I have to admit that, prior to finding out about a film screening of an adaptation of this videogame, I had never heard of DETENTION.
DETENTION is a very SILENT HILL 2-esque guilt-centric 2D horror point-and-click Taiwanese game that takes place during the White Terror which dovetailed with the U.S.’ Communist witch-hunts, except that instead of being blacklisted, you were abducted and killed.
DETENTION takes place in the mid-60s, in a Taiwanese high school and is relatively straight-forward, as adventure games gome. I’d love to discuss some of the specifics, but sadly, spoilers.
Yes, the translation work is not great — it’s extremely clumsy — but the original dialogue may have been overwrought from the get-go. Yes, the artwork is a bit flat, and the animation is stilted. Sure, it often feels like a student game.
Nonetheless, it’s an amazing piece, buoyed by it being a love letter to the political and cultural shifts with Taiwan. It’s utterly earnest and enlightening and engaging, and uses horror motifs and self-reflection in a way that few games do. It’s a bold piece, and one that doesn’t demand much of your time — you can finish it in under four hours — and it’s well-worth that time.