😱 White Day: A Labyrinth Named School Xbox Series X 7.5/10 “Back to school, for a lesson in terror” 😱 @PQubeGames #IndieGames #GameDev

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White Day was something of a legend for a long time, I would see many videos and articles talking about it, marking it as one of the scariest games to ever come out.

It was only available in Korea and was so scary that some people emailed the developer to ask them to make it less scary so that they could complete it.

Now, I have no idea how true all the legends are - but it’s always been a game I desperately wanted to experience. 

You are Lee Hui-min a transfer student who is a bit of a loner, he has a crush on a student - Han So-Young – who, whilst sitting outside, accidentally leaves her diary on a bench, Lee grabs it and vows to return it to her. He obviously waits for the dead of night - and follows her into the school, once in the school it becomes very apparent that there just might be some ghosts about.

Sadly, it’s not just ghosts that haunt the school, janitors with baseball bats also rove the hallways, they are not very talkative, and if they see you, they will pummel you to death, a bit extreme for just trespassing but they take their job deadly seriously. It’s nice having both a physical threat and a supernatural threat, if it’s not the scary janitors chasing you, it’s a ghost jumping out of nowhere - it always creates a great level of fear and keeps you tense for the entire game. 

The game runs well, the original was said to have a lot of bugs and niggles, but none were present in this remake, the graphics do look like a ps2 game, but they are effective enough and suit the game's old-school vibe.

The sound design is the biggest triumph, it is a wall of sound during the scary moments but can quieten down to just your own footsteps, or the rain drumming on the windows, it’s magnificent and worth playing through headphones as it creates such a vivid and striking atmosphere. When the janitor is near, you can hear the jingle of his keys, this alerts you to his presence, it’s wonderful and as soon as you hear the jingling, you instantly tense up.

Just like most horror games, you advance the game through exploration and puzzles, I will say that the school is a bit bland, I know it’s a school and will be quite uniform, but with every hallway and room being identical it was easy to lose track of where you were, as nothing stood out. The puzzles are a mix of entertaining and frustrating, some make you feel like the brainy kid in class, whilst others made me feel like there was no way I’m passing my final exams.

The biggest problem the game has is the date, it’s not 2001 anymore, and the things that would have been innovative and scary then, have been beaten to death by 2022. Its constant use of jump scares has become redundant now, as many games are jump scare fests, the janitor’s presence is good but after his 6th time spotting you, it wears thin, the scares become old - and it’s a shame. I have no doubt that in 2001, this game was innovative and terrifying and absolutely deserved its aura, but by sticking to its original source material, it sadly becomes a loving recreation that worked better then, than now. 

A slight niggle that will affect some gamers - myself included - is that a lot of the best scares come on certain difficulty levels or by taking branching paths, for the people who play multiple times, it’s great, and I do think people should be rewarded for replays - but for people like me who are a ‘one and done’ I do think you will miss the best scares.

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