The unique thing about (East) Asian horror titles, be they games or movies, is that they're heavily influenced by the culture, society and folklore from which they came. That's part of what makes them so appealing to Westerners, who were back then content with bloody, slasher flicks.
Take "The Grudge" and "The Ring" for example. Both plots are based on the traditional beliefs of the existence of "Onryos". These are spirits who return to our realm seeking vengeance, and are therefore believed to be capable of causing harm to the living. For video games, we can look to Fatal Frame. Throughout the series, you may encounter Shinto gates (Torii) near areas where there are portals to hell. Onryos are also featured here, along with other spirits from Japanese folklore, like "Hitodamas", which are essentially ghosts in the form of fireballs.
Well, since we're on that topic, let's talk about a new (East) Asian horror title. Ever heard of "Detention" yet? It's an indie horror game made by Taiwanese developers Red Candle Games. Set in the 1960s under martial law, Detention draws from Taiwanese and East Asian culture. As you play, you'll come across references to Taoism, Buddhism and Chinese mythologies. Some of the tasks you come across in the game reflect those religious traditions mentioned. The reason why this game is so culturally rich is because the game designer, Mr. Yao, wanted to craft something that would represent the world he grew up in.
Detention tells the story of two high school students who mysteriously wake up to a twisted and haunted version of their campus. To escape, the two must find their way around terrifying creatures called "The Lingered" and solve ominous puzzles found all over the place. The gameplay is like your typical point and clicks, where you have to interact with your surroundings for clues. These would of course, help you unveil the mysteries surrounding the school. Aside from the clicking though, is a unique game mechanic where you have to hold your breath to get past The Lingered. It seems simple at first, but the game throws you in tense situations at certain points. The 2D graphics and Lo-fi soundtracks really set the tone too. They have a way of keeping you on edge the whole time.
It's just a 2D, side-scroller point and click game. It won't break any grounds in terms of gameplay and graphics. But hey, it still gives the chills! Watch the gameplay trailer below to see what I mean.
Detention is currently up for Greenlight on Steam. They're targeting a release date this August 2016, but there's already an Alpha demo available right HERE. Got the guts? Well, get ready to hold your breath.