WHITE DAY: A LABYRINTH NAMED SCHOOL
Learning the hard way
This remake of a Korean survival horror classic sees you playing as Hui-min Lee, a new student at Yeondoo High School, the last known location of a suspiciously high number of missing/dead students. Smitten by classmate So-Young, Lee returns after hours to leave her some chocolates. Turns out he’s not alone, and so begins this tale of hauntings and ungodly academic pressure.
White Day’s magic lies in its complex storytelling. The dialogue trees impact on the story and which ending you get (yup, there are several), and the decisions you make have meaningful consequences to enjoy. The puzzles are smart and razor-sharp, if occasionally brutal1 – those timed events are not sympathetic to your plight.
Graphics have been boosted, but this is still based on a 2001 game, so manage those expectations, if you’re a horror fan. Though if the disconsolate moaning of spectres in the final act doesn’t make you reach for the mute button, you’re a better person than me.
The game has been tweaked from previous versions you may have played, and puzzle solutions and ghostly encounters vary with each playthrough, keeping you on your toes. The control scheme itself is kind of spongy, though, and the sweeping eye at the top of the HUD that makes you aware of a nearby hello-I-want-to-beat-your-brains-inwith-my-baseball-bat janitor2 is deactivated for all difficulties except Extra Easy. Yes, this makes it surprisingly tough and yes, we’ll still judge you if you need it. Wuss.
Cheap jump scares aside, White Day is still as unsettling as it ever was, even 16 years after its debut release. Vikki Blake
FOOTNOTES1 Use game-saving felt pens wisely… just like Resident Evil’s typewriter ribbons, they’re in short supply. 2 If you’re spotted by the Janitor, the bathroom stalls are a good place to hide.