Just in time for Halloween, I had the opportunity to play Detention – A horrifying 2-D, single player, point and click game. Right away, you’ll notice the gloomy, yet intriguing, Asian style art and creepy background music. Developed by Red Candle Games, Detention is one of the most unique and scary games I have ever played.
The setting takes place in 1960’s Taiwan, on what looks to be a large high school campus located somewhere in the mountains. You begin the story alone in a classroom; but this is no ordinary after school detention. The weather around you is rainy and typhoon sirens can be heard echoing in the distance. The atmosphere starts dreary, but gets even scarier as the story progresses. Check out the trailer below to get an idea of what you’ll be seeing:
The first thing I noticed when playing Detention was how smoothly the gameplay functioned. Granted, the game is more about the story than actually dodging monsters, but I was still impressed with how easy it was to get into the game. If any gamers out there have played the classic 1987 title Maniac Mansion, think of Detention as that game’s evil grandson. Sharing many of the same concepts (point and click, changing characters, etc.) you are ultimately tasked with looking for objects and clues to solve puzzles and advance through the game, except in Detention the monsters are actually, very, scary.
Navigating through the game you will be challenged to complete the various puzzles by exploring the environment. I was impressed with how many objects and doors you could interact with in each sequence. This is where you run into the monsters. To avoid the scary creatures you must walk past them by holding your breath or turning your back to them. I found this to be interesting because usually one expects to ‘fight’ the creatures, but in this game your only goal is to avoid them. Even more fascinating, the idea of holding your breath to avoid monsters and ghosts stems from ancient Asian folklore… spooky.
One aspect of Detention that gives this game some serious scare-factor is the pace in which your character walks through the game. This is not a fast moving game. At times, it even felt like the game constricted your ability to move quickly, adding some anxiety to the gaming experience… Although, this may have been because I really wanted to run away!
In total, Detention took me about 4 -90 minute sessions to complete. However, I would recommend playing the game in one sitting, if possible, because the story is truly the highlight of the game. At its current price point of under $13, I found Detention to be a great value. The game features some surprisingly graphic scenes so I would recommend using caution if you’re around children. The only thing I wish Detention could have included was voice acting, so you don’t have to read each conversation, although, this does help to draw in your attention.
Overall, Detention featured cool, dark artwork, very creepy animation, and a spooky, well thought out soundtrack. For an independent game, I was quite impressed with the gameplay and the depth of the story. This game will make you jump a few times and could definitely lead to some nightmares. If you want to have some fun and get scared this fall season, definitely check out Detention.