Recently I stumbled upon one of the most terrifying games I have ever played and I wanted to share this experience with you guys. White Day: A Labyrinth Named School is a Korean game made by studio Sonnori in 2001. The basic premise is that your a student who visits school at night the day before White Day(Korean/Japanese tradition kinda like Valentines Day) to secretly give some candy to your crush and return her diary which she dropped and you conveniently recovered. You arrive at school at 9:30 pm but totally forget that school closes up at 10:00 pm so when you get locked inside strange things start happening.
So what makes this game so special you might be asking yourselves. Well let me try to break it down. Since the game was made in 2001 the gfx are a little bit dated but the sound effects and creepy atmosphere totally make up for it. The game is played in a first person perspective, think Amnesia or Penumbra, and no weapons are available. The coolest and most terrifying part about the game is probably the randomized scares that happen. You will be running from a psychopath janitor who chases you around school with this flashlight while also encountering ghosts These ghosts can range from a really creepy face that comes out of walls and you can only see it in your peripheral vision but totally disappears when you stare at it directly to strange things coming out of lakes and ghosts who close doors behind you.
Most of the game is non scripted and since you never know when the ghosts or the janitor will be appearing you always have a sense of fear of what might come. The genius part is that to hide from the janitor you have to stay quiet and hide in a dark remote place but at the same time if you have no light source then the ghosts start appearing. It doesn´t help either than the game gives limited amount of light sources. On my short playthrough I have only found a box of matches that provides little illumination in front of me and makes for really scary gameplay. I believe there is a lighter and a flashlight further in the game but I have yet encountered these items. Another interesting aspect is that the harder the difficulty level the more scary the game becomes. More randomized ghosts start appearing and stuff like that start to happen more often. This was made because the makers of the game started getting letter telling them that the game was way to scary. I suggest playing on normal for the first time and on Hard if you really think you can take it.
Sadly the game never saw an official English translation even though it was announced and because of poor sales the team behind this masterpiece was disbanded. Since the game became abandonware and thanks to the work of awesome translators there is a version of White Day in English that is fully playable. Just look for Unnamed Studios website and you will find it there along with all the information you need to play it.
So turn off the lights, put on your headphones, turn up the volume and be prepared to get really scared.