Detention (Chinese: 返校; lit. 'Returning to School') is a 2-D horror adventure game developed by Taiwanese game developer Red Candle Games. Set in Taiwan, during the infamous 38-year-long martial law, known as White Terror, it follows Fang Ray-Shin, a student trapped in a hellish nightmare version of her school, soon coming to realize it relates to parts of her life. The game was released on 13 January 2017.
Why It Rocks
- Beautiful and amazing graphics, backgrounds are pretty realistic while characters are animated in an appealing hand-drawn style.
- Does a great job incorporating Taiwanese mythology into the setting. The creatures that chase you, called "Lingered", are terrifying ones based directly off of evil spirits from such mythology and have different ways of avoiding them.
- Absolutely terrifying atmosphere which doesn't rely on jumpscares, and the ones it does have are effective because they do more than make you "jump", and terrify you more as time goes on.
- You can't fight back against enemies, which makes the atmosphere even more terrifying and realistic. You have to plan your moves carefully in order to stay alive.
- Interesting puzzles that are intricate, but not too confusing, and with plenty of subtle hints in the environment and story that tell you how to solve them.
- Excellent soundtrack.
- Fantastic story.
- A mind-blowing and perfect plot twist near the end of the game.
- Ray and Wei are very likable characters.
- Great environment, not relying on grossness or gore to scare, but rather claustrophobia with the cramped corridors of the school and the fact that you can't leave due to a monsoon that flooded the way back with blood.
- Notes scattered throughout give interesting backstory to the other characters of the game and detailed lore of the creatures along with helpful tips on how to avoid them.
- Like Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, it depicts mental illness well, being that Ray is diagnosed with depression.
- Many different real-world themes are explored as well and make the game more terrifying, such as themes of guilt and oppression.
- Flashbacks blend seamlessly with the game. Rather than have a bunch of cutscenes, it has segments where you solve some puzzles to unlock parts of Ray's backstory, while the backgrounds remind you that none of it is actually real.
- Two different endings, one of which is absolutely heartbreaking and the other which is absolutely satisfying.
- Got a novel, a live-action film adaptation and a mini-series.
- It's being preserved at an American University library, along with Red Candle Games' next game, Devotion.
- Quite short, at only about 3 and a half hours long. This does help with the excellent pacing of the game, however.
- Wei doesn't have much importance in the overall story.
The game received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic. Rely on Horror gave the game a 9 out of 10, saying that "every facet of Detention moves in one harmonious lockstep towards an unavoidable tragedy, drowning out the world around you."
Upon the game's release in January 2017, the user review on Steam has been overwhelmingly positive. Detention topped the games ranking on Steam in Taiwan and reached 6th in Steam ranking globally within 3 days of its release.
However, after the controversy regarding the game's sequel; Devotion, Detention was pulled out from Steam after the game was review bombed by the mainland Chinese.