personal combination.
  • Sent to Jail: Seungkwan and See-won are sent to jail.
  • Seokjin figures out the code to the safe after decrypting the message in the completed puzzle Piece.

Episode 8

  • Prize Match #4: Scale Game – Players are divided into 3 games to play a scale balancing game where the teams cannot communicate with each other. They are separated into 3 rooms and need to take turns balancing a scale with blocks with unknown weights. They have a main scale and a testing scale. They need to figure out how to balance the scale.
  • Main Match #5: Laying Grass – Players put tetris pieces on the board, trying to create squares that are at least 4×4 and higher. 
  • During a crucial moment of the game, Seokjin steals one of Yeon-Woo’s Piece on the board, which essentially eliminates her from the game.
  • Sent to Jail: Seokjin and See-Won have the lowest piece count and go to jail together.
  • Seokjin and See-Won go to jail together. Seokjin completes the jail puzzle within minutes of entering the jail.

Episode 9

  • Jail Match: Blind 5 in a Row – Players play against an AI with pieces of random colors. The pieces are upside down with their main color hidden.
    • Seokjin and See-won open the safe using 2024 as the password. They find that the Jail game can eliminate them. They play anyway. Upon opening the door, both Seokjin and See-won get a glimpse of the game which is a 5 in a row game. See-won plays and gets eliminated. Seokjin spends the night devising his plan on  how to play before defeating the game in the morning. He immediately comes back at the top with a massive Piece advantage as he enters the next main match.
  • Prize Match #5: Montage – Players watch a series of faces and try to find the duplicates. They get 10 chances to make mistakes before the Prize Match ends.

Episode 10

  • Main Match #6: Equation High-Low Poker – This was a brutal betting game that involved 7 players and eliminated 4 players. Involved devising equations that need to be as close to 1 or 20. Players need to choose whether they are betting as close to 1 or 20.
  • Seokjin, Orbit and DongJoo are the last players standing from this game. Orbit displays his grit by going from near elimination to on par with DongJoo and Seokjin’s piece count. This main game lasted over 7 hours.
  • Eliminated: Kyeong-rim, Seungkwan, Yu-min, Joonbin are all knocked out of the game.

Episode 11

  • Prize Match #6 Four Players 3 in a Row – Seokjin, Orbit and Dongjoo play a game of 3 in a Row with a special guest. The special guest is not one of the previous players and has also never played the 3 in a row game. The 4 players play in separate rooms and do not know what color is being played by who. They strategize how to beat the guest player by creating a starting sequence to figure out who is who. Dongjoo is eliminated and Seokjin and Orbit advance to the finals.

Episode 12

  • All the previously eliminated contestants begin coming back into the living area starting from the first eliminated to the most recently eliminated. They mingle a bit before the final game begins. The eliminated contestants get to watch the final game from the living area.
  • Final Match – Final players must play 3 games to win everything.
    • Game 1: 9 Man Morris – Seokjin has a rough start but eventually overruns Orbit.
    • Game 2: Hexagon – Seukjin takes an early lead along with his 1 point perk from his piece count. Orbit makes a comeback but ultimately falls due to pressure and mistakes.
    • Seokjin becomes the victor of the Devil’s game and goes home with 250 million Won.

List Summary of Main Games and Prize Matches

Main Matches and Games in Order

  1. Virus Game
  2. Rules Race
  3. Secret Numbers
  4. Zoo Game
  5. Laying Grass
  6. Equation High-Low
  7. Final: 9 Man Morris, Hexagon, Dice Poker

Prize Matches and Games in Order

  1. Cooperative Puzzle
  2. Fragments of Memory
  3. Word Tower
  4. Scale Game
  5. Montage
  6. Four Player 3 in a Row

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