I am what some might call a back-seat survival horror game enthusiast. While I generally don’t play spooky titles myself, I do find them immensely fun to watch a friend play. This degree of separation adds a layer of interactivity and keeps me safely removed from the stress of choices. White Day: A Labyrinth Named School, by developer Sonnori, is suspense heavy, heart-pounding, and a great place to start your journey into the survival horror genre.
“The game looks great on the PS5, feeling more retro than dated.”
For the unfamiliar, this is a Playstation 5 port of a game originally released back in 2001. White Day has seen multiple remakes, managing to thrive on both console and mobile. Of the little exposure I have, the game feels in line with what I would expect from a Korean drama. There is also a level of campiness that I have come to associate with any great horror story. Overall, I found the game extremely palatable compared to others that heavily channel gore and the macabre. The game looks great on the PS5, feeling more retro than dated.
In White Day, you find yourself locked inside the school after hours, along with a handful of other students. Each student has their own goals, with some asking for assistance when their interests align. This leads to mini-games, puzzles, QTEs, and hunting down items to progress through the school and the story. Along the way, you will pick up documents that unravel the school’s mysteries. These mysteries include why it remains haunted by so many ghosts. Additionally, you need to avoid the janitors or risk being bludgeoned to death.
Light and sound play a big part in the game, as these both draw attention to you. You’ll need light to see and pick up items, but to avoid being spotted, light should be used sparingly. Though running, bumping into objects, and closing doors produce a lot of noise, this can be used to your advantage. This means your actions must be timed according to what is happening around you. Running from the janitors raises your heart rate, and eventually, you will get tired. Hiding is ideal, but the locations are limited and usually not easily accessible.
“While not something I generally gravitate toward, White Day: A Labyrinth Named School is a fun experience with a ton of charm.”
In short, the game is highly engaging and more than likely worth your time. While not something I generally gravitate toward, White Day: A Labyrinth Named School is a fun experience with a ton of charm. Aside from a bit of trouble moving through doors while crouched, the game handles well and looks much better than I expected. For those looking for a more veteran take on horror games like White Day, check out the Digital Nightmares podcast where ever you listen to podcasts.
*Disclaimer: Reviewed on Playstation 5; code was provided by the Publisher.
White Day: A Labyrinth Named School is simplistic enough to be an entry point into horror while still highly engaging. Despite being focused on tension, the game is a joy to play. Getting chased and beaten by a janitor is equal parts gripping and hilarious.