Detention is one of those unique instances where you play something expecting one feeling and reaction while getting the other. When I saw the horror tag, like most I assumed I was in for a jump scare ride. Little did I know I was playing a story full of mythology, an interesting story that involves interpersonal relationships between students, teachers and family as they pertain to our protagonist.
To be clear, Detention is a horror game, but its horror imagery is there mostly to make you uneasy and make you think. On top of all that, the story goes into the climate of 1960s Taiwan as the exiled Republic of China was under martial law. The game has two protagonists, but you’ll primarily play as Ray Fang Shin, and her story is told masterfully through not only dialogue but also through incredible visual story telling.
Detention is a relatively short game, it only took me about 4 hours to complete. I played both the Switch and Steam versions of this game, and I have to say that playing the game on a controller was actually an improvement, in my opinion. This game plays like a point and click game: You collect items and solve puzzles as you progress through the story. Now, while the puzzles are sometimes too easy, you can still get stuck from time to time.
Also, there are enemies in this game, but you don’t fight them, and even if they do kill you, it only takes you back to the last save point you used. You keep all the items you found, so enemies are less obstacles and more like a way to fast travel. There is a point in chapter 2 where an enemy will block your path, but avoiding enemies in this game is really easy. You just hold your breath. These enemies then stop appearing after chapter 2. It’s just puzzles and story from that point on.
Developer: Red Candle Games
Publisher: Red Candle Games
Platform: PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 13th January 2017 (PC), 3rd October 2017 (PS4), 1st March 2018 (Nintendo Switch)