To what extent is "The Most Dangerous Game" a formula story?
In the sense that it pits two men against each other in a life-or-death struggle, "The Most Dangerous Game" can be called a formula thriller. It sets up a situation to be overcome for the protagonist, and then provides increasingly difficult obstacles until the end. However, since it was written in 1924, it predates many stories that drew inspiration from it, and is arguably the creator of the "hunting man as sport" genre of thriller fiction. The story also includes themes of morality and ethics, asking whether man is entitled to hunt any animal -- including humans -- based on strength and power alone. For this reason, the formula aspects are limited to the narrative structure, while the story itself is original and thought-provoking.