There have been plenty of Japanese horror games and movies over the years, but far fewer from Taiwan. That discrepancy is about to get a little smaller in just a few days with the upcoming release of Detention, a new horror-themed sidescroller from indie developer RedCandleGames.
Detention, as you might expect, is set in a school. But this is no ordinary school and no ordinary detention spent cleaning chalk brushes and writing lines. It's the 1960s, with Taiwan under martial law, and players control two students who find themselves trapped in their school during a typhoon. Neither Ray nor Wei understand what has happened or why they are suddenly alone. And as the pair attempt to escape, they soon realize that evil spirits haunt the school and that their surroundings are becoming increasingly threatening, "as if they've entered another dimension."
A rare side-scrolling point-and-click adventure, reminiscent of cult favourite The Cat Lady in its presentation, Detention will be story-driven with a mix of puzzle solving and "terrifying scenarios" to overcome. Players will be confronted with occasional stealth sequences and the need to run away and hide at times, but you'll rely on your wits to survive rather than combat and fast reflexes. The setting is "heavily influenced" by East Asian culture and Taiwanese/Chinese films, literature and music from the '60s and '70s. The era is important, as the political backdrop is intended to help immerse players in an "oppressive and dystopian society." Fittingly, the original soundtrack will fuse "electronic, lo-fi, and rock with traditional Asian instruments."
There's not much longer to wait to get your Taiwanese scare on, as Detention is due to be released on Steam for Windows, Mac, and Linux on January 12th.