Detention (video game)

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Detention video game logo 2017.png
Developer(s)Red Candle Games
Publisher(s)Red Candle Games
Platform(s)PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch
ReleaseWindows, OS X, Linux
  • WW: January 13, 2017
PlayStation 4
  • NA: October 3, 2017
[1]Nintendo Switch
  • WW: March 1, 2018
Genre(s)Role-playing, Survival horror
Literal meaningReturning to School

Detention (Chinese: 返校; literally: "Returning to School") is a survival horror adventure video game created and developed by Taiwanese game developer Red Candle Games for Steam. It is a 2D atmospheric horror side-scroller set in 1960s Taiwan under martial law. The game also incorporates religious elements based on Taiwanese culture and mythology. The game was released on January 13, 2017.[1] A demo version was released on Steam Greenlight on June 13, 2016.

The concept of the game originates with the Red Candle Games co-founder Shun Ting Yao. In February 2017, a novel based on the game was published by novelist Ling Jing.[2]

Detention's background music was composed by Taiwanese composer Weifan Chang. The soundtrack was released with the game on Steam as a DLC.


Set in 1960s Taiwan of the White Terror period, students Wei and Ray find themselves trapped and vulnerable in Greenwood High School (翠華中學) which is located in a remote mountainous area. The place they once knew has changed in unsettling ways, haunted by evil creatures known as the "lingered" (魍魎). While hiding from the rampaging monsters, the protagonists unveil mysteries which slowly reveal the dark past of the cursed school.


During the White Terror Period in Taiwan, Wei Chung Ting (魏仲廷) falls asleep in class as Instructor Bai (白教官) arrives to interrogate teacher Miss Yin Tsui Han (殷翠涵) about a certain book list. He later awakens to find the campus deserted due to an incoming typhoon and leaves, but encounters a sleeping senior, Fang Ray Shin (方芮欣), while passing through the auditorium. With the bridge exit flooded by the river, they decide to wait out the storm in Wei's classroom. Wei decides to look for a phone, and the game shifts to Ray waking up in the auditorium again, this time in a nightmarish version of the school with Wei's corpse hanging upside down from the stage ceiling. Ray wanders the rest of the school, avoiding different kinds of ghosts, solving puzzles, finding clues, and Ray's story is slowly pieced together:

Ray was a bright student of Greenwood High School, but developed depression after domestic problems, affecting her studies and leading her to meeting school counselor Chang Ming Hui (張明暉), whom she formed a romantic relationship with. Unknown to Ray, Chang also helped Yin smuggle banned books for an illegal book club where Wei was a member. Once their counseling sessions are over, Chang ended their relationship, leaving Ray depressed once more. She overheard Yin and Chang's conversation, with Yin confronting Chang about how his and Ray's relationship can endanger their book club, and misinterpreted it as Yin trying to take Chang from her. On the night of the storm, Ray convinced Wei to give her the reading list, which she handed to Instructor Bai, a military officer assigned to Greenwood, assuming it would get Yin fired. However, Yin fled the country before they could capture her. Wei and the other members, despite attempts to get rid of the books, were imprisoned for 15 years, and Chang was executed. Ray was awarded for her actions but branded a snitch by her classmates. Distraught by guilt and Chang's death, she jumped off a school building. The game is Ray's soul going through a cycle of her memories as she refuses to accept her guilt.

Towards the end, Ray's shadow asks her a series of questions. If the player refuses to acknowledge her mistakes, the shadow states that she and Ray are not the same, and Ray walks down a path beside a river of blood, with Wei, Chang, and Yin telling her the cycle will not end. She enters the auditorium where people applaud her as her shadow awards her with a noose, which she hangs herself with, and the auditorium fades into its abandoned state in the present with the noose remaining on stage, and Ray's soul will repeat the cycle. If she shows guilt and remorse, she finds a paper airplane containing a message of love and farewell from Chang and is led to his office. She witnesses Chang's arrest, and he tells Ray that people should be born to live freely without fear of oppression.

The game shifts back to Wei, an old man (revealed to be the random man Ray would see wandering the school earlier in the game) pardoned following the White Terror. His journal reveals Yin spent the rest of her life abroad, speaking out against the country's oppression but eventually succumbing to cancer. He heads to his old classroom and sits at his desk as Ray's ghost sits across him as they did before as Ray ends her endless cycle of death in purgatory.


Aggregate score

The game has received favourable reviews from critics. 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."[4] 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 3rd in Steam ranking globally within 3 days of its release.[5]

During its first month of release, Detention had the year's highest user rating score of 8.4, and ranked as the 2nd best PC game of 2017 by Metacritic, behind Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, ranked 3rd as the most shared and 6th as the most discussed PC game of the year.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "赤燭遊戲 - Red Candle Games | Facebook" (in Chinese). 2016-11-18. Retrieved 2016-11-18.
  2. ^ "恐怖遊戲《返校》改編小說決定". 返校Facebook. 2016-06-01. Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  3. ^ a b "Detention for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  4. ^ "Review: Detention". Rely on Horror. 2017-01-14. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
  5. ^ "帶人感受白色恐怖 《返校》發售3天引熱潮". Liberty Times Net. 2017-01-17. Retrieved 2017-01-18.

External links[edit]