Have You Watched “The Devil’s Plan”? (My Thoughts)

Just to get this out of the way, “The Devil’s Plan” is a rather terrible and misleading name for a show. In aiming for dark, evil-sounding name, I worry that they missed out on a much bigger audience. Because other than the title, this is an amazing show for nerds and geeks of all types.

TDP, as I’ll call it from now on, is a Korean reality competition show on Netflix that aired last year. Similar to The Traitors, contestants compete both to survive and to increase the prize pool, which had the potential of growing to around $4 million USD.

The competion is full of surprisingly complex puzzles that marry math, memory, and player interaction. There’s a polyomino game, a numerical deduction game, a Werewolf-style game, and a tangram game, to name a few. Unlike other reality shows I’ve seen in which the rules are quick and simple, the games in TDP involve 5+ minutes of explanation to the players and audience–I’m not exaggerating.

On top of the two group games played every day, there are a few other mysteries in the show that contestants may or may not discover. It’s entirely possible that they missed things this season that could appear in future seasons.

One other element I really appreciate is that you’re only eliminated if you run out of “pieces” (fancy gold coins), so there’s no elimination by default each episode. It’s possible for many people last deep into the season. You earn coins in various competitions–requiring you to balance your self interest with the group–and in the main living area you can give coins to other players. But if you ever have 0 pieces, you are removed from the game.

We have a few more episodes before we finish season one, but I’m absolutely hooked. If you check it out, you’ll almost need to reframe what you expect from this type of show, as some of the games are so long that they last multiple episodes. But if you enjoy these types of games and an element of treasure hunting, I highly recommend The Devil’s Plan.

4 thoughts on “Have You Watched “The Devil’s Plan”? (My Thoughts)”

  1. My wife and I watched TDP last year and she even put together a couple of the games to play for my birthday party a couple weeks ago as a surprise. The Math game and a version of the Word Rule board game.
    I saw the Werewolf/Infection game as a way for everyone, including the “bad guys”, to work together and share the tokens at the end evenly. I think if done correctly, everyone could come out with 2-3 in the first game.
    Maybe it’s in the title: “The Devil’s Plan” – the plan was to make everyone go through the games as individuals.
    Not sure if it would’ve been a good show, but what would’ve happened if they played against the game instead of each other?

    Reply
    • That’s awesome! There were a few math games–are you talking about the high/low poker-like game or one of the others?

      I like the prisoner’s dilemma concept in general, so I really like what you’re suggesting: Players can work together to play against the game, but there might be incentives for individuals to outplay each other.

      Reply
      • Me and my family went through a version of the secret number game where you have a +, x, 0, and division card. Since we didn’t have “tokens” to trade in for more cards, we were given two of each card.
        If you enjoy Math, it’s a pretty fun game just to play. One of the family members is a High School Math teacher and said he wanted to play the game with his students.

        Reply

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