White Day: A Labyrinth Named School is an intriguing survival horror game that has earnt the title of cult classic since its original 2001 release. As one of the first terrifying titles to strip you of any weapons, its slow paced, puzzle-based gameplay pushes you to rely on your wits and hiding skills to succeed, leaving you vulnerable and isolated in the tight corridors and dingy classrooms of its self-appointed labyrinth.
From your first moments creeping along the halls and rummaging through drawers and lockers, it’s clear to see both the inspirations it took from previous horror classics, and the influence it had on future games in the genre.
This is my first time experiencing White Day: A Labyrinth Named School for myself, though I’ve long been familiar with the legends and rumours surrounding it. It was quite the elusive title back in the day, with its 2001 version never getting an official release outside of Korea, and it gaining a reputation as one of the scariest games of the time among those who managed to get their hands on it. Stories even circulated suggesting that it was so scary that players contacted the developers to beg them to make it less spooky so they could actually beat it, resulting in its multiple difficulty modes – though it’s pretty impossible to prove or disprove this.